By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Scamping Tricks and Odd Knowledge - Occasionally Practised upon Public Works
Author: Newman, John
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Scamping Tricks and Odd Knowledge - Occasionally Practised upon Public Works" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)










The following pages have been written with the view to record a few
scamping tricks occasionally practised upon public works, and to name
some methods founded on practical experience adopted by sub-contractors
and others to cheaply and quickly execute work.

All who have had the direction or charge of an extensive or even
comparatively insignificant public enterprise will agree that it is
impossible for a resident or contractor's engineer to know the manner
in which everything is proceeding on his division, and in some measure
he is compelled to rely upon others; nevertheless, it is quite as
important to ascertain that the work is carried out according to the
specification and drawings as to elaborate a perfect specification and
then have to partly leave the execution to the care of the beneficent

If a finger-post has been correctly pointed in the direction in which a
favourable field for scamping tricks may exist, the author's object in
writing this book will have been attained.

To the less experienced, the incidents and scrap-knowledge described
may be more particularly useful, and on consideration it was thought
that the conversational tone adopted would best expose the subject and
indicate the ethics of somewhat conscience-proof sub-contractors and
workmen, and also the way in which their earnest endeavours to practise
the science of scamping may be exercised upon materials and under
circumstances not especially referred to herein.

J. N.

LONDON, 1891.




INTRODUCTION                                                        1


PROFIT"                                                             3


SCREW PILES--DETAILS                                               13








MASONRY BRIDGES                                                    53


TUNNELS                                                            61


CYLINDER BRIDGE PIERS                                              69




CONCRETE--PUDDLE                                                   85




PERMANENT WAY                                                     103




FREE TRAVELLER                                                    121





"Take this letter to my old partner as quickly as you can. Wait for an
answer, and come back straight."

"All right, sir."

"Now, my wife, when my old partner arrives, leave the room. I want the
coast clear as I am going to talk and have a sort of mutual confession
of some tricks and dodges we have played and learned during the last
forty years or so to get a bit 'extra' on the quiet; and forty years
knocking about with your eyes bound to be on full glare ought to teach
one a thing or two, and they have. They have! Yes; and I have been in
the swim.

"Stir up the fire, if only to keep things all alike and as hot as
possible; and put a couple of glasses handy, and some water and....

"So you've got back. Where is the letter?"

"Have got no letter, sir; but it is all right; your old partner will be
round about 7 o'clock and will stay till he is turned out, so he said."

"Oh! I am glad."

"Why, sir, he is knocking now."

"So he is."

"Here I am, old chap, what's the matter?"

"I feel pasty, but am better now you have come. Bring your chair near
the fire. Well, I want to talk to you on the quiet very badly. It will
do me good, and I am sure it will not be long before the white muslin
is spread over me and I'm still in death. You've come to stop?"

"Yes, as long as you like."

"That is good, and I am glad and feel better now you have said it.
Before I begin, taste our home-brewed elder. It's all right, for my
wife was a cook, but it's a long time ago; and between you and me, my
profits don't run to providing her with as large an assortment of
materials as she says is necessary to keep her fairly up to art in the
cookery department."

"That is very good--the best I have tasted. Well, what is it, old
partner? Shake fins."

"It's to talk over old times, and the tricks and dodges we have played,
and known others do, to get 'extra' profit on the different works we
have been."

"A kind of confession?"

"That's it. Don't laugh. I can't help it now."

"I understand you. Start the fun, and I will follow."

"We can talk pretty to each other, and lucky the young master is not
here, for he would think that we are as bad as old Nick himself; still,
we have not done many tricks for some time, and could, perhaps, put him
up to a thing or two concerning the execution of work."

"Very likely; but we are all tarred with the same brush; it's only a
question of quantity and thickness and what colour the paint is."

"I suppose we are bound to work up an excuse somehow or other; and if I
moralize a bit tender at first, by way of a diversion, you won't mind,
for it is part of the stock in trade of such rare old sharks as us, and
I will cut it as short and tasty as I can.

"I was brought up right, like you; and many a time have had my shoulder
patted by the good folks and been told not to think of myself too much,
and to remember the feelings of others. In my salad days, you know, I
used to think whether or not it was coming it rough on chaps, innocent
unborn babes that will have to work in the next century, should the
world hold out till then, putting in too strong work, and said to
myself, Is it acting kindly towards them? No, I said, it is not
treating them right to give them so much trouble to make alterations. I
won't call them repairs and additions, nor improvements. I soon
humbugged myself into thinking it was not being really benevolent to
those who will have to work when we are all lying flat, and I hope
quiet--but there, of course, such thoughts hardly make one act
honestly; however, I have done moralizing now, and perhaps it ill
becomes me, and I will have no more of it or it may stop my tongue. Now
to business, and I am going to speak pretty freely."



