IN his celebrated Traite de Metallurgie in 1875, Gruner gave
" Metallurgy is the Art which treats of the preparation of
To-day, the application of the laws of physical chemistry, and
above all the application to metallurgical processes of the prin-
ciples set forth by M. Le Chatelier, have enabled us to uncover
the mysteries of this art. Metallurgy has become a science.
The dense fog of empiricism, which formerly enveloped all of the
metallurgical processes, has been dispersed, and everything has
become simple and clear, as it does in all other branches of human
knowledge, when they become part of the domain of science.
It is true that we now require a much more profound theoretical
preparation than was required in former times of those who took
up metallurgical work. As a result, the young engineer at the
termination of his studies enters the workshop with such a clear
idea of its processes that after a few months of practical experience
he is much better able to make himself the master of the situation
than are the older students of Gruner—who acquired the metal-
lurgical art—after ten years of practice and assiduous work in the
The young man of our day, who is well prepared theoretically,
becomes familiar with his work ten times as rapidly and works to
better advantage than those who studied under the old system.
Armed with scientific truths, he copes much more readily with
the difficulties which arise, and he does not experience the feeling
of helplessness which overcame the older metallurgists when they
found it impossible to better working conditions and save the
plant from a serious loss—a feeling which often paralyzed our
efforts at the time when all of our energies were vitally necessary.
The book which we present to our readers is dedicated to the
methods of constructing more efficient fuel-fired furnaces. Here-