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' ED-IijIBURGfi: 
W I L L^M M- P." N I M M O. 





JR 1935 ' L 

CfUVTED BY seBEVCK A]rj> M'rAJlf.4|iB, 

ST jauegT square. 

1^ . » 



The education of a youth, to enable him to take his 
place among men io after life, is a matter of the ut- 
most importance; and upon his undergoing such an 
education under a proper system when he is young, 
depemls, to a great extent, the formation of his cha- 
racter, and, consequently, his future success in life. 
The system of commercial education is pretty well 
established, and, therefore, needs no comment A 
scientific education, however, designed to fit its re- 
cipient for a professional life, can only be best im- 
parted by a certain system or course of instruction ; 
in short, the youth or student must Lave the right 
studies peculiar to the profession placed before him at 
the right time, so as to ensure a maximum and steady 
progress. This is especially the case in the education 
of students in engineering science. There have been 
many self-made engineers, and, although not possess- 

iug what may be called a Commercial, or English edu- 
cation, yet they have all been, in the science of their 
profession, educated men. It ia ttne that many men 
have, without the aid of education of almost any sort 
when yoimg, risen in maturer years to the greatest pro- 
ficiency aa engineers ; but these have possessed an in- 
tuitive and strong love for their profession, and have 
only acquired that degree of proficiency by a system 
of self-directed education imder many and great disad- 
vantages. As every man does not possess such rare 
qualifications as those just mentioned, the experience of 
society shows that, to enable a man to become success- 
ful in his business, a knowledge of such must be ac- 
quired, and that as early in life as possible, this know- 
ledge being imparted rather than self-directed. In the 
engineering profession the system of education is very 
varied, and is frequently imparted by illiterate and 
incompetent men ; and there being always two ways of 
attempting to accomplish an object, a right and a 
wrong way, the natural consequence is that as many 
of these systems are wrong ones as others are right ; so 
that many young men, after having gone through the 
routine of their engineering education, have just ac- 
quired so much knowledge aa to enable them to pei^ 
ceive their ignorance, and that they have been mia- i 

■ •Slid 

•^Udded in their way to the proper acquisition of en- 
gineering knowledge. Take, for example, the case of a 
young man who has completed his course of a sound 
English education, and who has resolved, with the sanc- 
tion and approval of his parents or guardians, that he 
will follow the profession of an engineer. A premium 
is accordingly paid to secure his admission to the worka 
of a mechanical engineer, or, it may be, into the office 
of a civil engineer. He is so far privileged, and, as a 
pupil, the means of acquiring information are placed 
within hjs reach, or he gets in the shop the best of 
■work; but as everything else depends on himself, it not 
infrequently happens that, instead of being turned put 
an educated engineer, it is found that he has undervalued 
his profession and has been wasting Iiis time, all of 
which might have been prevented by a proper system 
of discipline and education. 

Enough, probably, has been said to show the im- 
portance of a good system ; and this little volume, there- 
fore, is designed with a view, as far as possible, to 
point out what the author considers the proper course 
of instruction for those aspiring to become profes- 
sional engineers. Technicalities have, as far as pos- 
sible, been avoided, and the style of information has 
been so far reduced to suit the intellectual capacity of 


a youth who may be supposed capable of considering 
what profession it will be expedient for him to follow. 
At the same time, the author recommends it to the 
consideration of parents and guardians who may de- 
cide for those under their chai^ 



UTTBODUOnON, ...... 9 




8PB0I1L IDUCiTIOV, • . • • .27 

ncmricii iduoaiiov — workshop and wobebhop routiiti, • 68 





lOST any man with the crdinaiy capacity for in- 
iction can be taught to da certain things. For some 
these, however, he may exhibit a greater aptitude 
. for others : it is therefore said of such a man that 
I has a particular talent for such and such a trade, 
not alike endowed with natural talent and 
Uty, — some possessing it in a veiy general way; 
others only in one particidar channel ; wliile many there 
are who may be said to possess scarcely any, and, to 
al! appearance, have evidently " nothing in them." 
Now, as we believe that every naan endowed with reaeon 
at all has "something in him," however latent the 
it may be, it becomes young men, or their parents 


tfllT them, earnestly to set about discovering, as fax oa 
Lpossible, in what direction sucli talent lies, and this at 
as early a period in life aa possible, so that, having well 
decided what course of study shall be adopted, it may be 
pursued with all sincerity and earnestness. This point 
considered, we shall assume that the young man, in- 
tended as a student in engineering, should have some 
little inclination for such a profession— at least no posi- 
tive aversion to it ; for we may say, if the latter should 
be the case, little hope could be entertauied of the 
individual's success. We would therefore here warn 
parents, and others in charge, of forcing young men to 
follow a certain line of trade — a profession for which 
they may not only have no inclination, but a positive 
dishka In nearly all cases the choice of a profession 
should originate with the young man himself, with the \ 
aid of the information and advice given him by his ' 
parents or guardians. Exceptions, however, there 
where the youth wants decision, or ia of a fickle and • 
unsettled nature, in which case the judgment of those 
in authority over him must be exercised; and where 
such fickleness exists, it must be subdued as much as 
possible by a rigid system of discipline and training. 

During the last fifty years engineering has made 
most gigantic strides, and has now become a scieii( 

^^^ During 
^^K most gigE 

^^Pa 1 


very comprehensive character; so mach so, in- 
deed, that it has been separated into divisions hav- 
ing their varioua sections, and these in turn having 
as many branches. The original body of men as- 
suming the title of engineers were those engaged 
in military affairs; and to distinguish another body 
in existence shortly after, who also professed engin- 
eering, the prefix "civil" was applied to the name 
of engineer. Thus there wore only two classes of 
engineers, namely, civil and military engineers. Since 
then, engineering has widened out in the civil direction 
into two main sections — the one preserving the original 
name of civil engineers, the other that of mechanical 
engineers. The former body of men are principally en- 
gaged in designing large works, such as bridges, docks, 
canals, railways, and many other important works, 
and whether executed in various materials, such as iron, 
wood, or stone. These designs are carried out under 
such engineer's superintendence by contractors— as me- 
chanical engineers, builders, and masons. Mechanical 
engineers are usually employed in carrying out tlie 
designs of civil engineers in large works executed 
in iron. They are also employed in designing and 
manufacturing general machinery, steam engines, and 
various other iron work. 



Mechanicftl engineering is again aubdivided into 
many detailed branches, differing only, however, in the 
requirementa of the particular description of the work, 
the designing and execution of such work being carried 
out under one broad system. So vast is the subject of 
engineering, that in the mechanical depai*tment alone 
there are various branches, each singly affording a life- 
study for many engineers. The locomotive, marine, 
hydraulic, mining, and gaa engineers, as also the gene- 
ral machinist and millwright, all find abundant matter 
for study and improvement in each of those branches 
to serve them for their lifetime, and to be handed 
down as a legacy to their ancestors, almost to the end 
of the material world. 

We do not intend going into each branch already 
mentioned, but will simply confine our remarks to the 
two main sections, namely, Mechanical and Civil Engi- 
neering, as sufficiently illustrative of the system of 
training and instruction necessary for the successful 
practice of engineering, and which can be appHed to 
any particular branch. Our remarks will be princi- 
pally confined to the education of the Mechanical 
Engineer, as much of what is given in connection 
with this will be applicable to the education of the 
Civil Engineer, 



f boys and youths are first sent to school, their 
minds and inclinations are not sufficiently matured as 
to warrant their parents or friends in determining what 
profession they are likely, or in some measure natural]; 
designed to follow ; conseq^uently they are sent to school, 
there to receive a sound English education, so as to 
develop their understanding, and thus give some evi- 
dence of their eapabUities. This, then, we consider 
absolutely necessary to every individual, whatever his 
prospects or views of a profession, as a solid intellectual 
foundation upon which to raise the whole fabric of hia 
professional knowledge. 

Having received such an education, and the youth 
having reached that age when he is supposed to have 
somewhat definite views upon the choice of a profes- 
sion, it is expedient that he should at once, with the 
assistance and advice of his friends, determine what 


the nature of auch a profesaion shall be. Having done i 
so, and sach being that of an engineer, we shall humbly 
endeavour to point out that route which we think the 
shortest, and at the same time the surest, to a tolerable 
proficiency in the science of engineering. We do bo, 
although modestly, yet at the same time with a certain 
amount of confidence, having travelled the road our- 
selves; and, looking back, we have seen with regret 
the roundabout way by which we have reached our 
destination, so to apeak; and for want of proper direc- 
tion and guidance have not unfrequently lost our way. 
There are two distinct divisions in the life of a young 
man designed to follow engineering. The first is his 
scholastic education, the second his professional ap- 
prenticeship or pupilage, — the former ending with hia 
leaving school, the latter with his completing his term 
of apprenticeship, when he is supposed to merit the 
title of engineer. 

We vrill therefore proceed first with the scholastic 
education of a young man desiring to qualify himself 
as a mechanical engineer; and in doing so we wish it 
to be distinctly understood that we only direct atten- 
tion to those studies which we consider absolutely 
necessary. Others may be added, at the pleasure of 
tbc student or his friends, as necessary to hia position 



r station iu tife. Of these they are the best judges. 
Certainly, a man can never know too much, provided 
he does not undertake more than he can accomphah 
with duty to his health and the learning of his busi- 

The English education which we have already men- 
tioned, consists of a knowledge of the English language, 
geography, writing, arithmetic, and occasionally the 
rudiments of Latin. 

The study of the English language being the primary 
one in an individual's life, it ought to be thoroughly 
accomplished, for upon a perfect knowledge of snch 
depends the facility with which a man obtains hia in- 
formation in after life. Although we do not here 
intend to enumerate all the points in the acquisition of 
this knowledge, yet we would direct attention particu- 
larly to the following: — Grammar, spelling, choice of 
words, and arrangement of such in English composi- 
tion, — as it must be remembered that engineers are 
not always confined to the workshop or drawing-office, 
but are frequently called upon to furnish information 
and give opinions to men of distinction and education, 
as also to frame and write reports; all of which, to 
be done in a professional manner, involves a somid 
knowledge of the English language. 



The study of geography ia also one of intense in- 
terest to the student in engineering, for in the present 
advanced state of the iron manufacture of Great Britain, 
it has become the main centre &om which almost the 
whole world is supplied. It is therefore most essential 
that the student in engineermg should also be con- 
versant with the various inhabited parts of the globe. 
Of writing there is little to be said further than that 
it is necessary that a good and legible hand should 
be acquired, so that, besides the style peculiar to every 
individual, a distinct and unmistakable delineation of 
the letters and words of the English alphabet shall be 

We now come to the most iraportant branch of 
education to the young student in engineering, namely, 
arithmetic, An educated engineer, one who ia con- 
versant with the theory as well as the practice of his 
profession, and having in the course of his duties occa- 
sion to apply the former to the latter, ia constantly 
making use of his arithmetic, and^ as we shall after- 
wards notice, his mathematics. A shopkeeper or other 
clerk may have his ready -reckoner and other tables to 
facilitate his counting-house duties, so that his arith- 
metical powers may never be called upon to exercise 
themselves furthfr than the act of running up a trade 



faUl or subtracting from such a discount, wluch dis- 
count he finds from ready-made tables. Now all 
. this, at the same time that it facilitates the duties of 
the counting-house, reduces the work of such clerks 
merely to the level of machines. This, however, ia not 
the case in engineering, as no such ready-reckoner 
ejdsts, nor, indeed, could exist, for the purpose of solv- 
ing the problems and working the calculations re- 
quired in the practice of engineering, so many and so 
varied are the forms and application of such calcula- 
tions. Id some cases tables do exist where the calcula- 
tions are laborious, snch as areaa and circumferenees 
of circles, weights of iron, etc., etc, ; bnt no engineer 
ever thinks that in snch tables he will find all he 
wishes, and therefore he looks upon them simply in 
the hght of auxiliaries ; nevertheless, he is, or should 
be, perfectly able to do without them. In acquiring a 
knowledge of arithmetic, the student should not so 
much learn the rules, etc, and be able simply to per- 
form the different operations, — snch ae addition, sub- 
traction, multiplication, division, proportion, square 
root, cube root, and fractions, — but should endeavour to 
master the principles upon which each operation is 
based; and in doing so he will impress them with 
much greater force upon his memory, besides being 



able to apply them with ease to any case. We would 
impress upon the student in engineering the necessity 
of malting himself thoroughly conversant with the 
various branches of arithmetic, and in particular with 
the primary branches, such as addition, multiplication, 
and subtraction; also with the theoiy of decimal frac- 
tions, and their conversion to vulgar fractions, and vice 
versa. We may as well intimate here, to show the 
importance of decimal fractions to the engineer, that, 
owing to the accuracy with which his work must 
be calculated and designed, all such calculations are 
performed through the medium of decimals, when 
fractions are required at all; indeed, without them the 
engineer would be exposed to ceaseless labour. Vulgar 
fi?actions, again, are also much used, owing to our 
standard of measure and quantity precluding the direct 
application of decimals. Next in importance to the 
engineer is book-keeping; and although, in the strict 
sense of the term, it is not absolutely necessary, yet it 
is highly advisable that a knowledge of its principles 
should be possessed. We are sorry to say that this is 
a point of weakness in many engineers, and it not nn- 
frequently happens that our greatest engineers are 
anything but great commercial men. 

Coming now to Latin, this also is not absolutely 


neoessaiy, unless so far as it facilitates the comprehen- 
sion of the English language. It is, however, highly 
adrisable, not only as an assistance to acquiring a 
thorough knowledge of our mother tongue, but also 
the more modem languages, which are of great im- 
portance to the engineer. 

Having thns endeavoured to define what we mean 
by a good English education, — one, indeed, which we 
thick useful to any individual, whether designed to 
follow engineering, or any other trade or profession, — 
we shall in the next chapter endeavour to direct atten- 
tion to those points in the education of an individual 
which are more directly connected with engineering. 

