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Over five hundred simple mechanical movements from AmericaUs first one hundred years of the Industrial RevolutionIFor those who share an interest in mechanical things, this book is addictive. Through the use of simplified, concise drawings, here are 507 of the small components which make up complex machinery, in areas as diverse as C.R. OtisUs safety stop for the elevator, PickeringUs governor for a steam engine, ArnoldUs escapement for watches, compound parallel rules, piston rod guides, the grasshopper beam engine and a self recording level for surveyors. The list goes on and on in fascinating variety. Each movement is explained and illustrated. Many could be made out of wood as sculptures or study models. Fascinating reading. 122 pages. 6" x 9". Soft cover. -- Book Description
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Perfect for the basement tinkerer. This book may not be as comprehensive in its descriptions as "Ingenious Mechanisms for Designers and Inventors," but it is only 1/20th the price.
The illustrations are simple and easy to understand. Often they show the isolated mechanism or mechanical movement independent of any other components. This is great because sometimes all the extra gobbledygook of a technical schmatic can make understanding things a real chore.
If you're an engineer looking for mathmatical equations and formulas, this book is not going to help. The text is made up of very simple generalizations, such as, "changes rotational motion into reciprocating motion."
Great as brain excercise, great bathroom reader, and economically priced to boot!
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The full title of this book is _Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements, Embracing All Those Which Are Most Important In Dynamics, Hydraulics, Hydrostatics, Pneumatics, Steam Engines, Mill and other Gearing, Presses, Horology, and Miscellaneous Machinery: and including Many Movements Never Before Published and Several Which Have only Recently Come into Use. At least that was the full title of the seventeenth edition of 1893; the book itself dates back to 1868. This book is a joy to browse though. It is a little gold mine of ideas for the mechanical designer. Yet, anyone with mechanical aptitude should enjoy it. The many crisp line drawings are presented with a minimum of explanation and no dimensioning. You see, it was assumed back in those days that a person with natural mechanical aptitude could look at a diagram, or a machine, and figure it out. Not only that, but it was assumed that once you had the idea, then you could work out all the details for yourself without having to be told everything down to the last screw size. While there is a descriptive paragraph indexed to every drawing, most of the time you don't really need it. This book comes from an age when engineers and designers had to have the talent and the knowledge to use the mechanical principles of levers, linkages, cams, gears, etc. to produce a given motion- and to link together many such elegant little mechanisms to get a bigger job done- reliably. This isn't done much anymore. Now most machines are huge, cobbled-up, Rube Goldberg devices of pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders, screw actuators, or servo motors- all interconnected by electronic controllers. The whole thing is controlled by software of even more dubious reliability. Up to the "digital revolution", this book shows how it was always done- it's how I learned it. Of course, once upon a time, a mechanical designer actually had to understand machinery, and the basic principles of physics, and not just how to write code....
This book is primarily for experienced mechanical engineers or those with an innate talent for looking at drawings of mechanical devices and grasping the theory of operation. It is not a textbook by any stretch of the imagination. There are no equations, analyses of operation, or vector-space drawings as you would find in modern mechanical engineering textbooks. However, as an idea book for mechanical engineers at its very low cost it cannot be beat. The Amazon title page says it is copyrighted 1995. However, the book was written in 1868 and its content remains unchanged from that date of publication. The language is therefore flowery and somewhat archaic as you can see from the book's complete title: "Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements, Embracing All Those Which Are Most Important In Dynamics, Hydraulics, Hydrostatics, Pneumatics, Steam Engines, Mill and other Gearing, Presses, Horology, and Miscellaneous Machinery: and including Many Movements Never Before Published and Several Which Have only Recently Come into Use". The book's format is quite simple: On one page you will see 8-10 drawings of mechanical devices. On the opposite page you will have a paragraph or so each describing those 8-10 mechanical devices. If there are any equations being spelled out it is done via prose, so you may need paper and pencil in hand to write in equation form what the author is telling you about the theory of operation. I think it functions well both as a history book for mechanical engineers and as a source of ideas of how mechanical devices can be combined to create more complex machines. I highly recommend it, as long as you understand what you are getting.
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This book is a collection of previously published thumbnail sized drawings. The book catagorizes the drawings, but not clearly. The drawings are really quite inconsistent, and the explanations are minimal. There is only one drawing per mechanism... so really it should be called Five Hundred And Seven Odd Drawings Which You May Enjoy; However, You Will Never Reference One Of Them.
When I say the drawings are inconsistent, I'm alluding to the fact that they were pulled from different sources, and it REALLY shows.
This book is TINY. Wait... I shouldn't have made "tiny" so large. It might confuse you.
I'm sure that the author put time into this book. And in all fairness, it is inexpensive. The value just isn't there though.
This book is the antithesis of Macaulay's The Way Things Work. It is "Things: They Might Work, But Who Knows How?"
There are other editions of this book, and maybe they are better.... but really we all know they're not.