General Consideration--Manipulation for "extra" profit.

"You want to know my experiences with screw piles first."


"They do very well when the water is not deep and the ground loose
sand, silty sand, or sandy fine gravel, and nothing else; and I prefer
disc piles for sand, provided the water power can be easily obtained.

"The whole area of a screw blade is often taken as bearing support; but
I doubt if it should be, for it is not a bared foundation--that is, one
you can see and know the character of, as in a cylinder pier, for
instance; but some appear to assume it is, and then claim that a lot of
metal is saved and the same or more bearing obtained. The screw blade
may always be right and it may not be, and no one positively knows;
because no one can see whether it is down straight, turned, or broken,
but the difference between the actual and the breaking strain comes to
the rescue.

"Still, it is no certainty that the screw blade is resting upon the
same soil, and even if it does it may not receive the load in a
vertical line, and may be strained more upon one side than another. And
how about the rusting of the blade, for it is thin, and seldom more
than half an inch at the ends and two and a half at the pile shaft, and
nearly all surface? In a cylinder pier the hearting is placed on the
bared ground, and you know it is there, and it cannot rust, that's
certain. I don't see the good of iron rings above a few feet higher
than highest flood level, for after the hearting is set, if it be of
Portland cement concrete, you can give it a coating of nearly neat
Portland cement. However, we are talking about screw piles.

"I have seen screw piles screwed into soft ground for fully fifteen
feet, and they seemed quite right, and yet when they were loaded they
vanished. I have also known them to be twisted about something like a
corkscrew, and to be impossible to get down at all when they have
reached a hard layer of gravel, and nearly so when they met with a
streak of hard stiff clay. Sometimes they are overscrewed, and made to
penetrate somehow or other; and I remember once, when they were loaded
for testing and were thought to be right, a washout occurred at one
place, owing to a mistake in dredging, and the piles, although they
screwed, were found to be twisted about into all sorts of shapes, and
at the bottom were turned up a trifle and never went down more than a
few feet, and while it was thought we were screwing them down we were
screwing part of them aside. They were small solid wrought-iron piles.
It is well not to forget that sand varies very much; for it is found
nearly everywhere, and may be anything from large hard angular deposit
that will bind, to little round mites easily blown away, and it is
mixed with pretty well everything; and therefore sand is a thing you
must be careful with before you take it to be just the thing for
watersunk disc piles or screw piles, and you ought to know all about
it. Well, assuming that it is right, and the soil will not become
jammed in the screw blade, it is always advisable to try whether the
sand grains will roll well together and do not wedge; for you want
sand, if it is to be nice for pile sinking, just the reverse of sand
for mortar or concrete, for that with round grains is the kind to screw
in and not that with sharp angular grains, and if it is slimy, so much
the better--just the opposite of that for mortar or concrete.

"The soil must be loose, and if it is silty so much the better. Don't
undertake to screw piles into hard and compact sand, gravel, stiff
clay, or where there are boulders in the ground or streaks or layers of
soil of which you hardly know the character. If you do, good-bye to
profit from any screwing, and may be to the screw blades, and your
fishes must be got out of 'extras' by omitting a length, smashing a
screw blade, or short screwing. Be careful to be paid for all piles you
have screwed down directly you have done them, and take no maintenance;
for I have known a ship drift, or a gale arise, and sweep away the
unbraced piles like sticks, and if you are only paid when you have
finished screwing a cluster of them, where are you then, and who's
which? Suppose you have nearly fixed a cluster of piles, they will say
you ought to have braced them at once, and you will be charged for
breakages, and not be paid for having screwed them. You may talk as
long as you like, and say, How could I get them all braced when the
piles must be screwed separately? You will only be told that is your
look-out, and that you knew the terms of the contract and must have
considered any risk in the prices. So I bar injury from waves or wind,
earthquakes and shakes, collisions from vessels or other floating or
moving substances; and believe the last to cover all fishes, from
sea-serpents, whales, porpoises, and sprats, to balloons, stray
air-balls, wreckage, and mermaids; and it gives you a chance of
wriggling out of squalls with an I'm-so-sorry-at-your-loss sort of

"You have to think over the staging. Fixed staging may be out of the
question because of the expense; then you must either screw from the
finished end of the pier as you proceed with the work, or from a
floating stage, but you may not be able to get sufficient power to
screw the piles from any moored floating stage. The shore piles of a
pier may screw easily, but when you get out in the sea fixed staging
may soon be smashed, and in that case you are compelled to do it from
the end of the finished portion of the pier. There is a good deal of
uncertainty, as you can judge, and you want to well consider whether
and how you can get the power cheaply to screw the piles.