In addition to what has been said on the subject of 
general education of youth, the following will perhaps 
be suggestive as bearing npon the subject: — 

Let any professional or business man who reads this 
say if the subject of iiis education was ever so con- 
sidered, with reference to himself as an individual, so 
that it would bear upon and aid the interests of such 
profession or business to which he might have taken a 
liking. The truth is that our systems of education are 
not based upon philosophical principles. They pretend 
to take us in hand and prepare us for the battle of life 
which we have all to fight, and yet they ignore the 



^^ set 

&ot that there is a battle-fiuld at all; or, if the op- 
holdcrs of these educational aystema do admit that it 
exists, they turn their back upon it, and invite the 
attention of their pupils — ^so-called — to the fields of 
Elysium, peopled with the gods and goddesses of yore, 
and invested with an interest of mythological tradi- 
tions. Of course this is all very crotchety, and will be 
set down as utterly Gothic in taste and false in prin- 
Iple. But, patience ; we do not now ignore, or ever 
Lve ignored, the immensely mental advantages obtained 
by a study of classic lore. Nor would we, like some, 
object, with an over-refinement of feeling which may 
approach to prudery, to the time given to impart to 
youth a knowledge of the intricate intrigues and the 
careless lovea of heathen gods and goddesses ; but 
what we insist upon as being eminently ridicnlons in 
this present nineteenth century of ours is, that while 
our youth in our superior schools are taught aU this, 
they are taught nothing more. It may be well — 
doubtless to many is very interesting — to trace the 
genealogy of a Jupiter, and to make faultless Greek or 
Latin verses; but as we have to live now-a-days in the 
midst of a keen and ever-restless competition, it be- 
hoves our youth to enter life with some other know- 
ledge tacked to all this, — to come down, or be brought 


iwn, from the seventh heaven of heathen delights to 
a knowledge of the present world, " with all its pompa 
and vanities." Kor will they make Latin or Greek 
verses a whit the less elegant, or appreciate them the 
less, either, if they are ab!e to write a good hand, 
reckon up an account, and have at least a general yet 
accurate notion of the principles of those arts and 
sciences which have contributed so much to the material 
wealth and power of this country. Many of the 
absurdities connected with our scholastic system, and 
which encumber it dreadfully, arise, we venture to 
think, &om a mistaken notion of what education is. 
Judging from the details of the system, education 
would seem to be the art of cramming — just as if the 
mind was a bag into which so much could be stuffed. 
Now, the meaning of the word education — a meaning 
which, we regret to say, has been almost altogether 
overlooked in practice, — indicates a process the very 
reverse of this. It means simply " to lead out," Just 
as if we said to a pupil, " Look around! Everywhere 
the fruit of knowledge lies near and about you; but it 
cannot be seen without closely looking after it — 
■ searching for it as for bid treasure.* Lead out, then, 
— educe the powers of your mind which Qod has given 
you, ao that they will search out and grasp the secretfl 


of knowledge, and, grasping them, assimilate them to 
yon." Now, where the powers of the miod are brought 
thus to bear upon its edccation, or are drawn ont or 
educed, the knowledge derived will be lastingly re- 
membered, and will, moreover, be brought to bear 
directly npon the interests of the individual ; whereas, 
if the system be adopted of the teacher himself picking 
from the stores of knowledge which he has, and forcing 
or cramming them into the memory, just as a man 
crams pigs into a hamper, then the pupil, having 
nothing in common with the subject — having no real 
mental interest in the matter — speedily forgets it all 
His mind, in fact, is simply made to act as a receiver, 
the teacher caring little whether the matter so put 
into the receiver can be assimilated or not. A man 
may have his purse full of the purest gold, but if 
be cannot take anything out of it, or if none can be 
drawn out of it by him, he is as poor as ever. A 
crammed pnpil is Kke a man who possesses a field in 
which a gold mine is, but who does not know of its 
extstenca A pupil brought up on the eductive sys- 
tem is like a man to whom a field is offered at a low 
price, because its owner deems it worthless, but whose 
knowledge or mental powers are so cultivated that he 
knows it is priceless, because it contains diamonds 



^t^lun ita bowels. The difference, then, between the 
two systems of education we have here alluded to will 
be, perliaps, more apparent if the teacher will consider 
how a man of intellectual attainments begius to study 
a subject new to him. He does not commence by 
cramming himself with facts ; but he leads out his 
mental powers — educes nil bis capabilities to study at 
once facts and the principles which guide thera. Why 
should we adopt a different method in the education 
of youth ? 

But while we insist upon the necessity to follow a 
rational system of education, so that our young men 
shall be taught, or rather led, to send out the powers of 
their mind, so that they will be able to range arotmd 
and draw into themselves nutriment which they can as- 
simOate and make practically useful to them in their 
daily life, there is another point which we no less deem 
essential to be remembered, and this is — the education 
of the heart must not be sacrificed to that of the head. 
While we remember the outward polish, let ns not 
ever forget to keep up the healthy pith. Ornament is 
all very well in its place, but it has but a poor chance 
of being preserved if the core on which it rests is not 
sound. It is folly to paint a fresco which is fit to be 
admired for ages on a wall that will not last a week. 


Some education is like the palace of snow which the 
Emperor of all the Eussias built on the banks of the 
Neva; it will only dazzle the eyes of the beholder for 
a day or two, and its beauty will please no longer in 
the world. We have no hesitation in saying that a 
vast deal of the worthless folly which is at present so 
much deplored as existing amongst the young men and 
women (we beg their pardons, young gentlemen and 
ladies — misses even work in mills I) of the day is owing 
almost entirely to the erroneous system of education, 
— unfortunately we can find no other word for this, 
but education proper it is not, — under which they are 
brought up, and which turns out many of them in an 
utterly heartless condition. Their duty to themselves 
and to their neighbours, the value of thoughtfutness of 
others, of the hatefulness of selfishness, they seem to 
be utterly ignorant of; and the result is that they 
dream away a life, mere gilded butterflies, or dreary 
drones of the hive, with, by the way, a very well ■ 
developed scorn for the labours of the bees thereof 
Let the education of the heart and aU its fine affections 
be attended to, but it must be peraistently and con- 
sistently attended to. Its precepts must not be incul- 
cated in the dry, drowsy sayings which, as they do not 
come from the heart of the teacher, will never reach 


to that of tlie pupil, but must be warm with the life- 
blood which makes its presenco felt and understood. 
Such conditions as those we have here insisted u^oii 
are by no means unimportant. Taken up and acted 
upon, they will influence for good the rising man. 
For it must not be overlooked that the young engineer 
aspires to the time when he will no longer be a. learner 
or a worker, but be a master, having men under him ; 
and it is of the highest importance that he should be 
able to comport himself towards them aa a man to 
men, the truest and the beat relationship that can 
exist between master and man. By so acting, that 
mutual trust and sympathy -will be engendered between 
them which will alone yield the sure foundation of a 
pleasurable or profitable intercourse between them. 
Intellect is indispensable ; but inteliect without heart, 
the aspiring engineer, who looks forward to the con- 
duct of men, will find a. bairen and a purposeless gift. 
In the education, tlien, of the young engineer, let the 
t^'aching of the heart not be forgot amidst the tasks of 
the teacher of the intellect. 



ENGraEEEiNG being in the strictest sense of the word 
essentially a. Bcientiiic profession, and being made up 
of nearly all the ecienees, it follows that the general 
tenor of the education of an individual intended for 
such a profession should be of a scientific nature. The 
sciences more immediately connected with engineering 
are Natural Philosophy, Mathematics, and Chemistry. 

The science of Natural Philosophy treats principally 
of the known laws by which tbe material universe is 
governed, and the effects of such laws upon matter 
in geneiai. Mathematical science is closely allied to 
that of Natural Philosophy, investigating the various 
relations of measurable quantity, and serving to analyse 
the effects of its various material laws. These two 
sciences may be said to contain the whole secret or 
theory of engineering. In Natural Philosopliy the 
principal branches of stndy are as follows : — General 


and special properties of matter; force and motion, 
including force of gravity, centrifugal and molecular 
force ; the elements of mechanics or machinery, in- 
cluding motive powers and agents ; hydraulics, hydro- 
statics, pneumatics, acoustics, optics, heat, electricity, 
and galvanism. The foregoing branches in Natural 
Philosophy should be brought, each in their proper 
order, under the notice of the youth when at school, 
in a popular and elementary style, rather to make him 
acquainted with the laws of nature, and the most 
common results or examples, than the general applica- 
tion of such laws to material bodies. We do not here 
intend to notice each of those branches, but will 
simply recommend the youth at school, who has not 
before known anything of Natural Philosophy, to pro- 
cure that excellent elementary work on "Natural 
Philosophy for Schools,"' by Dionysius Lardner, pub- 
lished by Walton and Maberly, London. This book is 
profusely illustrated with diagrams, showing the ar- 
rangement of apparatus for conducting most of the 
experiments, at the same time conveying, in clear 
and concise terms, a popular notion of the leading 
divisions of physical science. To a certain extent the 
taste for scientific inquiry is inherent in the young, 
but, for want of proper encouragement, frequently dis- 


^^lears with inanhood ; hence a very small portion of 
the commimity take delight in scientific pursuits. We 
are nu advocates of popular science in connection with 
engineering; but in the case of the young the eye mnat 
be attracted in the first instance by illustration and 
experiment, so as to detract from the dryness wliich is 
so inseparably connected with the rudiments of general 
science. The teacher, therefore, need not despair be- 
cause he may with apparent fruitlessness be perform- 
ing experiments before his pupils, and yet they may 
not at the time comprehend such. A great matter is 
gained if the attention is arrested and curiosity ex- 
cited, for then a taste is sure to be acquired for the 
study of science ; and once create a taste for any par- 
ticular study, and the possessor of such will be certain 
to progress, and that rapidly. 

The study of Mathematics — a science of incalculable 
importance to the engineer — is, we fear, one in whicb 
but Jittlo progress is made at school when the pupil is 
young. This may, however, be to a certain extent dne 
to the want of appreciation of this science on the part 
of teachers. Whether the pupil is intended to follow 
the profession of au engineer or not, the study of Mathe- 
matics is one of the utmost importance to the develop- 
ment of his intellectual faculties, and the formation of 


his character. The study of Mathematics may be said 
to cultivate chiefly the reasoning faculty, at the aame 
time that it strengthens the memory and powers of 
perceptiou, and also tends powerfully to promote a 
habit of undivided and unremitting attention, so in- 
dispensable to success in any pursuit. Little progress 
can be made in the study of this science at school, so 
that probably beyond the elementary portion of algebra, 
with the first book in Euclid's Elements of Geometry, 
is all which can be accomplished thoroughly. This to 
a great extent is owing to the difficulty of popularising 
this science, and so divesting it of a portion of its dry 
and uninteresting nature to the youth at school, whose 
tastes and inclinations are generally the very antipodes 
of Mathematics, 

The science of Chemistry is one which, although not 
so closely allied to engineering, is yet of considerable 
importance, inasmuch as it treats of the various opera- 
tions connected with the manufacture of iron and other 
metals, largely made use of by the engineer. To the 
youth at school it is also important, as, being by far 
the most attractive and interesting of the sciences, it 
is often the means of creating a strong desire for 
scientific knowledge in general, and also because it ia 
the science of all others which is most easily popa- 



:iaed. At sctiool, therefore. Chemistry should be 
among the first sciences brought under the notice of 
the youth intended to study other sciences of a more 
uninteresting nature in connection with engineering. 
A youth at scliool may perhaps exhibit considerable 
dulnes.s and apparent stupidity, but these should be no 
data from which to anticipate hia future talent. If, 
therefore, he be diligent and, generally speaking, studi- 
ous, he fulfils what is required of him. Youths at 
school must and will have recreation. And this is 
both important and necessary, for success in study 
depends to a great extent on physical health, and this 
can best be preserved by a proper proportion of bodily 
exercise. The character of the exercise will to a great 
extent depend upon the tastes of the student. Popular 
recreations, such as boating, cricketing, etc., are bene- 
ficial to health, and therefore ought to be encouraged ; 
but frequently the taste of the student, if at all 
mechanically inclined, will develop itself in working 
with tools, such as " sawing," " filing," " turning," etc. 
In this the youth intended for the profession of engi- 
neering should receive the greatest encouragement ; 
for while it affords good physical and healthy enjoy- 
ment, it instructs the youth in the more rudimentary 
elements of mechanics and handicraft. It is not un- 

32 HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL ENGINEEE. that we may find youths at school dull and 
apparently stupid, hut showing considerahle taste for 
and aptitude in the handling of tools. This was fitly 
illustrated in the early life of Sir Isaac Newton, who 
though, eonoparatively speaking, a dull scholar, was 
yet most assiduoas in the iise of his hammer, saw, and 
hatchet, making models of carrlagea, machines, etc. 
All such recreations, and, indeed, any others of a 
scientific tendency, such aa dabhling in chemicals and 
electrical apparatus, etc., etc., should receive the highest 
encouragement, provided, at the same time, that the 
youth in conducting such experiments is not reckless 
and unsettled. If such a disposition shows itself, it 
shonld he at once corrected, by insisting on one article 
being completed and thoroughly understood before 
undertaking any other. This is an imperfection pecu- 
liar to youth, and very liable to become worse by 
having the means of gratifying it vrith every novelty 
which presents itself. Such a fault should be carefully , 
guarded against, it being much more easily checked 
at the school than in the office or shop; but this we 
shall have occasion to notice more fully hereafter. 

Having so far noticed the studies which are neces- ' 
sary to a student intended for engineering while he is 
at school, we shall now endeavour to direct attention 



course after leaving school. We consider that 
the requii-ed profieiency in the branches we have alrefidy 
noticed, as far as they go at school, could be attained 
by any ordinary youth by the time he reached the age 
of thirteen, assaming that he was placed at school on 
his reaching the age of seven. Of course, a sharper 
boy will reach such a stage sooner than one who ia 
very dull, but we think that such an age represents 
the average. Up to this point, then, the student has 
most of his information imparted to him, and, indeed, 
to use a mechanical expression, "hammered" into him, 
whether he will or no, by means of the " cane " and 
other punishments; therefore very little may be said 
to depend upon the youth himself, as long as he 
is under this strict discipline, due allowance being 
made for encouragement in the shape of rewards of 
prizes. After this period of the school-days of a 
youth, almost everything depends upon himself. He 
can read and write fluently and distinctly, and may 
have a rudimentary knowledge of the sciences con- 
nected with his profession. He has therefore the ad- 
vantage which many of our ablest engijieers have not 
had in starting, namely, a capital of sound information 
and knowledge, which, if properly directed, will enable 
him J with a little trouble, to acquire more. 


The vital importance of making a good start in life 
cannot be overrated. Tiie force of habit is tremendons, 
and can only be fully realised by the man who haa 
been so unfortunate as to form a bad habit, and who 
collects all his power to overthrow such a habit : he 
only knows what the power of habit is. In short, 
habit may be said to be a second nature, and therefore 
every care should be bestowed upon the formation of 
good habits. Habits of thoughtand action are simply, 
and indeed imperceptibly, formed by a series of in- 
dividual thoughts and acts, producing a peculiar desire, 
under the circumstances, to repeat such thought or 
action. Such is habit. The character of a young man 
is greatly strengthened and supported by the cultiva- 
tion of good habits ; for in the performance of such 
habits he will scarcely feel the exertion, and the 
oftener his actions are repeated the stronger they will 
become. Habits of industry, steady application, tem- 
perance, etc., are at first easily formed, and become in 
time so surely confirmed, that indolence, unsteadiness, 
and intemperance become hateful, and cannot be en- 
dured. How many men there aie who have lived 
the bnlk of their younger days in active and ener- 
getic labour, and who, having accumulated considerable 
wealth, imagine they can retire and enjoy themselves 


[ng the remainder of their life in peace and quiet- 
ness I Sach men only retire to discover the force of 
habit, and that they cannot exist without their usual 
amount of work. Indeed, it is a remarkable fact that 
many who persist in such a course, so opposite to 
what has been to them a confirmed habit, live a miser- 
able life, aud frequently die of actually having nothing 
to do. 

The importance, therefore, of the formation of good 
and virtuous habits cannot be over-estimated. The 
formation of such habits depending, then, on the re- 
petition of certain courses of conduct, it follows that 
the best period of life is that when we are young, and 
therefore have the world before us. It is also essential 
that the watchful care of parents and others in au- 
thority should bo exercised over the youth about to 
enter on life, for, owing to the unfortunate perversity 
of human nature when left to itself, if there is a wrong 
way it is sure to be taken ; and, besides, the forma- 
tion of habit advances in so stealthy a manner, that 
the subject of such habits may not be aware of their 
existence until he has arrived at a period in life when 
he experiences to his cost some habitual weakness or 
disadvantage in his character, and which he in Tain 
endeavours to undo. Since, then, the force of habit is 


constant, whatever be its nature or direction, and that 
its force is accelerated by frequent repetition of thought 
or action, it follows that the main and most important | 
point in the life of a young man is to make a fair | 
start, and in the proper direction ; and such a com- 
mencement will generally hold within it the terminal 
tion, and thus habit will, like a ball allowed to com- 
mence its descent upon a properly directed incline, 
become accelerated in its force, and not fail, having 
once fairly started, to reach its desired destination. 

