Mathematical Drawing Instruments 1


    IN his preface the author states that we nowadays expect to find somewhere in print an account of the little mysteries of any particular art, and that partly with the hope of enabling this expectation to be fulfilled, and partly to meet the constant inquiries made respecting certain of the more complicated instruments manufactured by him, he has written his book. The author offers as an apology for any shortcomings in his work, that he is conscious his powers are greater with the lathe and file than in the ways of gentle rhetoric. In our opinion this is unnecessary; we would rather have had the file marks more distinct, and the technical details of construction not so carefully polished out in the work before us as in the well-finished instruments for which the author is so well known. The drawing instruments in most common use, pen, compasses, and dividers, are first described, and the patterns most recommended are illustrated; the type of these instruments now in use seems to meet all requirements, and if of the best quality, appears to require little or no improvement; the needle-point, however, shown on p. 34 (Fig. 1), adapted to compasses or pricker, is an improvement in steadiness on the old form,, which was always liable to a little play. The earlier chapters will probably be of use to the beginner in facilitating his choice of the requisite instruments for his work, but he must recollect that dexterity in their use, even if of the most improved form, can only be acquired with very considerable practice; much time and temper may be saved by the use of good instruments, and there is nothing particularly meritorious in the production of good work with bad instruments if good ones are within his reach.

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