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AN

ENCYCLOPÆDIA

OF

CIVIL ENGINEERING,

HISTORICAL, THEORETICAL, AND

PRACTICAL.

BY

EDWARD CRESY,

Architect and Civil Engineer.

ILLUSTRATED BY

UPWARDS OF THREE THOUSAND ENGRAVINGS ON WOOD,

BY R. BRANSTON.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR

LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS,

PATERNOSTER-ROW.

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UPWARDS OF THREE THOUSAND ENGRAVINGS ON WOOD,

BY R. BRANSTON.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR

LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS,

PATERNOSTER-ROW,

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PRE FACE.

Civil ENGINEERING must almost necessarily have been coeval with the world's existence, and that its practical usefulness was fully appreciated by the ancients seems to be shadowed forth in one of their earliest fables ; for when the waters which covered Thessaly were to be drained, the land rendered serviceable for agriculture, and the air freed from miasma and pestilential vapours, no mortal could be found competent to perform the task, and Hercules was implored to cut off the Hydra's head, or to dam up the watercourses which were the cause of the inundation : but vain were the several first attempts of the hero to destroy enemy; two heads appeared for every one removed ; and until the method of searing up the wound was discovered, he failed in accomplishing his purpose.

The Phænicians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, gave active employment to the Civil Engineer, in draining marshes, mining, constructing sewers, bridges, aqueducts, baths, amphitheatres, roads, canals, moles, harbours, lighthouses, &c. &c., the remains of which are not only traceable, but sufficient to justify our conviction that they were executed by a class of men thoroughly acquainted with the principles of geometry, and many branches of natural philosophy.

After the destruction of the Roman Empire, all engineering works were under the direction and superintendence of the Freemasons, Brothers of the Bridge, and other fraternities; but Civil Engineering can scarcely be said to have taken its place among the sciences until the desire to recover the submerged lands in Italy called into action the powers of those philosophers and mathematicians of the seventeenth century, whose writings laid the foundation of our knowledge of hydrodynamics : hydraulic architecture as practised in Italy soon spreading over the greater part of Europe. Galileo, Torricelli, Castelli, Gulielmini, Poleni, Manfredi, Zendrini and others, became distinguished for the laws they propounded upon the active properties of water. The torch of theory was then kindled by practice, and again gave back to the artificer and mechanic a light more brilliant than they had before enjoyed.

In France, Belidor about the same period collected all the information that might be useful to the Civil Engineer, which he published under the title of “ Architecture Hydraulique;" a work deservedly esteemed, and considered as the primer of the modern school of engineering in that country.

In England, the profession of the Civil Engineer was scarcely known until the middle of the last century, when the important discovery of the application of steam by James Watt, and its rapid development, called into existence a new class of mechanics

, who gave a fresh impetus to manufactures by the improvement of all kinds of machinery. The vast commercial enterprise which attended this movement, and its great and growing success, have necessarily led to the enlargement of our harbours, and the improvement of our inland navigation; the progress, too, of an enlightened civilisation in its regard for the sanatory condition of the empire, requires that our towns and cities shall be amply supplied with water, lighted, drained, &c.; while innumerable other causes are almost daily arising to call for the reconstruction of our quays, bridges, and every other work executed before this great and general movement in civilisation was made. During the last half century hundreds of millions sterling have been devoted to these important objects, and, great as the amount may appear, it is infinitely less than what will be expended upon railroads alone if the

country remains at peace, and its prosperity unimpaired. Under these circumstances it will at once be seen of what importance it is that the Civil Engineer should be qualified to discharge his duty in the great career that

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