"The idea of the screw pile was that it should easily enter the ground
and push aside any obstruction in its descent without much disturbance
of the soil, with the ultimate object of obtaining, by reason of the
screw blade, a strong resistance to upward and downward strain. Well,
it is all right if the whole of the blade bears equally upon the soil
and the earth is of the same character; but if it is not, the strain
upon the screw blade is unequal, and it will sooner or later crack or
break; and except in any earth like fine sand or silt and all of one
kind, I should be sorry to say that the whole area of the blade does
the work as I said before. And here comes in the value of an allowance
of extra strength, for you cannot tell how much it has been weakened by
corrosion, nor can you inspect, paint, or do anything to the screws
when they are down. If I was engineer of an iron pile structure, I
should have a few piles screwed at convenient places independently of
the pier, but near to it, and have, say, one or two taken up every few
years--say every seven or ten--just to have a look to see how matters
seemed to be, and have a piece of the iron analysed, and compare it
with the original analysis; and I should take care the piles were all
the same quality of metal, so that the makers should not get up to fun
at the foundry.

"The piles have to bear a heavy twisting strain during screwing; and
take my advice, always see that the joint flanges are not light, for
when piles break in screwing, they usually fail at the flanges. What I
have learned shows me it is a great mistake to have the screws of very
large diameter, so as to have few of them; let the blades be small
rather than large, and they are best for screwing when of moderate
size, and are also likely to be sounder metal. There is not the same
risk of breaking them in screwing, and you may be able to screw a small
blade when a big one would be smashed, and besides it is as well to
have the load distributed as much as possible. A screw pile shaft
should not be a thin casting because of the strain upon it in screwing,
and it should be thicker on this account than a disc pile, but the
latter will not do for any soils except those named before. I have
known screw piles to penetrate hard and dense sand, gravel, soft sandy
ground, limy gravel, loose silt, limy clay ground something like marl,
stiff mud, chalk, clay, marl, and all kinds of water-deposited soil,
and in almost every earth except firm rock, but it is not advisable to
use them for anything much harder than fine sandy gravel, for the
blades must then be strained very much and the pile and screw may be
injured. It is not using them rightly, or for the purpose for which
they were designed, and another system of foundations should be used
except under special circumstances.

"Don't attempt to screw piles into ground having boulders in it. It is
always difficult to penetrate, as also is spongy mud and stiff
tenacious clay. In any ground harder than loose sand, silty and
alluvial soil screwing is not easy, and you cannot say what it will
cost to obtain the necessary power to screw. As regards that kind of
screwing I always feel so benevolent that I like some one else to do
it. Do you understand?"

"Yes; when you know a loss looks more likely than profit."

"If you like to put it that way it is not in me to object. I'm too
polite. Saying 'yes' and agreeing with every one, gets you a nice
character as an agreeable man, whereas you are a big fraud and a high
old liar."

"Parliamentary language, please; no matter what you think."

"All right, then. You know what pure sand is?"

"You mean quite clean angular grains, and hard, too, like broken-up
quartz rock?"

"Yes. Well, avoid it for screw piles, for then it is very difficult to
screw them to any considerable depth. You can't displace the sand
enough. It wedges and binds almost like rock."

"You mean it wedges up, and will not move?"

"That's near enough. Well, avoid clean, sharp, angular sand and shingle
gravel as much as you can, and take screwing in dirty sand instead. I
mean round-grained dirty sand with some clay upon it, or sandy gravel.
What is wanted is something to separate the particles of the soil and
act like grease so as to make them roll and not compress and become
bound. You can't be too careful about this."

"I will put that down in my note-book so as not to forget it."

"To save bother, be sure to ascertain whether the work is in rough
ground; and if you are abroad see that about five per cent. is allowed
for breakages of all kinds, or the piles may run short.