As we have already observed, everything, after a 
youth leaving school, depends upon himself; and we 
would add that, to do a youth justice, he should ba 
distinctly informed that upon himself only would he 
have to depend ; for it frequently happens that a 
young man's exertion on his own behaK is enfeebled 
in the same, and sometimes a greater, ratio that his 
prospects of assistance appear. And this, especially 
for a young man designed to follow the profession of 
an engineer, is most injurious, as it will render him 
faint-hearted and incapable of meeting and effectually 
baffling those difficulties which he is sure to meet in the 
up-hill battle of life. The habit of overcoming diffi- 
culties is one of the most valuable a man can possess, 
for it comprehends habits of perseverance, of hard 



rking, and indefatigable industry. A man may not 
in every case cotue off victorious, but in tlie encounter 
lie will increase and train his strength, while he will 
retire better disciplined and more skilled for a future 
effort. Besides, why should we be disheai'tened by 
failure, when it is the very forerunner of success, pro- 
vided we possess the habit of indomitable perseverance ? 
Ill DO profession is there fitter illustrations of this than 
in engineering. Take, for instance, any machine, or, 
more to the point, the locomotive. Was it not through 
a series of the most apparently hopeless failures and 
baffling difficulties that Stephenson brought this won- 
derful maehine to such perfection? — difficulties, in- 
deed, which were beyond reasonable hope ol being 
surmounted, considering the incorrigible prejudice of 
the people in those days against the introduction of 
such engines. Stephenson, however, well knew the 
advantages of having such difficulties to contend with; 
for his great object in directing his pupils was, not to 
make the path of knowledge too easy for them, but to 
lead them to think for themselves, and thns accustom 
themselves to overcome difficulties in the acquisition 
of knowledge, ao that they might form the habit of 
boldly encountering and surmounting the difficulties 
of their after-life. It is a much more hopeful sign to 


aeo a yoting man standing np manfully against mis- 
fortune and repeated failures, attacking hia object with 
renewed vigour and energy, and with tbe nobly-de- 
termined resolution not to be beat, than to see one set 
out in life with every advantageous a.ssistance which is 
calculated to ensure success in bis pursuit. The for- 
mer will be emboldened by his meeting with and sur- 
mounting difficulties, and through his repeated failures 
will eventually be successful ; while the chances are 
that the latter, having so many advantages and so 
much assistance from without, will become in himself 
weak and inactive in the pursuit of hia profession, and 
when difficulties do occur, he will become intimidated 
at their very appearance. Now, in the pursuit of 
engineering this is most especially the case^ and it 
therefore points out, as a proper school for training, 
that of difficulty and hardship. We have only to 
direct attention to the lives of our veiy greatest 
engineers, and we find that one and all of them, when 
starting in hfe, met and triumphed over a series of 
difficulties, the very surmounting of which made men 
of them. It must not be supposed, however, that be- 
cause such a school of hardship is the proper one in 
which to train the youth destined to follow the profes- 
aioQ of engineering, that hardship and difficulty are to 



1^ tlirown in his way. This would be cer- 
tainly cruel treatment, for be will find quite enough of 
hardship and difficulty connected with acquiring a 
proper knowledge of his profession without having any 
additions thrown in hia way. These even sometimes 
do occur from misfortune and other external sources, 
over which the young student may have no control; 
but we believe in all cases they are sent for his instruc- 
tion by the supreme ordinance of our Great Paren- 
tal Guardian, who knows us better far than we do 
ourselves, and who is certain in the end to cause all 
such misfortune to work together for our good. What 
is meant by this school of hardship is simply to allow 
the young student to help himself, placing within hia 
reach, — but no further, — the means by which he may 
do so, and at the same time encouraging him to think 
for himself and areri himself in acquiring that know- 
ledge which ia to fit him for his profession. 

That the young student ia eng^eering may eifectn- 
ally ovei-come his difficulties, he must believe that he 
possesses the power to do so. If he does not believe 
this he will never try ; and however much he may 
desire to remove such difficulties, unless such desire 
ripens into earnest purpose and effort, and an ener- 
getic attempt made, he will sink down iu impotence 



id despair. No one knows what he can do until hs 
has really and serionsly tried; and as long as a young 
man sees the prospect of his difficulties being remoTed 
for him, there is slender chance of his doing his best 
Therefore it is important that those in authority should 
be careful how they assist ; for it is only when a thing 
must be done that it will be done, and then it is that 
necessity, " the mother of invention," will give birth to 
means by which the difficulty is to be surmounted. 
Now, there are some characters possessing a consider- 
:able amount of confidence in their ability, before having 
much to test it. This excess of confidence, which 
In some cases approaches to vanity, will soon get con- 
siderably shakeu after having met with a few failures, 
and therefore such existing in a youth is rather an 
advantage than otherwise. In others, however, there , 
exists a baahfulness and tiniidity which are apt to ripei 
into indecision and want of confidence. Such 
character is one of the very worst which a young man^ 
can possess, especially in engineering ; and unless the 
means are taken to counteract such when yonng,— * 
■Dch as bringing the young man out, instead of the 
too general notion that young men should be kept 
idown, — such want of confidence and timidity will provft} 
'• great barrier to future advancement. Too mm 


confidence renders a man vain and impudent, but, 
withal, is certainly better than none at all. In the 
former case the man has a chance of success, although 
he may frequently, by an excess of confidence, be led 
to undertake more than he can possibly perform. But 
in the latter case the man is hopeless, as with such a 
want of confidence he can never be prevailed upon to 
decisively undertake anything; therefore he has no 
diance of success whatever. " Faint heart never won 
fair lady " is a true and most applicable maxim — one, 
indeed, to be constantly remembered by a young man 
entering the profession of an engineer. 

Before proceeding to other points connected with 
the education of the young engineer, it will be perhaps 
uaefiil to give here, as supplementary to our own 
opinion on the subject of what we may call the pre- 
liTninary education of the aspirant to engineering 
honours, that of Mr Scott Russell, than whom there is 
tw higher authority. In an address delivered at the 
South Kensington Museum, this eminent engineer 
pointed out, what is unfortunately too true, tiiat 
although there was a description of education which 
was calculated to increase the " skill, dexterity, abiUty, 
and success of our practical working mechanic," that 
Uiose belonging to this country did not receive it. In 



respect to their attainments, the meciianical workmen 
of this country stand out in painful contrast to those 
of the Continent ; so much so, that Mr Russell stated 
in his address that he " himself was obliged to get his 
very best draughtsmen and mechanics from foreign 
countries. He had men in his employment from 
Prussia, Germany, and Holland ; and he was bound to 
say that, as far as preliminary education was concerned, 
although the workmen of foreign countries had not 
the skill obtained by the British workmen from practi- 
cal experience, their scientific knowledge was greater ; 
and that knowledge was teUing so rapidly on the pre- 
sent generation of workmen, that we were now equalled 
(be would not say excelled) by the workmen of many 
countries upon whom we were inclined to look down 
a few years ago." To get rid of this very discreditable 
state of affairs, Mr Scott Rassell showed what our 
education of the " mechanical workman" was. By this 
term the reader is of course presumed to know that 
something different is meant than is ordinarily con- 
veyed by it. An engineer who knoiva his profession, 
matter what his position in life may be, how 
iWealthy, or how bright his prospects, — is a "mechanical 
'orkmaii;" and if he is not a good one, certain it is 
lat he will never be a good engineer. Much ot what 


Mr Russell aaya is of course specially applicable to 
"the working mechanic," but it is no less ao, in an 
educational point of view, to him who goes through 
the training of a workman in order to be a master in 
time to come. Mr EusaeU, at the outset, has no objec- 
tion to offer to tlie ordinary system of school teaching. 
"On the contrary, he would say, continue to teach 
drawing, reading, writing, and accounting in the best 
manner yon can ; but if yon liave a class of yonng 
workmen coming forward to learn, think how you can 
turn the little time they can afford to give to the best 
advantage, so that yon may raise them higher in the 
social scale and make them better workmen. In order 
to do this it is necessary to give them a higher class 
of education than they were ever taught before. We 
did not go far enough. The persons to blame were 
their teachers. Two years was perhaps all the time 
that could be devoted to education, and six mouths 
were often devoted to as many hooks of Euclid, 
which were wasted for all practical purposes, unless, 
indeed, the student intended to become a professor. 
They should skip over the beginning, and devote the 
least possible time to Euclid — in fact, he would advise 
them to do a very heterodox thing — to cut off all the 
propositions but the useful ones. They might natu- 


rally exclaim, "Tlitu how little will be left' Very 
little, he admitted, but plain trigonometry would ba 
left. Suppose, for instauco, a man bad but six months 
in which to learn. Six weeks might in that case be 
given to Euclid, and then trigonometry might be com- 
menced, solid geometry might next follow, and that 
constituted the whole education of the workman. But 
that was precisely what he did not get in the present 
day. He would also teach within the six months conic 
sections, and afterwards the nature of curves, within 
the first, second, tbird, and fourth degrees. He was 
aware he might be met by the exclamation, ' Oh I but 
we shall be teaching them more than we ourselves 
understand;' but to this he would answer, 'That is 
the fault of your education.' Sir Isaac Newton dis- 
covered no less than 130 curves, and nine-tenths of 
them would be of great use to the mechanic, if he had 
them in two places — in his head and at his fingera'- 
ends. ... Of great importance to the woiking 
man was the comprehension of the laws and relations 
of numbers, so as to enable the working man to think 
in figures about the immediate business before him. 
He remembered an instance in which a respectable 
working man sent in a tender for L.12,500 for a very 
large piece of work. The tender appeared to be low. 



be obtained the ordef, and get on some way with 
his work, when he found he had made a trifling omis- 
sion — he bad forgot to multiply by two. Hia figures 
were all right, but in one place he had forgot hia 
multiplication, and Ms whole calculations were wrong. 
With respect to solid geometry, the two great duties 
in a worlonan's life were conversion of materials and 
adaptation to strength. A mason who used up a 
wrong stone, or a carpenter who selected a wrong 
plank or piece of timber, showed that be was ignorant 
of one of the most useful portions of his art or calling. 
Now, nothing would teach conversiou of materials Uke 
solid geometiy ; it was, in fact, the daily business of 
tbe workman. It had been said that every block of 
marble cut from the quany contained a beautiful 
statue, but the art was how tn get it out of it. This 
was very true; for what workmen wanted to know was 
every shape, and bow to get out another shape. The 
workman who took from a heap a block of stone or 
piece of timber that cost his master 50a., when a piece 
could be got, answering quite as well, which cost 25a., 
inflicted a loss upon his employer perhaps equal to a 
week's wages. Hence the necessity of acquiring a 
knowledge of solid geometry. But if there were 
beauty in the quantity of numbers, &ud in. t«%i^ 


geometrical figures, there was infinitely more beauty 
in cmres. It was the duty of many mechanics, 
especiaUy of those engaged in ship-biitldiug, to make 
curved lines." 

Mr Kussell in Hs address pointed out the necessity 
which existed for good text-books. " Decent elementary 
text-books were," he remarked, " wanted for the higher 
departments in mechanics, but there were many able 
men versed in the sciences ; and what he wanted the 
department of science ^d ait and the Government to 
do was, to ask the four cleverest men in England to 
write, in the fewest possible English words, all that 
they knew (not all that they had read), or, in fact, so 
much of their brains as they carried about with them. 
If Government would but pay handsomely for these 
books, a set of treatises might be collected such as the 
world never saw before, and such as would be sufficient 
to teach any mechanic his business. They might, it 
was true, say, ' But we do not know where to get these 
clever men.' But he kuew where they were to be got. 
There were three of the four present at that moment ; 
and if the Government would but give them a thousand 
poands a-pieee for writing the books, he was sure they 
would write them." 

JVJr Bussell is also of opinion that there ought to 


educatioual establislinients for the " mechanical 
workman " " a large quantity of apparatus — a sort of 
inventory of edncation — of every conceivable shape and 
object. In addition to these models, he would have 
the school-room hung round, not with pictures of ani- 
mals, but with solid bodies, which could be explained 
and drawn. He wouldj in fact, impart any kind of 
practical rather than book knowledge. If drawings 
merely were nscd instead of models, he did not think 
the student could imbibe so correct a notion of the 
object to be produced or delineated. There was a 
mode of studying forms called la tiUorie de d^veloppe- 
tnent, but the plain English meant nothing more than 
making flat surfaces into round and angular forms (as 
models now made from sheets of paper, wliich was a 
most valuable mode of studying forms). If this de- 
scription of education could be given, he would take 
the pupils educated in that department and give them 
three guineas a week. He might afterwards raise 
them to foremen with salaries of L.500 a year; and 
that would be far better than remaining all their lives 
at the bench, earning 30a. a week. Machinery could 
now be obtained to do all the unlntelleetual drudgery 
of mechanism. He was not opposed to machinery, and 
had no apprehension that it would supersede skilled 


iatellectual hanilicraft. He would employ machinery 
to do all the drudgery that degraded the workman into 
a beast of burden. He would give him higher views 
of mathematics ; he would show him that he was an 
intellectual, thinking being, with a eouI for high and 
immortal things." 

It certainly seems an tmfortunate thing for the 
future of eugineering that there is no regular syste- 
matic mode in full operation in this country by which 
the proper education of the young engineer can be 
ensured. The Engineer, in an able article, advocates 
the legal recognition of the profession of the civil and 
mechanical engineer, precisely in the same way as the 
clergyman, the doctor, and the lawyer are recognised, 
so that " future candidates shall be compelled to undergo 
a standard test of proficiency," and thus get rid of the 
disgrace and the danger arising from the practising of 
those who, although calling themselves engineers, 
" nevertheless are grossly and outrageously ignorant of 
the very elements of engineering science in all ita 
branches." This proposition — and that it is a right 
one ia clear enough — to compel each candidate to 
undergo a " standard test of proficiency," involves this, 
that some means must be adopted by which candidates 
will receivQ that education, theoretical as well aa practi- 



'/■ by which they will be enabled to pass that test. 
Tiiis brings the writer of the article to consider the 
subject to which our attention has been directed in the 
foregoing pages ; and it is thus that he proceeds to 
state his views : — 

" Each year it is becoming more and more apparent 
that we have no reliable source of instruction for the 
young engineer entering upon the practice of his call- 
ing. The pupil system, after all that can be urged in 
its favour, is but an incomplete preparation for a 
young man starting in a general practice ; for although 
it is an undoubted fact that many eminent engineers 
have commenced life with no better preparation, it is 
allowed generally that they owe their distinction to 
iheir own exertions, and in a great degree to informa- 
tion acquired outside the office. Such men throw a 
favourable reflection on the system under which they 
received their education, but there are many of an in- 
ferior stamp to neutralise whatever credit the pupil 
system may have gained. Again, the engineering 
school is generally voted little, if anything, better than 
the system of pupilage ; for although the student is 
well grounded in the theory of his profession, he is, till 
be has had experience, likely to prove unpractical — 
not, indeed, that such is necessarily the consequence of 


academic instruction, for practical instmction ia just aa 
feasible aa theoretical, and much easier to impart and 
retain, but, for some reason or other, the practical 
element appears to he made suhservient to the study 
of theory. If the course in the engineering schools 
was as thoroughly practical as it might easily be made, 
there would be far less ground for cavil. No one doubta 
that the most perfect training for a young engineer is a 
careful education in the principles of his profession, com- 
bined with, and followed up by, practical instruction in 
the apphcation of those principles. Neither theory not 
practice will ever make a man a good engineer ; but the 
careful combination of both will do so, if anything can. 
"The moat obvious method of securing this com- 
bination of theory with practice, would be the estab- 
lishment of a School of Engineering, in which the 
theory of the science would be taught in all ita branches 
by professors of known practical ability ; and in addi- 
tion to such oral instruction should be imposed at least 
two years' apprenticeship to an engineer of recognised 
Btanding. There would of course be no objection to 
the period of pupilage being extended, aa it might be 
simultaneous with the course of theoretical instruction 
— a certain amount of relaxation being permitted, to 
suit the arrangements of the engineering school 



•The establishment of such an institution need not 
materially affect the working of the already existing 
schools of engineering; they might rather act in con- 
cert together — the certificates of one being recognised 
by the others, according to the practice of the medical 
schools throughout the kingdom." 

This article called out the opinions of variona cor- 
respondents, from which we select the following, as 
conveying a notion of the system of education pro- 
posed, and also because it passes some remarks upon 
the absurd mode of teaching pursued at schools where 
engineering science is professedly taught. After pro- 
posing a plan of preliminary operation, the writer 
supposes that a " charter of incorporation will be ulti- 
mately obtained, by which the candidates might take 
rank as Masters, Bachelors, or Passeea of Engineering, 
and might be initialed as M.C.E. or M.M.E., B.C.E. or 
M.E., C.E. or M.E. 

