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Preface. II PREFACE. The reader is invited in the succeeding pages to examine down to almost microscopic detail the greatest physical thing on earth. To describe the steam engine, t5show how skillful one may be in detecting faults in one machine and the superiorities in another, indeed is the most contemptible occupation a writer of a general treatise could perform. But, to describe, to show how beautiful and how truly admirable in finish and in powers of execution is the modern steam engine, is not indeed the highest, but quite one of the pleasantest and most useful of tasks, and the author feels that it is within his range of power, i. e., to admire and to describe and in a measure at the same timet instruct. With a high appreciation for noble results achieved, tfiis book is dedicated to theD esigners and Builders of the modern steam engine, and the added desire is now expressed, and the kindly suggestion made that these two, the designers and builders of high class engines, should join in fraternal association and each quarter year meet to consult upon matters of mutual profit, to feast together and go away with a wish to meet such good company again. To such a representation could safely be confided the collection of statistics, the upholding of the dignity of the professional part of the calling, the avoidance of undue competition in prices, and a hundred other advantages, not the least of which would be the discussion of how to meet the new opponent of the steam engine to be found in electrical power creation, from water, gas, etc.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don’t occur in the book.)

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