Friday, May 28, 2010

Jones & Laughlins Pocket Steel Guide

Picked up a curious little book at the SOWA vintage market. The guide describes itself as useful information for business men, mechanics and engineers. The original version was published in 1898 but the copy I have was revised in 1901. The first half of the book is dedicated to engineering problems related to iron work. It has charts that cover all the sizes and tolerances of the available steel stock. It then goes on to a short section on power transmission, covering bearings, pulleys, belts, and ropes. It contains guides for building with concrete and wood and even earthen structures. There are full tables of sines, cosines and other trigonometry.

The most interesting things I found are at the end of the guide and are not directly engineering related. Because the guide is so old is has information on forms of measure that are specific to every country. For example a Belgian foot or "elle" is 39.371 inches. There is a guide to measure based on Bible values. A chart for calculating the area of a circle, and a chart for calculating interest are included. A standard army ration is outlined and there is a section dedicated to treating common injuries. The amount of information is amazing for such a tiny little book. For size reference the book is 3.5" by 2.25" and clocks in at 498 pages.

U.S. population as of 1890 census

Standard ration for the Army

How to splint an leg

Little history of the U.S. flag

Bible weights and measures

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