"Of course the board would be best qualified to 
judge respecting the attainments required for each 
grade ; but I should suggest similar papers to those 
given to candidates for the engineers' department of 
the Indian Civil Service or the Naval Engineers, with, 
however, a more fully developed practical bearing. 

"For the C. or M.E., I should conaidec tte t 


course suflGcieut: AritJiraetic and menauration, algebra, 
inclusive of qwailratie ei^uatioiis, plane and spherical 
trigonometry, and the first six and part of the eleventh 
and twelfth books of Euclid, mechanical philosophy, 
and its practical applications. The professional part to 
embrace designing, drawing, estimating, and surveying, 
with an outline of professional jurisprudence of works 
and services ; these latter papers to be extensive in 
application, and framed, of course, to suit the civil or 
mechanical tendency of the candidate, 

" For the Bachelor test I should suggest a further 
excellence in the above, and include conic sections, and 
the differential and integral calculus. The Master's 
certificate would be obtained by a refinement upon the 
preceding, and acquaintance with the writings of 
ancient and modem authors. 

" This scheme may by some be thought visionaiy, 
but I feel confident that the course roughly sketched 
could be easily overcome by any one desirous of so 
doing, and we should ultimately raise our profession to 
a position more in accordance with its varied require- 
ments. ... I would observe that our ordinary 
scJtool Titian has not kept pace with the advancement 
of the age ; as example, who is not aware that a boy's. 
srJl^inetic days are spent in calculating the tare .and 



f tea, sugar, and treacle, or in finding tiie value 
of so many yards of tape or broad cloth ? Again, in 
mensuration or surveying, he meets with a most happy 
combination of triangular, stiuare, or cii'cular fields, and 
can determine with accuracy the distance of the moon, 
or between two ambiguous points A aad B, by conjur- 
ing with a table of logarithms ; but as far as applica- 
tion to obtain any measurement of the school-yard or 
Gommon hard by, or the recognition of a theodolite, 
and its adaptations for finding the height of the parish 
steeple, in these he is qoite at feult Let us next 
follow him to the drawing-lesson ; he there learns to 
portray the likeness of some piece of mechanism on 
another paper, generally by the enlargement and 
exaggeration of its proportions ; and after outlining 
this efiigy with a decoction of ink and water, he 
ekborates the whole by a display of water colours ; but 
as far as knowing which is bolt, nut, or washer, neck 
or coupling, one term may be substituted for another 
without injury to his preconceptions," 

Perhaps no better scheme for the education of the 
civil and mechanical engineer could be met with than 
that of the Glasgow University, in connection with the 
Chair of Civil Engineering and Mechanics, occupied 
by W. J. Macquom Rankine, C.B., LL.D..r.B.S.,-«iM^ 


reputation, as perhaps the firat engineeruig, mathems- 
ticiau, and scientific authority, is world-wide. We deem 
it useful to be given here : — 

" The objects of study may be summed up briefly Et3 
follows: — Tlie stability of structures; the strength of 
materials ; the principles of the action of machines ; 
prima movers, whether driven by animal strength, 
water, wiud, or the mechanical action of heat (as the 
steam-engine) ; the principles of hydraulics ; the 
mathematical principles of surveying and levelling ; 
the engineering of earthwork, masonry, carpentry, 
Btnictnrea in iron, roads, railways, bridges and viaducts, 
tunnels, canals, works of drainage and water supply, 
river works, harbour works, and sea-coast works. 

" The University library is well supplied with works 
on engineering science. 

" The engineering school of the University of Glas- 
gow is approved by the Secretary of State for India in 
Council, as one in whicli attendance for two years 
would qualiiy a student, who had fulfilled the other 
required conditions, to compete for admission to the 
engineer establishment in India. 

" Certificate of Proficiency in Engineering Science. 
" 1. A course of Study and examination in engineer- 



ing science has been established by authority of the 
University Court and of the Senate. 

" 2. Certificates of proficiency in engineering science 
are granted to students who have gone through that 
course to the satisfaction of the Board of Examiners. 

iS- The course of study consLsts of — 
\"l — Mathematics, junior and senior, or senior 
I mathematics only for those qualified to 

( enter that class at first. 

|"IL — ^Natural philosophy, one or two sessions, 
f according to the proficiency shown at the 

i end of the first session. 

'' m. — Inorgauic chemistry, one session. 
"IT. — Geology and mineralogy, one session. 
" V. — Civil engineering and mechanics, two 
" 4. The examinations for certificates of proficiency 
in engineering science are carried on along with the 
class examinations after the Christmas holidays, and 
the number of such examinations in each claaa of each 
session is not less than three, 

" 6. The proficiency of the students in engineering 
and mechanical drawing is tested to the satisfaction of 
the Board of Examiners, 

" Four prizes (consisting of books or instnimcnls) 


to be competed for in eacli year by students of civil 
engineering and mechanics, wore founded by James 
Walker, Esq , civU engineer, LL.D., F.RS.S.L. and E. 

" The competition is open to all persona who shall 
have duly entered themselves as attending the class of 
civil engineering and mechanics during the current 

"The competitors are examined in April, orally and 
in writing, by the professors of mathematics, natural 
philosophy, and civil engineering and mechanics. 

" Two of the prizes are awarded by the examiners ; 
the other two by the votes of the chiss, the competitors 

" The following notes as to instruction in engineering 
science have been drawn up by Professor Eankine, for 
the information of students, and will doubtless be found 
useful by those who aspire to enter the profession : — 


1, — Preliminary Education, 

" Of the ordinary branches of elementary education, 

arithmetic is of special importance to the student of 

engineering, and he ought to be familiar in particular 


With the most rapid ways of performing calculations 
' conaiatent with accuracy. 

" It is desirable that he should be well instructed in 
engineering and mechanical drawing, as part of bis 

I preliminary education, but he may, if necessary, obtain 
that instruction dui'ing the intervals of a University 
" It is also desirable, if possible, that the elementary 
parts of matbematics, such as plane geometiy, plane 
trigonometry, and algebra, as far as quadratic equations, 
should form part of his preliminary education, as 
thereby time and labour will be saved during his 
I Uuiversity course. 

^^^K " 2. — University Course. 

^^■^^The course of study and examination adopted by 
the University of Glasgow is described in the Glasgow 
University "Calendar," which may be had from the 
registrar, Glasgow CoUege, price Is. 

" In drawing up that course tlie University have had 
iu view to avoid altogether any competition with the 
offices of civil engineers, or the workshops of mechanical 
engineers, or any interference with the usual practice 
of pupilage or apprenficesliip ; and they have accord- 
ingly adopted a system which is capable of working 


in harmony with tiiat of pupilage or apprenticeship, by 
supplying the student with that scientific knowledge 
which he cannot well acquire iu an office or workshop, 
and avoiding any pretension to give him that skill in 
the conduct of actual bueiness which is to be gained 
by practice alone, 

"The University course may be gone through either 
before, during, or after the term of pupilage or ap- 
prenticeship, according to convenience. An arrange- 
ment which is sometimes found to answer well ia to 
devote the winter to academic study, and the sammer 
to the practice of engineering, A student who is not 
a candidate for a certificate in engineering science may 
attend as few or as many classes as he thinks fit" 

What has been given in this chapter, now about to 
be concluded, makes it abundantly evident that much 
has — ^nay, we may say everything has — yet to be done 
before a system of education suited to the requirements 
of the technical workman — using this phrase in its 
widest and most suggestive acceptation— will be easily 
available in this country. Just on the point of going 
to press with the present sheet, the author has read 
some remarks upon the subject from the pen of the 
accomplished editor of the Practical Mechanic's Jour- 
nal (in the number of that magazine for March 1S6€), 



are peculiarly suggestive. These remarks wert? 
called forth by the contribution of a writer in the 
Journal on " Engineering Education," which is too 
long to be given here, but the gist or rather the con- 
clusion of which, as to what is necessary " to make an 
engineer of the lad," is as follows ; — " Give him a good 
school education, such as bsfits a gentleman, and for ' 
that reason do not take him out of school before he is I 
sixteen; then send him into the workshop, aud let him 
stop there about five years, and keep an eye upon him 
that he sticks to the work. At the same time do not J 
let him work the full complement of ten hours a-dny, h 
but say at most seven, and let him in his spare hours | 
have first-rate instruction in the exact sciences as well i 
aa drawing. We beheve that some such plan, more or , 
les8 modiiied, would produce a very superior class of 
engineers, such as befits our fast-pix)gre33ing age." 
Upon this, and in other parts detailed by his contribu- J 
tor, the editor passes some very suggestive remarks, 
the gist of which is, that throughout our empire thert 
is not only no good system of technical education 
existing, but that even the very idea — the "primaiy con- 
ditions and requirements" constitnting this — is not ao 
much as entertained amongst, far less understood by 
n& And, on the subject of education, Vi«i \«& '<!esi 


folliiwing, well wortby of careful consideration : — "Let 
it ever be held in view that education is the diacipline 
of the mind, a course of mental gymnastics, in the 
l>rogre83 of which some information mnst subjectively 
be acquired, but whose primary and all-important ob- 
ject is so to teach the pupil, that upon his further voyage 
in life he may be ahle and willing to gather in and 
hive, in an orderly manner, information of any sort, and 
collected in every way — -by reading, by converse, by 
observation, by reflection. Were this once seen and 
understood by the more intelligent of the middle 
classes of England at the present day, much of the 
vulgar nonsense that is met with as to the useleaaness, 
etc., of Latin and Greek, the confused fancies as ix> 
some imaginary contrariety between theory and prac- 
tice, and a good many other half truths or mischievous 
fallacies, would vanish necessarily. Let it be under- 
stood that education mnst come first, and that the 
methods for acquiring information should follow that 
— first, those derived through books, etc, ; afterwards, 
those dependent on obsei-vation. A boy thrust at once 
into the workshop has observational food thrust npon 
him which he is unfit to choose from, and incapable of 
^ That the subject is of immense importance, in every 



national, there caa be no rational doubt ; we 
have been so long and so complacently congratulating 
ourselves upon the fact that we stood alone among the 
people of the earth, as combiniag all that was essential 
to national progress, that it is hard to believe there are 
others nearly as good as ourselves, many who iire up 
to our mark, some who very soon will be, if they not 
already are, beyond it. The signs are gathering thick 
around us that our mechanical supremacy is being 
ably contested by the very nations we have for so long 
time been accustomed to look upon as altogether un- 
likely to be in any sense opponents to be dreaded, if, 
indeed, we have not thoroughly despised their power to 
become so — that we find it now very difficult to conceive, 
in the words of an eminent authority which we pre- 
fer to quote rather than to give our own, that "Foreign 
engineers, and masters of manufactories, and workmen, 
are being found more and more nearly a match for us 
in all things, and many more than a match." If these 
things be, as we believe tbey are so, it is quite time 
for us to consider well our position, and how best we 
can bring it more in unison with the requirements of 
tiie day. 




;ATiNG left school, then, the student may be said to 
eQteruponlife.afterwlitch period he ought to know that 
he is expected to take full advantage of all his opportu- 
nitiea of gaining knowledge, and not to trust to others 
imparting sucii. If he has also the opportunity of 
attending college after leaving school, it ought to be 
solely for the purpose of studying the more advanced 
branches of mathematics, natural philosophy, chemistry, 
and probably the modern languages; but we should 
not recommend too much time being spent at college, 
especially if the student is intended for any of the 
branches of mechanical engineering. As the technical 
education of an eugineer ia of necessity a protracted 
one, it is advisable, both in a mental and physical point 
of view, tliat the student of engineering should have 
commenced such education by tlie time he has reached 
the age of fifteen, or at the latest sixteen, yeara 



The reason of this is obvious, — the younger a man is, 
the more pliable he is, and the easier he is inured to 
hardship, which we have already shown to be so inlt- 
mately connected with the study of engineering. If a 
young man, on the other hand, is allowed to remain at 
college or school until he has reached, say, the age of 
eighteen or twenty years, lie will find it rather a 
difficult matter to apply his mind and strength to the 
study of a profession liJie engineering. In the first 
place, he has been accustomed to delicate and gentle- 
manly treatment — been under comparatively easy dis- 
cipline, and had probably little physical exertion — his 
habit of life is so far formed, and it therefore becomes 
very up-hill work indeed to alter his course to that of a 
workshop-life, where his treatment is likely to be just 
the opposite of what he has been accustomed to receive 
— therefore it is that many such young men give it up 
in despair, finding it " too hard and too dirty work for 
their delicate hands," 

A young man, therefore, to make progress in the study 
of engineering, must begin early; he mast go to school 
early, and he must leave early — of course consistent with 
his required education, which we have already endeav- 
oured to point out. In this way he will have received 
good sound discipline at school, and, before being allowed 


U17 of bis own way, he will be launched into the still 
more rigid discipline of the workshop. He will, there- 
fore, have simply taken a further step in one of the most 
important branches of his study — namely, discipline ; 
while, from his youth, he will bend with ease into all 
the hardships of his trade, without, in many cases, con- 
sidering them hardships at all, at the same time scorn- 
ing to be intimidated by what many may consider 
degrading work. Of course we do not mean to a.s8ert 
that, because a, young man may have spent several 
years at college, or in any other way, that he has lost 
bis time, and therefore cannot succeed in becoming an 
engineer. No one is too old to learn, provided he 
has the resolute determination to apply himself to 
study, whatever the nature of that study is : what we 
affirm is, that experience teaches us that a man, to 
endure physical and mental hardships, will do so with 
least mconvenience to himself by beginning to practise 
it when be is young, and therefore will be likely to 
make greater progress in professions requiring such, 
than he who has spent a greater portion of his life in 
self-comfort and delicacy. 

Assuming now that the student has completed the 
first part of hia education — namely, his scholastic 
education, and that he is ready to enter upon the more 


immediate studies connected with his profession, we 
will, before directing his course in the workshop, make 
a tew remarks on the means by which the young 
student 'in engineering obtains admittance to. the works 
of an engineer, and the position he occupies when 

In the first place, that we may be properly under- 
stood, we must briefly describe the nature of the works 
of a mechanical engineer in average practice. 

As we have already observed that, although there 
are several branches even in mechanical engineering, 
yet the mechanical operations in each of these depa^^ 
inents are really the same. The material from which 
the greater part of machinery and engines are manu- 
factured being iron, nearly the same tools and other 
means of working iron are employed, whatever be the 
design of the work; therefore, if we describe works ' 
pursuing any one of the branches of mechanical 
engineering, it will serve to illustrate the wbola 

Iron exists in tliree different states — namely, cast 
iron, steel, and malleable iron. These three diiferent 
combinations of iron and carbon are extensively used 
in the workshop of the engineer. Malleable iron is 
that in the purest form, and contains about one atom 
of carbon in combination with four atoms of pure iron. 


The properties of such a. combination of iron and car- 
bon are great softness, flexibility, ductility, and nialle- 
abilily. It does not in thia condition melt, except at 
very high temperatures, but may be "welded" (that 
is, the particles melted, so as to render tbem adhesive 
and hamraered together) at a white heat, the Bnrfaces 
being united by an incipient fusion. Steel is a metal 
combining iron and carbon, the latter in greater pro- 
portion than malleable iron. The properties of this 
combination again are comparative hardness, ductility, 
malleability, and elasticity ; it also possesses a pro- 
perty in virtue of which different degrees of hard- 
ness can be given to it — hence all edge-tools, and other 
instruments for cutting, are made of this material. 
Cast iron is a metal combining the greatest proportion 
of carbon with pure iron, its chief property being that 
of brittleness, and being at the same time easily fused. 
From this fact it takes its name, being cast into the 
required forms. So much, then, is explained of iron, 
auxiliary to the description of the workshop. 

