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of a main than to the theory of the steam engine, but the student may search in vain elsewhere for the one, while he may satiate himself with treatises on the other.

In these days of voluminous and, it must be said, indiscriminate publication, when the student is so overwhelmed with literature that he is appalled at its mass and knows not what he must read or what he may safely reject, the only justification for swelling the torrent is the writing of a book that will cover some ground that has been left bare by an eddy of the passing stream. It is only a feeling that the subject of this book presents such a case that has induced the Author to devote time taken from the scanty leisure of an exceptionally busy professional life—and it is wholly in such leisure that this book has been written--to add his quota to the publications of the day; and it is his earnest hope that his endeavour to present the latest results of actual practice to his readers may prove of some service to the student, and even to his brother engineers, who are grappling, like himself, with the doubts and difficulties of a new industry, the ultimate development of which no man can yet gauge.



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