An Engineer's Alphabet: Gleanings from the Softer Side of a by Henry Petroski

By Henry Petroski

Written by way of America's most renowned engineering storyteller and educator, this abecedarium is one engineer's choice of innovations, quotations, anecdotes, proof, minutiae, and arcana in relation to the perform, heritage, tradition, and traditions of his occupation. The entries replicate many years of interpreting, writing, speaking, and considering engineers and engineering, and variety from short essays to lists of significant engineering achievements. This paintings is equipped alphabetically and extra like a dictionary than an encyclopedia. it's not meant to be learn from first web page to final, yet relatively to be dipped into right here and there because the temper moves the reader. In time, it's was hoping, this e-book may still develop into the resource to which readers move first once they stumble upon a imprecise or vague connection with the softer aspect of engineering.

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An Engineer's Alphabet: Gleanings from the Softer Side of a Profession

Written by way of America's most renowned engineering storyteller and educator, this abecedarium is one engineer's number of recommendations, quotations, anecdotes, proof, minutiae, and arcana on the subject of the perform, historical past, tradition, and traditions of his career. The entries replicate a long time of examining, writing, conversing, and brooding about engineers and engineering, and variety from short essays to lists of significant engineering achievements.

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The company served manufacturers with expert advice on choice of materials, design, manufacture, and installation of boilers that were to be insured. The Hartford’s inspections soon came to be accepted by municipal and state authorities as certifying boilers as safe, thus greatly reducing the occurrence of explosions, at least where the inspections were properly carried out. Still, explosions continued elsewhere, and in 1880 a number of engineers met to form the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a group founded to establish “with scientific precision” standards for threads on nuts and bolts and procedures for testing the strength of iron and steel.

Slide rule! C.! Similar cheers have been recalled by other engineers. According to an item in The Bent of Tau Beta Pi (April 1949, p. ) in the late 1940s were required to wear brown and white robes, hang a large replica of the society’s key, known as “the bent,” from their necks, and “holler at the top of their lungs” the following: E to the x, dy, dx, E to the x, dx. C. The fact that the main difference between the California and Iowa State cheers is the replacement of the abbreviation for the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum that signals the conclusion of a mathematical proof with the engineering term for measuring power, BHP, which stands for both brake horsepower and boiler horsepower, suggests that the latter engineering students were more applied than the former.

Finally, in 1852, a regulatory agency was created, which led to a diminution of deaths due to steamboat boiler explosions. See John G. Burke, “Bursting Boilers and the Federal Power,” Technology and Culture, April 1966, pp. 1–23. Stationary boilers used in factories remained unregulated, however. One incident, the 1854 explosion of a boiler in a Hartford, Connecticut engine room, led a group of local businessmen to organize the Polytechnic Club, which was devoted to the rational study of the properties of steam and the causes of boiler explosions, which conventional wisdom blamed on acts of God, demons in the boilers, and bogus chemistry.

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