The works of a mechanical engineer may be said to 
consist — speaking in a.general manner — of men, tools, 
and materials. The principal materials we have already 
noticed. The tools are various and numerous, an( 
every day becoming more so. It is often said, especially 

nd are J 
scially J 



by the old " hands" of the shop, that men are 
a-days as they used to be ; this, they affirm, is because 
of the most part of the skilled labour being prepared 
by improved machinery, against which many have a 
great prejudice, considering it a great innovation upon 
their chances of constant employment. They accord- 
ingly affirm that the men are now reduced to mere 
machines themselves. This is paitly true; but the cause 
is not in the introduction of machinery, but in their 
want of education, and, in many cases, even their desire 
for such. The chances, however, now of becoming an 
engineer are withal much greater than in more primi- 
tive days, for then the mjchanic had laboriously as 
well as skilfully to fashion his work with the rude tools 
he then possessed; whereas now the ponderous steam- 
hammer — which makes the very earth tremble at every 
blow — has saved the labour and lives of multitudes of 
those who were doomed to the laborious work of the 
forge, In the same manner the planing-machine haa- 
taken from the hands of the workman to a great extent 
the hammer and chisel and file, doing such work In an 
automatic and much more accurate manner. Such 
wonderful self-acting machinery, instead of lesaening 
the chance of a man becoming an accomplished engineer 
and a good workman, rather tends to increase it; at 



^ '[lie sa 


same time such machmery very fitly illustrates, by 
the marvellous results obtained, the great triumphs of 
mind over matter. 

A workshop, then, is divided into several sections of 
shops. There are first, the " pattern-shop," " smiths' 
shop," a " smilhery," " foundry," " machine-shop," and 
" fitting or erecting shop," and, in some works, a 
" boiler-shed" is included. Of course there are several 
works who do not make their castings, and therefore 
have no foundry, as also no boiler-shed, not making 
their own boilers. The others, however, are absolutely 
necessary, and therefore no "works" of any consequence 
will be found without them. The pattern-shop is that 
in which a facsimile of the article required ia made in 
wood- The foundry receives such wooden " pattern," 
and takes an impression of it in sand, running molten 
iron into the same, and thus producing the article in 
iron of the exact required form. As, however, such a 
"casting," as it is termed, is, comparatively speaking, 
inaccurate and rough, it ia requisite to send it to the 
machine-shop, there to be "planed,"" bored," or "turned," 
as circumstances require. The fitting or erecting-shop 
receives this again from the turning or machine-shop, 
and, by the aid of skilled workmen and hand-tools, it 
is fitted to its place, or otherwise has that completed 


by hand what canoot be accomplished by macMnery. 
This is the course of any piece of work executed in 
cast-iron. Wrought- ii'on, however, being a metal 
wbicli caunot be cast, being malleable instead, ia 
formed or wrought into the required shape in the 
" smithy-shop" by the aid of the fire and bamraer, all 
subsequent operations, however, being similar to those 
already described for casHron. 

We have tJius endeavoured briefly to give a auiScienl 
idea, without the introduction of technicalities, of the 
routine of the workshop of the mechanical engineer, 
to render what we have now to say more intelligible. 
These several departments, however, we hope at another 
time to be able to explain in detaiL 

Coming now to the means by which the student 
gains admittance to such works as pupd and appren- 
tice, the most general questions asked by parents and 
guardians intending to place a young man in the works 
of some engineer are, first. Have we interest to obtain 
his admission f — if so, second, Does a premium require 
to be paid, and how much? — thiTd, For what term of 
years does he require to serve? After all, wUl he ba 
qualified to fulfil his duties of engineer after his term 
has expired, and will his master guarantee this? These 
are questions of vast importance, and are always pre-emi* 



' flfent amongBt those asked by both parents and students. 
First, then, aa to the influence required to introduce a 
young njan into the works of an engineer. In one sense 
no influence whatever is required; the you]ig man need 
only make personal application to the foreman, manager, 
or master — whoever is in charge — and by waiting until 
a vacancy occurs he will be admitted. In this way, how- 
ever, his positiou in the works will be that of a com- 
mon apprentice prepared to go through all the drudgery 
and hard-working routine necessary to make him a 
workman. He will be compelled to wait hia turn, 
along with other apprentices, such as the sons of work- 
men; and, generally speaking, unless he has favour 
with some one in charge, or happens to get into a shop 
where they make a point of pushing the apprentices 
on (which we may say in passing ia a matter of con- 
siderable profit to the master), hia progress will neces- 
sarily be slow, and a good deal of time lost. Entering 
in such a way, however, has its advantages, as well as 
those disadvantages just named (the latter of which he 
may reduce considerably by pushing himself on — a, 
course of conduct which, we are sorry to say, is not 
often practised by apprentices of this class) ; for, be- 
sidea being subjected to a rigid system of discipline 
and hard work, from which there ia no escape, he is, at 


the same time, remunerated for his labour, and ia there- 
fore encouraged to be industrious — an excellent system 
of inculcating such a valuable habit. Such a course of 
instruction, however hard to learn at the time, seldom 
fails to accomplish its object, and, for reasons which 
we shall afterwards show, it is, although a slow method, 
yet a very sure one; and we have only to refer the 
reader to the lives of our very greatest engineers, and 
it will be found that in suck a school as this they laid 
the foundations of their future success. 

Again, the influence required to obtain the admiBsion 
of a young man into the works of an engineer may be 
considerable, and such admission attended with great 
trouble and difficulty. This will be especially the case 
where the works are large and in good practice, having 
perhaps several premium pupils or apprenticea The 
influence required to effect this must include acquaiif 
tance with the master or manager of the work ; and if 
he agrees to admit the applicant, he is then admitted 
on the presumption that he is designed for something 
above a mere workman. The consequence of this is, 
that while he is saved all the unnecessary drudgery 
(although not the hard work), he is pushed on througt 
each consecutive department (to be hereafter detailed), 
having thus the advantage of acquiring a thorough 


5 of the whole constraetive routine of tlie 
works. This is a great advantage to the intelligent 
and well-educated youth, who is sure to take an interest 
in bis work ; at the same time he is saved the drudgery 
of work of a "machiue-like" nature, so to speak, and 
which is particularly disgusting to the youth who has 
a love for his profession as well as a degree of intelli- 
gence — work, indeed, which is practically useless so far 
AS imparting useful knowledge goes, its only benefit 
tint we know of being that of a good exercise for 
patience. With auch a position, however, as his influ- 
ence gives him, he, being of the better class, is supposed 
not to depend in any way upon remuneration, and 
I most cases he .receives none. Now this 

j|.« bad influence, as it withdraws from him the en- 
igement to work and be industrious ; while to a 
a extent, and in consideration of such, the rigid 

It&pline of the works is not enforced to the fuU 
Bt upon him, that it would otherwise be if he 
received remuneration for bis labour. Upon the whole, 
however, this position for an educated young man is 
the one in which he will Lave most advantages, and 
in which he will have most opportunitiea of acquiring 
thoroughly, and that, if he chooses, rapidly, a good 
fiound knowledge of the practice of his profession. 



Proceeding now to the consideration of premiums 
paid for the admission of students to the works of the 
mechanical engineer, the reader must pardon our going 
vote fully into thia subject than its importance would 
at first sight warrant. We believe, and we hope to 
demonstrate, that not only is the greater part of pre- 
miums paid for the above purpose money thrown away, 
but in many cases worse than thrown away, for it 
secures to the young man the very thing which it 
ought to have secured him against — namely, having 
too much of his own \vay, and the relaxing of that 
Hgid discipline so essential to teach a man self-govem- 
inent. Every manager or master of engineering works 
is entitled to demand a premium for the admissioa of 
a pupil to ills works, and is bound in return to place 
within hb reach all the advantages and opportuu 
bia works will afford for the professional instruction 
©f such a pupiL More than this, however, he ia 
bound to do; for instance, if the pupil does not ch 
to avail himself of such advantages and opportunities 
of instruction — perhaps exhibits a degree of careless- 

is or inattention — he may be reprimanded; but a 
.piaster or manager beyond this will not probably 
dmself. Now with premiums, per 
nothing to find fault with, so long 

I 'Ataiat. 


'ftmsters or managers have it in tlieir ])ower to admit 
pupils to good practice, for wMcli they are able and 
willing to pay ; it is not the use of such but the abuse 
that we find fault with, and it ia this : — Parents and 
others come to some terms to pay a large sum as pre- 
mium, say to the manager of a railway company, to 
admit perhaps their son into the works of the company. 
It is accordingly arranged, and the pupil enters these 
works not so ranch a prcmiura-appr entice but a privi- 
leged apprentice, in virtue of his Laving paid a large 
sum for admittance. He has, therefore, great license, 
and is allowed to work at one thing, then leave it, go 
to Miother, and so on, whatever suits his fancy. He is 
a great friend of the subordinate foremen of the works, 
all of whom look upon liira as a gentleman's son, and 
to be treated as such in the works. He comes at nine 
or ten o'clock in the morning, goes at pvobabiy five in 
the evening — in each case like a " gentleman." 

Now, we should ask any engineer who has undergone 
a disciplined and practical education, and who has 
experienced its great benefit, what are we to expect 
of such a premium-apprentice, a picture of whom 
we have just drawn! That such a sketch is not 
extravagant or uncommon we can testily, as can many 
others who have been educated in large establiahmenta. 



and who Lave been surrounded by such "privileged" 
gentlemen, whose position we were foolish enough at 
the time to envy wheu we were undergoing our own 
hard lot, as we thought, but which we have every reason 
to be thankful for now. What, then, are we to expect! 
Why, that such " privileged" gentlemen wonld be 
turned out into the engiaeering world grossly incapable 
of performbg their duties. That there are exceptions 
we do not doubt, and to them it is the more credit, and 
shows their love for the profession. Indeed, the igno- 
rance of premium -apprentices and pupils is almost 
proverbial in the trade, to illustrate which we Lave 
only to quote the words of an engineer of high stand- 
ing, who, on meeting another young engineer in the 
coui'se of Ms duties, was struck with his shrewdness in 
engineering matters. Addressing him, he said, " Were 
not you one of So-and-so'a premium-apprentices ?" ' 
and on his answering in the affinnative, he exclaimed, 
" Well I it is a wonder you know so much." This 
shows, at the same time, what is thought of premium- 
apprentices, aud that there are some who really do 
credit to the profession ; but that la no reason why they, 
as a body, should pay so much and nm so great a risk 
of learning nothing. Now, there is not only no reason 
why the generality of anch premium -apprentices should 

nn ont 


a ont SO inferior engineers, but there is every reason 
why they should excel all other apprentices. So long, 
however, as they have so much of their own way they 
will never as a body excel those who are under rigid 
discipliae. A premium ia intended to secure to him in 
whose behalf it is paid the best possible professional 
instruction, and therefore it ought to be most distinctly 
stipulated that, not only should every opportunity and 
advantage of gaining practical and theoretical know- 
ledge (as far as the resources of the works enable them) 
be afforded to the pupil or apprentice, but that such 
a pupil should be nnder the correct rules and regula- 
tions, or other discipluie, of the shop ; and, in addition 
to this, the practical and leading men in the works 
should have positive instructions to look very sharply 
after him, seeing that he fiilfils in every respect those 
duties which are to render him a proficient engineer, 
To give such an apprentice due encouragement he 
should be paid a weekly remuneration according to the 
time he has worked, or, in some cases, according to the 
work be has done. Under such stipulations as these 
there can be no objection whatever to the payment of 
premiums, but rather the contrary, as under a proper 
system it would secure to the pupil many advantages 
which he would not otherwise receive. 


The greatest difficulty is experienced, however, in 
dealing with premiiim-apprenticea in the workshop. 
They have paid, it may be, a large sum to be allowed 
to work and receive information iu the works, the term 
being for a namber of years. Such a contract is entered 
into by the apprentice agreeing to pay so much on the 
one hand, the master agreeing to receive and educate 
in hia works the said apprentice for a certain term of 
years, at the expiry of which he is supposed to be 
qnaiified to fill responsible situations as engineer. Now 
this contract is usually made binding upon both parties 
by means of a heavy penalty to be inflicted upon each 
or any who may break through such terms as it implies. 
Such being the case, the foreman, manager, or master 
cannot freely exercise strict discipline over such a 
pupil if the latter chooses to defy him. Discipline in 
the army and navy is enforced by means of imprison- 
ment and other punishment; in the workshop by means 
of fines, and finaOy by means of expulsion from the 
works. Workmen, therefore, who have to depend upon 
their weekly earnings, and consequently upon employ- 
ment, are careful how they offend their superiors, or 
how they infringe upon the rules and regulations of 
the shop. The young premium-apprentice may or may 
not, just as he pleases, pay attention to such rules ; in 


my cases he does not ; and all this is owing to hia 
superiors not having the same power over him which 
they have oyer tlie other men in the worlcs ; they find 
they cannot fine them, nor yet can they expel them 
from the works, as they have paid money to be allowed 
to stay there ; hence it so frequently happens, when 
such apprentices become refractory, foremen and other 
superiors in the works may remonstrate and even 
threaten, and without avail, for under the usual system 
they cannot enforce the rules and regulations of the 

To better illustrate this important subject, we may 
BS well here state what the general rules and regulations 
of a well-disciplined shop are — ^rnles which should be 
enforced upon and obeyed by every man employed 
within the gates of such works. 



1, Tke iell will he rwng at five minutes to six o'clock 
in the mormng, arid will coiiiinue rmging until six 
o'dock, ly whick Htm every workman is aypectcd to 
have conimeTiced work. Five mtTrntes grace •will be 
allowed to those workmen, who do not make a practice 
of being Me; ilie doors will, kowaver, he closed at Jloe 


minules past six, after which no vjorkman vnil ie ad- 
milted until nine o'clock. 

2. Half an hour will be allowed for break&st, the 
bell being rung at nine o'clock for such, and ^ain at 
half-past nine, when every workman must be at his 
work; if not, he shall not bo admitted nntil three 

3. One hour will be allowed for dinner, the bell 
being rung at two o'clock for such, and again at three 
o'clock, after which no workman shall be admitted. 

4. The bell shall be rung in the evening at six 
o'clock, excepting Saturdays, when it will be rung at 
two o'clock, after which no workman will be allowed 
to remain in the works unless by special instructions. 

5. The working hours shall be from six o'clock 
morning to six o'clock evening, and on Saturdays from 
six o'clock in the morning till two o'clock afternoon — 
in all, sixty hours per week — overtime being allowed 
at the rate of time and quarter for all time OTer sixty 
hours per week 

C. Each workman will be furnished with a time- 
board, having his number attached, which he will be 
required to receive from the gate-keeper on his passing 
into the works, and filling up the same with his time, 
and delivering such board into the box as he passes 



out of the works. He will also be required to state on 
Wednesday evening Ms total time for the week. 

7. Workmen shall receive their wages from the fore- 
men of their respective departments upon each Satur- 
day fortnight, being paid up to the preceding Wednes- 
day, three days' pay being retained as secui-ity. 

8. Any workman absenting himself from his work 
without the special permission of his foreman (unless 
in cases of sickness, in which case word must be sent) 
will be fined one shilling. 

9. Any workman being found in any part of the 
works during working hours where his business does 
not require him shall he fined one shilling. 

10. Any workman leaving or enteriug the works 
otherwise than through the gates of the works shall be 
fined two shillings and sixpence for the first offence, 
and shall be dismissed on the second offence. 

1 1. Any workman found smoking in the works 
daring working hours shall be fined five shillings for 
the first offence, and shall be dismissed on the second 

12. Any workman fighting, or otherwise creating a 
disturbance in the works, shall be instantly dismissed. 

13. Any workman bringing Intoxicating liquors into 
tlie works without special permission, ot ftvA-t-s^i^ '■iaa 


works in a, state of intoxication, shall be instautlj' 

14. Any workman making preparation to leave the 
works before the bell rings shall be fined one shilling. 

13. Any workman leaving Ida candle or gas burning 
when not at his bench or post, or when leaving, also 
leaving his machine nnming in gear, shall be fined one 

16. Ani/ workman using oil to clean his hands 
shall be fined one shilling. 

17. Any workman wilfully or negligently damaging 
machine tools or work shall be fined two shillinga and 
sixpence, besides the cost of making good such damage. 

