Locomotive Catechism by Robert Grimshaw 1911 Twenty-Eighth Revised Edition 817 P

Locomotive Catechism by Robert Grimshaw 1911 Twenty-Eighth Revised Edition 817 P

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Locomotive Catechism by Robert Grimshaw 1911 Twenty-Eighth Revised Edition 817 P
 
Locomotive Catechism by Robert Grimshaw 1911 Twenty-Eighth Revised Edition 817 Pages  FRONT COVER DAMAGE
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
IT HAS for many centuries been the custom to give a book a preface at the last moment. For this there is probably some good reason. Sometimes it affords the author opportunity to excuse himself for his temerity, or to apologize for his shortcomings, or to repeat to the public the hopes which he and his publishers have so often exchanged, as to the book's success.
On this occasion, however, there appears to be no great amount of presumption in doing for locomotive engineers and for those who wish to become such, what I have already done for stationary engineers, actual and prospective, and what the technical press and those for whom my other Catechisms were written, have thanked me for doing. As for the hopes of success, there is not even that excuse, for the sales in advance of publication indicate that the publishers' venture will be profitable, and my own pride and author's royalties stand in no need of sympathy. There might remain the apology-but as I have done the best I could under the circumstances, and as angels could do no more (than their best, be it understood) that excuse for an excuse falls through.
Yet there must be a Preface-and a reason therefor.
Well, the reason why this is a Catechism instead of something else shall furnish the reason for the Preface.
There are some classes of information which are like unto that triumph of modern ingenuity, the six-shooter, which, when wanted, is wanted like-well, like everything, and wanted right away. The Catechetical form gives each question (hurried or leisurely) its answer, very largely independent of any other question or matter, leaving out "ifs" and "buts" and "considerings." If there are only enough such questions and answers, and if the former are properly chosen (which includes being up to date) and the latter correct, this Catechism ought to be useful and satisfactory to those who buy it. As to the number of queries-as there are nearly thirteen hundred, the ground may be said to be reasonably well covered. As to their selection-novices and expert locomotive engine-runners have chosen many of them, and examining engineers many more. Many of the rest have come to me in the line of my regular work as consulting engineer in this country and abroad. As far as able I will answer, free by mail and promptly, any question of general interest concerning the locomotive, the answer to which does not appear in the current edition.
There only remains the item of correctness in the replies. While I am a long way on the blind side of infallibility (and have the compositor and the proof reader as scapegoats anyhow, where errors are found), the reader ought to get out of the book his money's worth and his time's worth.
I hope to make and keep, through this work, as many friends as by my other Catechisms-and friends are better than money any day-and that, through my efforts, my readers may increase in knowledge and in earning power.
ROBERT GRIMSHAW.

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