These, then, are a few of the generality of regulations 
laid down in a well-regulated shop ; of course they 
differ according to local arrangements and customs of 
men. Eetuming, now, to the ease of the premium- 
apprentice. We have already said that, owing to his 
having paid for his admission, the foremen and others 
above him have difficulty in making him observe and 
obey such rules and regulations. We have seen that 
there are only two puoishments implied in anch rales 
and regulations — namely, fines and dismissaL Now, 
under the general system of premium-apprentices, 
these cannot be enforced. The former they will not 


^^ay. It cannot be stopped from their wages — for they 
seldom receive any ; and, faiiiiig this^ they cannot be 
dismissed. What, then, is to be done! We would 
suggest that a sensible young man, in earnest about 
learning his business, would pay attention to such 
rules. This, however, is seldom if ever the case ; and 
we might as well expect a child to learn without the 
fear of, if not the application of, the cane. But many 
will say that there ia no comparison between such 
cases ; for the young man on entering the shop ia 
educated, and supposed to value the opportmiities of 
knowledge and instruction, besides having, it may be, 
a taste or love for such a profession. This may be all 
true ; but it may not be borne in mind that the educa- 
tion which the workshop teaches is, in every sense of 
the word, a hard and laborious one — taxing not 8o 
much the mental faculties as the physical energies 
of the student. Take, for instance, the veiy first 
rule of the shop, which requires the apprentice to be 
at bis work by six o'clock. Here, then, is a hardship 
to be borne. It is necessary that ho mu.^t be out of 
bed by five o'clock in the morning, if he has any dis- 
tance to go to his work. Now, we do not believe there 
is one in a hundred young men who, after having been 
accustomed to rising at probably eight o'clock through- 


out their eehool-daya, who will rise, and continue to do 
so, samnier and winter, at five o'clock, or even half-past 
five, unless they are compelled to do so. To say 
nothing of the value of acquiring such a habit, such a 
course of training inures the young man to hardship, 
and drives out any of that effeminacy whieh is too 
often found in those " fine gentlemen" who are nursed 
in every delicacy. Let the reader picture to himself 
the case of a young man who has two or three miles 
to travel over the side of a bleak mountain on his 
road to his work, and on one of the coldest and blackest 
mornings in winter ; he starts at five o'clock, having 
his day's supply of food under Lis arm ; and with hia 
iamp in his hand he ploughs his way through four or 
five feet of snow, which had fallen during the night ; 
and, after having got a certain way, his foot slips, and 
ho is immersed in snow, which at the same time 
extinguishes his lamp ; he, however, pursues his way 
in the dark, and, after a good deal of difficulty and 
labour, arrives at the worJts just in time to see ita 
doors closed ; he is, therefore, excluded until three 
hours have elapsed, after which he is admitted, half 
frozen, to go through his day's work. Now, such a 
case as this seems a very Lard one ; but we know those 
who have done all this without thinking much of it, 

I ^A T 


■tnd who, in after life, have had every reason to be 
thankful for such excellent training when young. 
They, however, attribute such feats, not to the deter- 
mination of their own will, but to the fact of their 
being compelled to be at their post under pain of the 
disgrace of suspension from work, and perhaps, finally, 
dismissal Rule No. 2, in virtue of which the 
apprentice is required to take his breakfast in half an 
hour, may be looked upon by the young man who has 
been accustomed to have plenty of time to take his 
meala as another hardship ; but this also must be sub- 
mitted to, and he wUl acquire a habit of irugality — 
in some cases cooking his own meals, and learning to 
be independent of those minor details of comfort. 
Besides being subject to the foregoing rules, workmen 
are expected to do what work is given them by their 
foreman or superior, and they are compelled to stick 
at such work until it is finished. Now, this nnder- 
stood rule is one frequently broken through by 
premium- apprentices. Most young men, previous to a 
proper training, are greatly attracted by novelty, and 
if such is not checked by proper trainiag, they become 
unsettled, flighty, and wanting in that steady applica- 
tion 80 necessary to the success of any pursuit. We 
have known several premium-apprentices of this class 


who, on any piece of work which seemed to them to 
be novel or new presenting itself, they seized upon it, 
commencing to work with great energy, but in a short 
time, after what may be called the nninteresting or 
laborious part came, it was then abandoned for some 
workmen to complete, who are supposed to be able 
to do anything in that way. Such is the idea 
of many young premium-apprentices, who think that 
after they have seen liow a piece of work is done, that 
they, whose time in the shop is comparatively short, 
should make the most of it by doing a little at every 
kind of work, forgetting all the while that this doing a 
little at everything 13 equivalent to doing nothing pro- 
perly at anything. There is nothing more daugeroua 
to a young engineer's future success than by such 
means imperceptibly forming a habit of unsteadiness 
and inconstancy. We know of a case which came 
under our owa eye where a young premium-apprentice 
pursued his education in this way in the workshop, 
doing a little of tliis aTid that thronghont his three 
years' apprenticeship. We do not remember of his 
ever properly completing one piece of work he took on 
hand ; and, so far did such a habit grow upon him, 
that he found it a matter of the greatest hardship to 
be urged to draw in the spokes in a wheel of an engine 


be bad just designed, as also such details as the bolts 
and rnits on the different parts. Now, we firmly 
believe had this apprentice been compelled to finish 
his work, and do it well, he would have been pre- 
vented forming such a pemicioue habit, and have 
formed the invaluable one of steadiness and accuracy 
in his work, 

Another very great grievance and hardship with the 
apprentice is the long hours he is engaged at his 
laborious work. Any work which is continuous, and 
of long duration, is hard work ; indeed, it is hard work 
to be compelled to do nothing for a lengthened time, 
mucb more so than it is hard work to be compelled, it 
may be, to handle the hammer or file for ten hours per 
day. Yet such is the lot of him who aspires to become 
proficient in mechanical engineering ; and, however 
great an enthusiast be may be, with all his love for bis 
piofesaion, he will find the time occasionally hang 
heavily on his hands, and think that he can surely 
never be learning anythiug by such monotonous work 
which he may have done so often before. Being com- 
pelled, however, to do such work, habits of industry 
and perseverance are promoted and confirmed — to 
possess which some men would give fortunes. But 
while impressing npon the mind of the apprentice fha 



absolute necessity that exists for tlie exercise of a 
patient industry, that no diacouragement or failure 
to succeed at the first attempt to do important work 
can daunt, we would at the same time point out to 
him that all this will be, to a large extent, nseleas and 
unavailing, should he disregard system and order in 
the arranging and doing of his wort " A place for 
everything, and everything in its place ;" and " Do 
one thing at a time only, if yoit wish to do much, and 
do it well," are homely enough sayings, but which con- 
vey a vast amount of useful truth — truth which no 
one, indeed, gainsays — but which, nevertheless, is too 
frequently overlooked or ignored; and yet, without 
system, we venture to say that no work will be pro- 
perly performed ; that is, if by the term "properly" all 
is meant which, by the term, we conceive is in reality 
meant, the doing of it in the best and most economical 
manner — economical of time, as well as of material 
The habit of carrying out a system and an order in 
work is of immense service to the apprentice as an 
individual, enabling him to economise his time (and 
time is money), and giving him, moreover, that steadi- 
ness of mind, so to speak, which enables him to have 
his wits about him on all, even the moat sudden of 
emergencies ; and not only so, but it will be found of 


essentkl service wbeu the apprentice is merged in the 
master ; and, in place of obeying the orders aiid doing 
the work of others, he is transferred to that position — 
to which we suppose uU our readers look forward — 
when he is to be engaged in giving orders to others, 
and to see the work done in which he himself is 
directly interested ; for it may be taken as an axiom 
in what may be called the "commercial economics" of 
engineering, that no estabhshment will pay where 
system in everything is not the rule. We have at 
present in our recollection an establishment, of which 
the master was an eminently able and practical 
engineer, one who himself had been brought up in an 
establishment in which system was pre-eminently 
observed, and yet the lessons of which bad had so little 
practical effect upon him, that hia own was possibly as 
ill-managed as it could be. No system was observed in 
any of its departments — everything was done at hap- 
hazard. The supply of working "plant and material" 
was neglected so frequently, that we have known work- 
men to wait for both till they were supplied and sent for. 
Delays not only occurred in the execution of the work, 
which, in many instances, took off all margin of profit 
in doing it, and made what ought to have been a gaiii 
a positive loss ; but as bad a feature, if not the worst, 


WEks, that the workmen themselves and the apprentice 
were all influenced by the want of system and roatine. 
and habits of carelessness and gross wastefulneaa were, 
in many cases, created or confirmed. Workmen were 
kept in bad order, valuable tools were thrown carelessly 
aside when done with, and often thus lost, so that 
when again required new ones had to be made. The 
result of all this was that, notwithstanding the 
exercise of the gi'eatest industry and skill on the part 
of the master, nothing but loss ensued. He finished 
his career at last by knowing that he had worked hard 
all his life, and for little or no practical result And 
yet we venture to say that this lamentable result aroSK 
mainly, if not altogether, from the lack of system and 
proper routine of workshop-labour which prevaQed in 
the establishment ; for where there is lack of order in 
the arranging of work, there will be lack of economy 
of time and of punctuality in its execution ; and 
it may be taken as true, that where this is the 
ease money will not be made out of it. System 
in everything, in the minutest as well as the most 
extensively organised department, is absolutely essen- 
tial ; and the reader will, in after life, have to thank 
us if what we have here said will induce bini to 
think carefully over its importance, and to carry 



""ft oat in his practice. To the attainment of which 
practical end we would further strongly advise the 
apprentice not to confine his system to the duties 
of his apprenticeship, but to carry it out at home iu 
everything he does. Let him acquire the habit of 
arranging his books, his drawings, his notes, his 
instruments, and keeping them arranged in one 
uniform sjsteui ; so that he will lose no time in look- 
ing for anything, or for any piece of information he 
requires, but be able to place bis hand upon anything 
he wishes, whether it be a drawing, an instrument, a 
book, a "note," or a sketch which he is desirous to 
consult. Thia habit, exercised in attention to the 
little things of his ordinary life, will be carried out in 
the great things ; for no man who is systematic and 
orderly in little matters will fail to be so in great ones. 
But we would go further, and say, that to a weil- 
ordered mind nothing is " little." It is to the man of 
system tliat the im[jortance of httle things is alone 
made known ; — grains of sand make the shore — drops, 
the ocean which rolls its waves over it — they are always 
present to his mind ; and he knows, and, knowing, 
carefully practises tlie truth, that if he is careless of 
little he never will be careful of great things. It is 
exceedingly dangerous for a youth to have a contempt 



the little thioga of daily life. A vast deal of truth 
ia convejed in the homely proverb, — " For want > 
[lail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse 
was lost, for want of a horse the rider was lost" How 
many are ruined in life in all their attempts to make 
progress in it through forgetfulness of the close con- 
nection that esists between the "nail" and the "rider!" 
When the conduct of an engineering establishment 
is confided to him, the reader will be able at once to 
appreciate the full value of a steadily acquired, long 
persisted in, habit of system. He will then at onoe 
^ee the close connection that appears between the 
systematic doing of work, and the profits arising out 
of it, — the dependence of such profits upon what many 
are disposed to call, and call foolishly, the veriest 
trifles. Everything in the works should be carried out 
in regular routine ; all the work done should be carried 
progressively forward, from one stage to another — no 
going back, to and fro, here and there. We have 
known of work ao carelessly systenutised, that the 
mere loss of time involved in taking it to one depart- 
ment, and bringing it back to another, has resulted 
in adding a large percentage to its cost ; and, of 
course, — what, by the way, is however oftea lost sight 
of, — a large deduction &om the profit ; all of which 

ntight h! 


ntiglit baye been avoided, had a regular aequence of 
arrangements been adopted. The reader may set it 
down a.^ true that, when he visits any engineering 
establishment, and sees machines dirty and ill-kept, — 
tools, as files, etc, lying carelessly huddled up in 
window-sill corners, or lying nnder foot on the floor, — 
that the establishment is not a paying one, and is one 
which he should avoid having anything to do with, if 
he vrishes to learn what is worth learning ; — of which, 
by the way, let parents and guardians be also advised, 
who may be looking out for a " shop" for the youths 
under their charge. We may be considered to have 
said too much upon this point of " system;" but it is 
impossible to say too much upon it, or to impress it 
too deeply on the mind of the apprentice desirous to 
become a successful engineer ; indeed, so much value 
do we set upon it, that if we were asked, what is the 
first essential to success ? we would answer, " system ;" 
and the second ! " system ;" what the third ? " system;" 
for without it, we will venture to say, all the industry, 
all the talent and skill, will be of no avail in the daily 
practice of engineering, if pecuniary as well as profes- 
sional success is thought of. Having cultivated the 
habit of system in arranging work to be done, the 
engineering tyro should next cultivate t!ie attainment 


of manual dexterity and carefulness in the execution 
of work. Under this head it may be at the outset 
remarked, that apprentices, especially as premimn- 
apprentiees, are too apt to run away with the notion 
that if they know, or think they know, how a thing 
shonld be done, they need not mnch trouble them- 
selves as to the doing of it. But they forget, — or 
if they are ignorant of the fact, it is our duty here 
forcibly to remind them of it, — that it is not possible 
for them to know how work should be done unless 
they know how to do it themselves. It may appear 
to be all that is necessary that they should know the 
general sequence of operations in the doing of the 
work; but by no other means can they be well ac- 
quainted with the fact that the work is being, or has 
been, done in the most economical manner, and this 
can only be ascertained by those who know all the 
intricacies and the necessities of the manual opera- 
tioa Take, for instance, the operation of " chipping" 
and ■' filing:" they may appear veiy easy and simple, 
and their application to the preparation of certain 
parts of mechanism may be considered equally eo; 
but let any one try either of these operations, who has 
not been previously accustomed to it, and he will 
rapidly discover that there are two ways of peiforming 

' » n». 


ft — one good and one bad, or ths economical and the 
wastefal modea. Manual dexterity, allied to intelli- 
gence — the mind regulating the hand, and the hand 
readily (may we say instinctively?) obuying the mind, 
— this is what makes a firat-clasa workman. That ex- 
perience which is alone worth in the practice of en- 
gineering, can only be obtained by learning to do 
the work oneself. Knowing its various requirements, 
how to begin and how to finish them in that regular 
sequence which is alone productive of good and be- 
comes good workmanship, let it be the earnest 
desire of the apprentice to eaxel in his work, that he 
may give his master the very best of which he is 
capable. It mny appear to some a small thing 
whether good workmanship is given, but upon this 
depends its working value. 

Let the apprentice, then, whatever be the brightness 
of his prospects, work as hard, and be as careful to 
know thoroughly all the minutiae of his work, as if he 
had no other prospect before him than to work for his 
d^y bread. The more thorough a workman he makes 
faimself to be, the more successful will he be as 
a master ; and the more conscientiously and honestly 
he does his work as a workman, and fulfils hia 
obligations as such to his master, the more fully 


will he be entitled to expect his workmen to be 
honest towards himself, when the time eomea that he 
changes his position from a servant to that of a master. 

Let this be thoroughly impressed upon the mind of 
fhe apprentice, that the real object of his being such is 
to learn the business as thoroughly as he possibly can. 
To which end he must grudge no labour ; must not 
look upon the discipline of the works as painful to bear; 
nor the patient exercise of skUl and intelligence as 
drudgery. Let him honestly determine to do his best, 
■lad there will be no fear of him ; nor will he be worse, 
but much the better, if he cultivate a pride in his pro- 
fession, making it his endeavour to have the reputa- 
tion of tiying to the utmost to give the very best he . 
is capable of, to whatever he is engaged upon, no 
matter how trivial that may be — if indeed anything 
can be trivial which forms part of a system of order 
or discipline. 

Supposing, then, that the apprentice is most earnest in 
his endeavour to get as much benefit as possible out of 
his daily work at the bench, or fitting-up shop, we 
would next advise him to fill up eveiy spare hour in the 
practice of drawing, in taking sketches of work done, 
or machines and tools which he comes across, in the 
taking out of quantities, and in making calculations 



txmcerning the various details of work. This practice 
is of essential importance to the apprentice who aspires 
to, or has the hope or prospect of having the conduct 
of works of his own. It is unnecessary here to dwelt 
npoii the importance of a thorough knowledge of 
mechanical drawing and projection ; without it no 
man engaged in practical construction need hope to 
excel in his caUing, and to pass from tlie position 
of a mere handler of the hararaer, the chisel, the saw, 
or the trowol, to that of a master and a director of 
workmen. But possessed of a thorough knowledge of 
its details, while at the same time fully capable to 
perform all the duties of a maker, or a carrier out of 
the designs of others, — adding to this knowledge the 
habits of sobriety, prudence, and perseverance, without 
which all talent is given iu vain, — the apprentice or the 
journeyman may fidly anticipate the time when he will 
rise to the dignity of a designer of work for others. It 
is indeed worlhy of special notice how great a power 
A knowledge of industrial drawing gives to the con- 
structive artificer — be he an engineer, an architect, 
bnilder, or machinist. By its aid he can place upon 
paper the result of the most patient investigation, or 
the happiest and the almost intuitive invention, con- 
nected with the construction of machines or buildings; 


and so place tLem ihat those oii whom he depends for 
the practical realisation of bis projects are able at 
once to read, so to speak, all the intricate Unes of his 
drawings, which to the uninitiated appear but a com- 
bination utterly nnintflligible and wortUesa As it 
has been finely said that the sculptor can trace 
in hia mind's eye, within the block of shapeless marble 
round which he walks, the beautiful image which is to 
please the eye and refine the taste of after beholders; I 
so may it be said of the mechanical designer, that he 
sees on the surface of the flat paper before him the 
elaborate machine or the complex Btructnre in all its 
details, as clearly as they will be presented to the 
spectator when elaborated and completed. From what 
has been said, then, the importance of a thorongh 
knowledge of industrial drawing to him who aspires to 
excel in hia calling will be obvious enough. Drawing 
may be defined to be the art of presenting on flat sur- 
faces the appearance of various forms and objects, by 
means of a combination of lines, straight and curved. 
The painter or artist can present on his canvas the 
appearances of various objects ; but they are not 
strictly correct ; hence differences arise in the delinea- 
tion of the same object by different artists, inasmuch 
as the eye and the hand being alone trusted to, the 

■ ■ ^irtAi, 


'ndicatioiis of the former may not be correctly taken 
np, or if correctly taken up, the raanipolation or work 
of the hand may be faulty. There is thus very 
frequently a discrepancy met with between the readi- 
ness of the eye to estimate distances and appreciate 
forms, and the dexterity of the hand to embody theae 
on the canvas or paper. But however finely adjusted 
in any artist may be the powers of the eye and the 
ability of the hand, there is nevertheless, in even his 
most accurate work, an inherent fault, which ever 
operates to prevent it being practically available to the 
workman who may be desirous to construct a form of 
which the artist gives him a sketch. And this difficulty 
arises from the fact, that no true data for dimensions 
are or can be obtained from an eye-and-hand sketch. 
Dimension, then, being an essential element to be 
known in a machine which is to work, or a atmcture 
which is to be finally put together, it must be obtained 
from a drawing which, while it possesses precision of 
parts, has, at the same time, accuracy of form. These 
attributes are only obtainable in what are called 
mechanical drawings. Mechanical drawing is strictly 
a conventional mode of delineating objects necessary for 
the purposes of the workshop. It does not aim at 
giving, nor is it meant to give, like free-hand draw- 



iog, the apparent forms of objects, or ratber a combina- 
tion of lines which will give what may be called an 
apparent form. The combinations of lines used in 
mechanical drawing are, on the contraiy, traced in a 
mode of representation by which dimensions of the 
various parts, and their relation to one another, can be 
rigidly ascertained and measured, and which mode is 
very puzzling to one uninitiated in the art. What are 
its peculiarities, and how they are applicable in prac- 
tice, we hope to be able clearly to show. There are 
two distinct branches of mechanical drawing, the first 
being that which concerns itself with the delineation 
of objects having two dimensions only, namely, length ' 
and breadth, and maybe designated the "drawing of 
superficies." The aid of geometry is essential in this 
department. The second class concerns itself with tha 
delineation of objects having three dimensions — 
length, breadth, and thickness — and may be desig- 
nated the " drawing of solids," or "projection," as it is 
sometimes generally termed, 

It is not necessary to take up space, nor to exhaust 
the patience of the reader, by illustrating and describ- 
ing in detail the various instruments required by the 
mechanical draughtsman. Sufficient for onr pnrpoae 
will it he to name them here only. The practical in- 



Bpection of the instrumenta themselves for a few 
mmutea will do more to make the tyro acquainted 
with the coDstructioa and mode of nsiog them than 
pages of printed description. We give here, then, a 
list of those required for what may be called the 
everyday work of the draughtsman. (3.) Compasses 
for measuring long distimcea. These should be pro- 
vided with a shifting leg, for the adaptation of a 
pencil and pen leg, with which to describe large circles 
in pencil or ink. (2.) Spring- compasses of a less size 
than No, 1, but with no shifting leg. The leg, how- 
ever, as indicated by the name, is to be provided with 
a hair-spring, regulated by a screw, by which minute 
adjustments of distances may be easily made. (3.) 
Spring-dividers, which may be defined as very small 
compasses, the distance between the legs or points of 
which is regulated by a screw. (4.) Bow-pencil com- 
passes ; small compasses, in one leg of which a pencil 
can be placed. When one leg is provided with a 
drawing-pen, the instrument is called a (5) Bow-pen. 
Ncs, 4 and 5 can be had either with or without springs. 
It will be advisable for the draughtsman to have both 
kinds, 30 that for the drawing in of small circles, these 
requiring very minute adjustments, the spring-bows 
may be used. These, as wetl as the compasses No, 2, 


ahonld be provided with needle-points, the leBgth of 

wliich can be adjusted by screws. (6.) Drawing-pens. 
These should be had in at loast two degrees of finenese ; 
oue adapted to draw very fine lines, the other broad or 
thick lines, (7.) Drawing-board and square. A com- 
plete set of drawing instruments comprises more than 
we have here named ; but these will be suEBcient 
for a considerably wide range of practice in the early 
career of the young engineer. It does not form part 
ot the plan of this work to go into the art or practice 
of mechanical drawing ; it will, however, serve a useful 
purpose if we glance briefly at the modes in operation 
in an engineering establishment for the preparation of 
the drawings required in practice. Mechanical draw- 
ing may be divided into two classes — first, " scale or 
complete," and second, " working or detail " drawings. 
Drawings of the first class, as their name indicates, are 
delineations of machines or of structures, as a steam- 
engine or a bridge, with all the parts completed, the 
scale to which these are drawn being of necessity 
small. Ihese scale or complete drawings are for re- 
ference in the drawing-office, and are designed to show 
the relative position of the various parts, their sizes, 
etc., etc In order to do this properly, several views 
of the machine or structure ars required to be given ; 


lor w 


tor where compKeation of parta to a greater or leas 
extent exists, as it is sure to exist in any machine, one 
view of one side will not show the parts of another. 
Hence, as stated above, different views of the same 
machine are required to show the various parts. These 
are technically known aa " plan," " section," " eide 
elevation," and " back " do., etc. ; and to these is 
sometimes added a perspective view of the whole. In 
making general or scale drawings, it is usual to pre- 
pare the different viewa conaecutivelj ; but where the 
machine or structure is at all complicated, we would 
strongly advise the yoimg engineer to get into the 
habit of carrying on the dravring of the various views 
at the same time, doing firat a little at one view, and 
then & little at another, till all are finished. If the 
machine is large, and the scale adopted such as to 
make a comparatively large drawing, these various 
views may be required to be on different drawing- 
boards ; in other cases the different views may be all on 
one board. This plan, which we strongly recommend, 
of drawing various views at the same time, is likely to 
save the perpetration of those mistakes which are very 
apt to arise from the plan of doing one view at a time 
only, and when finished all the views will be found to be 
in keeping with one another. The number of separate 


drawings required will depend upon the nature of the 
macliine. If this be very complicated, it will be ad- 
visable to draw at the same time a number of sections 
and plans, etc., in order that the designer may be able 
to arrange all the parts in proper relation to one 
another, so that every facility may be given to the 
actual erection of the machine, and its repair, when 
this is essential. When all this care, so essential as 
we deem it, is not taken, the designer will often be 
chagrined to find that in erecting the machine one 
part does not properly fit into another, or that one 
part prevents another being inserted, or worse still, 
the integrity of the whole design spoiled, — errors which, 
could have been avoided in designing, on the plan we 
have indicated and recommended. The number of 
views which will be required will obviously depend 
upon the complicated nature of the machine ; bat the 
engineer, in determining this point, should never lose 
sight of the fact, that it is in every sense a more 
economical plan to prepare a number of drawings, 
than, by sparing them, to bring about the chance of 
error in construction. The cost of a drawing bears no 
proportion to that of reeti^ing errors in the construc- 
tion of a machine. Moreover, the drawings are to be 
as guides to the workman, who is not generally very 



implislied in what is tcclmically called the " read- 
ing" of a drawing — that is, understanding readily the 
relation of its different parts ; hence the importance 
of enabling him to readily comprehend ail that is 
necessary to be known ; and this is easiest a^Mom- 
plished by having a number of drawings. This brings 
ua to the preparation of " working," " workshop," or 
" detail drawings." These are drawn to a much larger 
scale than the complete drawings we have been con- 
sidering, and are, as their name indicates, drawings of 
die various parts of the machine. The scale adopted 
varies according to circumstances, but descends from 
" full size " down to a " quarter " or an " eighth " part 
of an inch to the foot. A usual scale is " one-fourth 
fnll size," or " three inches to the foot," or " one-eighth 
full size," or " one-and-a-half inches to the foot." In 
detail drawings all the lines should be drawn in boldly 
and solid, -Detail drawings are often required to be 
shown in different views, according to the complica- 
tion of parts, as in plan, section, and various elevations. 
a general practice to figure the dimensions on the 
igs of details. It is doubtful, however, whether 

practice baa not more disadvantages than advan- 
taf^, as it is apt to cause carelessness on the part of 
the workman, who may not use his " foot-rule " as 



iquently aa lie ought to do. Indeed, it is a good 
rule to makG the workman trust to tia own measore- 
meiits, as taken from tlie drawing, holding hiin re- 
sponsible for the accuracy of these measurements ; the 
draughtsman, on the other hand, responsible for the 
accuracy of the drawings. When the detail drawings 
are finished, they are tacked dowu to' a board, or placed 
in a frame, and provided with a proper number, which 
is used for reference. It is scarcely necessary to say 
that to each drawing the scale must be attached. 

It will be observed, as has indeed already been stated, 
that we do not here give directiohs as to how me- 
chanical drawings are to be executed. This must be 
learned in the usual way; we simply point out to the 
tyro certain things which it wili be for his advantage 
to know and practise. Before concluding the subject 
of drawing, we would again impress upon the engineer- 
ing pupil the importance, the essential importance, of 
becoming a first-rate draughtsman. This he can only 
attain by continual persevering practice. In addition 
to, the practice in the drawing-office of the establish- 
ment, in which we hefe suppose he has made arrange- 
ments to be for a certain portion of his time engaged, 
he should devote a certain portion of his spare time 
to its eareful exercise. It will be good practice fur 


turn to scheme out some machine, and make a com- 
plete set of scale and working drawings for it. And 
in his own private practice let liim study to be as care- 
ful in the execution of his work as if he was doing it 
under the eye and for the approval of his master. Let 
him, in fact, study to be conscientious in all things, in 
his private studies as in his public labours. In addi- 
tion to the practising of drawings carefully executed by 
the aid of the instruments, the young engineer should 
take every available opportunity of filling his "note- 
book" with sketches of machines and of details. We 
do not here lose sight of the fact, that in the majority 
of well-regulated establishments those employed therein 
are not allowed to take sketches directly in the worka 
There are obvious enough reasons for this, But the 
young engineer should endeavour to have every piece 
of work on which he is engaged so stamped as it were 
in his mind, that on reaching home be should be able 
to put down all its peculiarities, and even to remember 
its dimensions, which he should mark on the drawing. 
This practice wiU be of immense value to him, as it 
will enable him to carry in his mind many a good hint 
until be is able to put it down on pajier. From what 
we have now said, it will, therefore, be quite unneces- 
sary to dilate upon the importance to the young en- 


gineer of availing himself of every opportnuity wliieh 
may present itself, when knocking about from pi: 
to place, of taking sketches of everything likely to be 
useful in his after practice. Kcncc, also, the benefit of 
spending his holidays in districts new to him, where 
he is likely to meet with new methods of working, etc., 
etc. Hence, also, the advantage of keeping himself 
current with the engineering literature of the day, and 
culling from it details which will enrich his note-book. 

In addition to the pursuit of all those objects which 
we have so far detailed, the young engineer should 
study hard at mathematics, and accustom himself to 
the " taking out of quantities," that is, to estimate by 
calculation the weight of various parts of machines, 
etc, etc., in various materials; and, further, the calcu- 
lations necessary to enable him to decide upon the 
strength of various parts of the machine or structure 
he is constructing or erecting. 

Our " hints " — for, within the compass of a work like 
the present, hiuts only can they be — must now under 
the present chapter be brought to a conclusion. From 
what we have said, the reader will see that, to become 
a successful engineer, no small amount of bard physical 
labour, no less than of severe mental and moral dis- 
cipline, is required. Bat if the claims of these are 



honestly attended to, the result will be in every way 
satisfactory. Certainly the result is worth striving 
after, in view of the prizes which the exigencies of the 
time present to the notice of the successful engineer. 



We stated in our Introduction that our remarks woatd 
be confined principally to the education of the mechani- 
cal engineer, but that much of what was given would 
be applicable to the civil engineer ; and this holding 
more especially true of the preliminary education, and 
the mental and moral discipline of the pupih What is 
necessary to be given, in order to complete, aa far as 
our pages will allow, the subject of the education — 
technical as well aa preliminary — of the civil engineer, 
will be found in the following extracts. These we give 
as embodying the opinion of highest authority on the 
subject — namely, the President (John Fowler, Esq.) of 
the Institution of Civil Engineers, as given in his recent 
opening address of the present session. After giving 
some introductory remarks, Mr Fowler proceeds to the 
main pnrpose of his address — namely, the description 


of the nature of the functions of the modem civil ea- 
gineor : — 

" Many attempts have been made to define and de- 
scribe a civil engineer in a few general words, but all 
such attempts have been more or less unsatisfactory, 
Still, though it is difficult, if not impossible, to describe 
an engineer by a short definition, it is not so difficult 
to enumerate and describe the nature of the works 
he is required to design and execute, and the profes- 
sional duties he is called upon to perform. 

" He has to design and prepare drawings, specifica- 
tions, and estimates, and to superintend the carrying 
out of works which may be thus enumerated : — 

" 1, Railways, roads, canals, rivers, and all modes of 
inland communication. 

" 2. Water supply, gas-works, sewerage, and all other 
works relating to the health and convenience of towns 
and cities. 

" 3. The reclamation, drainage, and irrigation of 
large tracts of country. 

" 4. Harbours of refuge and of commerce, docks, 
piers, and other branches of hydraulic engineering. 

" 5. Works connected with large mines, quarries, 
ironworks, and other branches of mineral engineering. 
L" 6. Works on a large scale connected with steam- 



enginea, with machinery, Bhipbuilding, and mechanical 

" This list, which might be almost indefinitely ex- 
tended, involves a vast variety of work, and must ap- 
pear almost appalling to a young engineer ; and yet it 
greatly concerns his future that he shoidd, as far as 
possible, be prepared to undertake any or all of the 
works embraced in the list," 

This list ia much more comprehensive than is usually 
understood, comprising as it does the duties of the civil 
engineer ; for it includes mechanical engineering, usually 
taken to be a distinct branch of engineering. Be this 
as it may, Mr Fowler, after pointing out that it ia one of 
the duties of the civil engineer to inform his employers 
whether the work upon which he is consulted is, or ia 
not, likely to be commercially successful — a point too 
often lost sight of — proceeds to show how essential it 
is to the civil engineer to have a most intimate ac- 
qu^ntance with all the materials used in construction, — 
their constituents, value, and the moat satisfactory and 
economical modes of using them. A brief but a very 
valuable r€sum€ of all the points in connection with 
materials is then entered upon ; after the discussion 
of which Mr Fowler proceeds to say that he has 
selected " these examples for the ijari^9& ■^t yieaa^ 


trating this important fact, that before an engineer 
can even commence the designs of his works, he must 
have previously obtained a large amount of preliminary 
information regarding the nature of all the materials 
employed upon engineering works, ao as to enable him 
to select for his intended structures those materials 
which will be on the whole the most suitable, having 
reference to efficiency, durability, and economy, 

" I wiJ] now proceed to the question of the kind and 
degree of knowledge which is required to enable a 
young engineer to proceed to the actual design of a 
public work of importance, such as a railway with its 
stone, brick, and iron structures, its earthworks, and 
its all-important permanent way, a railway station, a 
station-roof, docks and their apphances, waterworks, 
breakwaters, or a Great Eastcra steamship. 

" Although it has become the practice in modern 
times for many civil engineers to be employed chiefly, 
or almost entirely, in some one branch of the profes- 
sion, I desire to repeat my conviction that it is most 
important that the early preparation and subsequent 
study should be as extensive as possible, and should 
embrace every branch of professional practice, not only 
for the purpose of securing to a young engineer more 
uumerous opportunities for his advancement, but also 



because sound engineering knowledge and experience 
in all branches will greatly add to hia efficiency and 
value in any special branch, in the same manner that a 
medical man will be more reliable in his practice on the 
eye and the ear if he possesses a sound practical and 
theoretical knowledge of every part of the human frame. 

" All classes of the profession, but especially the rail- 
way, the dock and harbour, and the waterworks en- 
gineer, must possess a knowledge of the parliamentary 
proceedings, so as to be able to avoid al! non-compli- 
ances with the standing orders of Parliament, This, it 
is true, is no easy matter, as the clauses are often 
drawn up with so little care and practical knowledge, 
that neither engineers nor solicitors, nor the most ex- 
perienced parliamentary agents, can understand what 
is intended. 

" On the subject of parUamentary proceeding gene- 
rally, it may be taken for granted that all committees 
desire to do justice to the cases which are brought be- 
fore them ; and that if they sometimes fail in their deci- 
sions, either as regards the interest of the public, or in 
arranging a fair settlement between antagonistic in- 
terests, it is not unfrequently due to the imperfect and 
crude manner in which cases are presented to them; 
and I would impress on all yoao^ ta^iii^Kt* "^ta^asi- 


portance, both to themselvee and to their clientB, of 
laying their cases before committees in the most per- 
fect manner possible, by full and correct information, 
carefully prepared and clearly worked out." 

Mr Fowler next proceeds to describe the nature of 
the knowledge required by the railway engineer, the 
harbour aud dock engineer, the waterworks engineer, 
and the mining engineer ; after which he takes up the 
consideration of the kind of preparation required t-o 
enable all these classes of engineers to perform their 
duties in a proper manner. These he describes shortly 
as follows : — 

], Genera! instruction, or a liberal education, 

S. Special education as a preparation for technical 
" 3. Technical knowledge, 

4. Preparation for conducting practical works. 

All this preparation and training will have to be 
acquired at some time or other, and in some order or 
other, and it is known that in the cases of some suc- 
isful persons of great perseverance, they have been 
uired in a veiy remarkable order ; but at the pre- 
sent time, and with all our modem opportunities, there 
ia no reason why they should not be learned in the 
juost couyement and methodical manner." 

as 1 






le first two of these heads have been pretty well 
discussed in the text of this present volume ; we have 
therefore only to add here what Mr Fowler says in 
connection with the last two, premisiug that a short 
course of from one to two years in "manufacturing 
works," and in some cases a course at one of the Uni- 
versities, as preliminary to the time to be spent in the 
civil engineer's office, is recorameiided by Mr Fowler. 

" We will now suppose that the general education 
and the special instructions have beeu completed, the 
short probationary pupilage in workshops has been 
gone through, languages and mathematics kept up and 
improved, the University course in certain cases com- 
pleted, and the period to have arrived for entering a 
civil engineer's office. 

" In selecting such office for a papil, it is important 
that it should be well organised, and not be too large ; 
that the engineer should be a comparatively young 
and rising man, and be accustomed to take pupils ; but 
these should be few in number, and bear some proportion 
to the number and extent of the works in usual course 
of construction under the engineer's direction. 

" It is not necessary to foUow the pupil, when once 
the engineer's office is entered, with any detailed advice, 
because he is no longer a boy, unable to av\i^ft'»a**-^'^ 


«ition and duty ; we assume that he has been highly 
gducated and carefully trained, well knowing that 
future success or failure will depend on the degree of 
diligence in a,vuiling himself of the opportunities of 
acquiring knowledge during his pupilage, 

" The work in the office and in the field should be 
done to the best of his ability ; and after the pupil has 
become a skilful draughtsman, and is capable of taking 
out quantities of engineering works, and preparing de- 
tailed estimates methodically arranged, he will then 
prolwbly proceed to work out details of designs, and. 
make calculations of strengths and strains, and thus 
become of real value in the office, at the same time 
making real progress and rapid improvement for himself. 
" He should avail himself of every opportunity o£ 
mastering the purpose and the principles of construction 
of the work brought to his notice, both in the office 
and in execution ; and he should ascertain the coat 
price of all the materials and workmanship employed, 
separating the items into every minute detail ; and he 

_atU)ukl continue this practice systematically with all 

f Irorks on which he is engaged. 

"The information wliich, amongat much beside, 
should be obtained dunng pupilage, and which is 
necessaiy to constitute a sound er^Uteer, ifr— i 



" ] St. A fair knowledge of the most fitting material 
fitt any given work, under any given cireumstanees, 

" 2d. The power of designing any ordinary work 
with a maxinmm of strength and a minimum of ma- 
terial and labour. 

■' 3d. A knowledge of the means of ascertaining the 
cost price of any ordinary engineering work. 

" The information or knowledge included in this 
brief enumeration may be called practical knowledge, 
and it cannot be too often urged upon young engineers 
that theory and practice must always go together hand 
in hand, and that they are not oniy not inconsistent 
nor conflicting, but that they are necessaiily united, and 
must both be fully developed in the same person before 
he can become a properly qualified ' civil engineer.' 

" The period of pupilage should be from three to 
five years, depending on the circumstances which have 
been previously indicated ; and, in additiou to his at- 
tention to the ofiSce and outdoor works, it will be well, 
while keeping up his preparatory studies, especially 
mathematics, that be should improve his ac(^uaintance 
with the French and German languages, and keep up 
bis knowledge of their engineering literature, aad also 
avail himself professionally and personally of the ad- 
vatitagei) ofTored by this institution." 


The followmg, from Mr Conybeare's paper on the 
Principies and Practice of Civil EugineeriDg, detailing 
the routine of ofSce and outdoor work of the young 
civil engineer, will be a nsefiil conclusion to this Ap- 
pendix: — 

" At first he is employed in tracing or copying the 

iplicates, reqnired for various purposes, of the draw- 
ings and specifications of works in course of execution, 
from such engineer's designs. Such practice is ex- 
tremely serviceable to himself, as nothing fixes the' 
necessary details of such matters so firmly in the 
memory as the copying out of good precedents. He 
u, at the same time, constantly exercised by assisting^ 
in the preparation of estimates from working-draw- 
ings, by taking out the quantities of each description 
ot work incidental to any proposed stractore, and 
(q)plying the appropriate rates. Such practice fami- 
iMTises him with the cost of work — a most important 
point — and enables him hereafter to predicate with 
eouaiderable accuracy what amount of labour and ma- 
terial will be required to carry any given design into 

" He is also employed in copying the sections of anjr 
["^posed railways that may be in the office, and cal- 
iting, by tables based on the prismoidal formulfe, 


the amount of earthwork that may be involved in their 
execution. By this he learns the necessity of balanc- 
ing the cuttings and embankments, and the most 
economical mode of fitting the gradients of the per- 
manent way to the natural surface of the country, and 
becomes familiar with what is required for compliance 
with the standing orders of Parliament in all that 
relates to the deposit of engineering plans and sections. 
He also has opportunities for observing and calculating 
the effect of the petty emendations of the original 
section (effected after the deposit of the parliamentary 
plans, but prior to the ultimate staking out of the 
line) — emendations effected by taking the line into 
higher or lower ground, to the right or left, to save 
work in bridge-crossings or their approaches ; or by 
readjusting the gradients, with the object of diminish- 
ing the amount of earthwork. He thus becomes 
familiar with all the considerations that bear on such 
emendations ; and this will greatly assist him, in his 
subsequent field practice, in determining the best allo- 
oation for a line of trial sections, and so initiate him 
in that most important engineering mystery, the 
faculty of ' laying out ' a line so as to get the 
straightest and most level course possible at a mini- 
mum of expense. 


"Having become familiarised with the details of 
bridgoa by tracmg working-drawings, he ia entrasted 
with the preparation of the drawings themselves from 
the dimensioned sketches of the engineer, or with ink- 
ing in and completing the drawings pencilled iu from 
such sketches by the assistant or senior pupil at the 
head of the drawingnaffice ; and is also practised in the 
application of formula; to the construction of bridges. 
In masonry, brickworit, timber, and cast or wrought iron. 

" He is now competent to be of ase in the field, and 
can be employed in staking out the centre line and ' 
side widths, and in ranging the curves of railways 
about to be commenced ; in setting out the lines and 
levels for the foundations of the various bridges and 
other mechanical structures ; in fact, in transferring 
the grouud-plans of earthwork and structures of ma- 
sonry from the drawings to the ground ; also in taking 
borings at intervals along the centre line of the various 
cuttings or tunnels, to ascertain the nature of the 
material to be excavated; as also the nature of the 
foundation required for bridges, by taking borings and 
driving trial-piles. 

" He will then be employed in taking levels — in 
running trial sections along a course selected by hia 
qhlef as that apparently best adapted to the require- 

I k 



ifents of the case for ' laying out ' any proposed line of 
railway. While so employed, be will gain an insight 
iuto the principles of laying out a line, and enjoy op- 
portunities for acquiring what is of such immense im- 
portance to both civil and military engineers — a rapid 
and accurate covp d'ceil for country, that is, the faculty 
of pointing out mentally a tolerably correct map of a 
tract of country from a collation of the views obtained 
from two or three points, or even from a. single view 
fr'om a.ny commanding point ; of judging of height and 
inclination, as well as of limits ; what would be the 
best line for trial sections of a line of road or railway 
between any two points, which should unite, in the 
highest degree possible, the three conditions of direct- 
ness, easy gradients, and inconsiderable alteration of 
the natural surface. This faculty of ' laying out a line' 
is of incalculable benefit to the en^neer and his em- 
ployers ; in fact, the time and money ex[>ended in the 
thorough elaboration of the laying out of a line always 
yields a manifold return in the increased economy and 
perfection of the worlt. 

" The pupil is now fit to be employed as ' assistant 
engineer.' in anperintending the execution of a section 
of railway, or of any other engineering work. lu this 
capacity it is his dnty to 6 


cuted in the best manner, o£ the hest materials, to the 
proper lines and levels, and in exact accordance to the 
contract drawings and specifications ; to measure the 
work done by the contractor once a month, ascertiun- 
ing its amount, and reporting the same to his chie£ 
While so eng^ed, he enjoys frequent opportunities of 
acquiring a more or less particular acquaintance with 
tlie minor details of work, and stores his mind and his 
note-book with much practical information that he 
will reap the benefit of in his future practice. During 
the remainder of his pupilage, and probably for some 
years afterwards, the young civil engineer will continue 
to be employed, either in office or field work, as an 
' assistant engineer.' 

" If an engineering work is of very considerable ex- 
tent, or is only one out of many works entrusted to tha 
same engineer-in- chie^ or is situated at a considerable 
distance from such engineer's head-quarters, he is 
obliged to appoint a resident engineering deputy, under 
the style of ' resident engineer,' to overlook the assis- 
tant engineers engaged on the various sections of the 
works. The 'resident engineer' is necessarily en- 
trusted with more or less discretionary power, accord- 
ing to circumstances ; and his functions consequently 
vary, from almost those of an engineer-in-chief (that is 



to say, the planning and designing of the work in all 
its details) to those of an ' assistant engineer,' who has 
merely to see that the conditions of the chief engineer's 
plans and apecificationa are strictly complied with by 
the contractor. It will thus be seen that a civil engi- 
neer, after completing his course of scientific training 
has usually at least ten or a dozen years of actual ex- 
perience on works before he obtains any practice on 
his own account, or is entrusted with the responsibility 
and chief direction of any work of importance. 

" But a thoroughly trained civil engineer's know- 
ledge of practice (that is, of examples of the applicii- 
tion of scientific principles and formulae to all cases of 
civil engineering) is not confined to the comparatively 
limited series of works that have actually come under 
his own personal observation ; for during his pupilage 
he is generally allowed access, under due restrictions, 
to the far more extended series of engineeiing cases 
presented by the records of the office in which he is 
placed, comprising the working drawings and specifi- 
cations of all works executed by his chief during his 
extended professional career, including those which 
had been used for the construction of some hundreds 
of miles of actually executed railway. And he should 
extend this series of examples by tKa laxeSoJ^ '*n,.*s:^ *S- 



the literature of his profession, by analysing carefully, 
note-book in liand, all the published drawings and 
descriptions of approved examples of engineering that 
he can obtain access to, entering in his note-book, in 
each case, the more essential particulars of the ex- 
ample — such aa its dimensions, material principle of 
construction ; also whether the end in view, in each 
particular case, appeared to have been accomplished 
more or less econouiically and efficiently than in 
other cases, where, with a similar diagnosis, a dif-- 
ferent treatment had been adopted ; noting, as far as 
possible, which were the pai-ticular points in each 
example most worthy imitation, and which, on the 
other hand, were better treated of in some other ex- 
ample. By this process he will bring himself to a 
nearer knowledge of the one best way of attaining the 
particular end in view ; for in every possible problem 
in construction there must be some one specific way 
of solving it that is better than any other ; and, by 
thus possessing himself of all tliat his predecessors had 
attained, he will at least get as near the best way as 
they did, if he cannot, on the stepping-stones of their 
Experience, rise to higher things in his own practice. 
The practical study of the pubUshed accounts of 
isering works should not be restricted to English 


for there is much that is worthy imita- 
tion in the practice both of French and of American 
engineers. The former have always been superior to 
ourselves as theorista; and the extension of railways 
and other engineering works in France has of late 
years given them a more extended field for the appli- 
cation of science to actual practice, which their superior 
mathematical education has enabled them to turn to 
the best account. Their more recent works are conse- 
quently deserving of the closest study ; and their piib- 
lisljcd memoirs are generally models of methodic and 
scientific description. 

" And American engineering is very highly sug- 
gestive. ' Necessity is the mother of invention ;' and 
the peculiar circumstances of America necessitated the 
execution of ways of internal communication of im- 
mense length— the frequent bridging of mighty rivers, 
the formation of qnays, jetties, and graving-docks for 
loading, unloading, and docking the largest vessels — 
in fact, of all the appliances that modern commerce 
requires, at a mere fraction of the cost which in Europe 
is considered indispensable for works intended to f ulfi l 
the same purposes, and which scarcely fulfil them any 

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