"I have seen piles screwed into a kind of clay rock seam, the end of
the pile was made like a saw, toothed, in fact, and stiffened from the
bottom to the underside of the screw blade with ribs shaped to cut the
ground as the pile was turned, and I doubt if they could have been
screwed without. They seemed to steady the pile; but care must be taken
when there is a projecting end and it is tapered to a less diameter
than the pile shaft, as generally is the case, that the axis is true,
or the pile will not screw vertically.

"Once I had to screw a few wrought-iron unpointed piles with a small
screw blade made of angle iron fixed _inside_ as well as the large
screw blade outside. The outside blade was about 4 feet in diameter,
and of half-inch plate, the inside blade projected about 3-1/2 inches,
and both blades had the same pitch; but the engineer, after having
tried a few, discontinued having an inside screw, and said he thought
it even arrested progress, because it interfered with the internal
excavation. The experience we had with them was against their use, and
they seemed to make the screwing harder, and no one was able to
discover any advantage in them, although they did all they knew to
flatter the novelty.

"Now a word as to cast or wrought-iron for screw piles. The question of
relative corrosion can be decided at some scientific institution, and
there will be hot fighting over that between the cast-iron and the
wrought-iron partisans. I merely refer to screwing cast or wrought-iron
screw piles into the ground. As regards the blade of the screw, it
should be as stiff as possible, and therefore cast-iron is better than
wrought-iron, also cheaper; and although a cast-iron screw will break
easily, a wrought-iron blade will buckle and bend and give. To me,
cast-iron blades seem somewhat easier to screw, if they are good clean
castings. I have screwed wrought-iron piles or columns when they have
been fixed to cast-iron screws, but in any case when the piles must be
long, to have them of cast-iron is my wish. Solid wrought-iron piles
can be obtained of a long length, but the price increases, and when
they are long and of small diameter, as they must be, they are
difficult to screw in a desired direction."

"What do you think of solid piles as against hollow ones?"

"Well, I heard a discussion between two engineers about it, and they
agreed that solid piles only do for little or medium heights, and I
asked one to write a line or two for my guidance, and this is what he
dashed off. Read it."

"No. Read it to me."

"Well, it runs:--'In designing solid piles it should be remembered that
the strength of solid round columns to resist torsion, torsional
_strength_ (he means strength against twisting strain) is as the cubes
of their diameters, therefore a solid round bar 4 inches in diameter
will bear eight times the torsional strain of a bar 2 inches, the
lengths being the same.'"

"How's that?"

"Why, 2 × 2 × 2 = 8, 4 × 4 × 4 = 64, and 64/8 = 8."

"I understand."

"In the case of hollow columns, the exterior diameter must be cubed,
and the cube of the interior diameter deducted from it when the
relative values of different-sized columns can be compared. For
transmitting motion, and here torsional _stiffness_ is referred to, the
resistance of shafts of equal stiffness is proportional to the fourth
power of their diameters. A 2-inch shaft will transmit 16 times the
force which would be transmitted by a 1-inch shaft without being
twisted through a greater angle. When the height of the pile is
considerable the diameter should be relatively larger, in order that
the metal may not be subject to severe torsional strain. So don't
forget the piles should be of large and not small diameter, or you may
have trouble in screwing them."

"You remember old Bill Marr?"

"Rather, who did the iron pilework on the Shore Railway. I should think
I did, for old Spoil'em, we called him, and I were in 'Co.' together
more than once."

"Oh! you were, were you?"

"Yes. Well, there is not much to be got that way unless it is soft
ground for a good depth and the piles are long and the range of tide
considerable, then you may pick an odd plum now and again by a bit of
useful forgetfulness. I mean this way:--By using an odd making-up
length or two instead of the right length, and getting it fixed on the
quiet just as the tide is rising, then you have a nice peaceful few
hours in which to get the joint well covered and down before next low
water; but it wants some management to keep the coast clear, and you
can't do very much at it--still little fish are sweet. One day I was
nearly caught at the game of 'extra' profit, and as we had only just
begun, of course at the shore end, it would have been awkward for me if
I had been found out, and I might have been ordered change of air and
scene by the engineer. It happened like this, the piles had been going
down very easily, and acting up to the principle of making hay while
the sun shines, I had a couple of short lengths put on six of them. We
were screwing them in triangles, so one I got to right length, and two
did not find the same home, because they could not, not being long
enough. I dodged the lengths so that the joints were all right for the
bracing above low water. Now the road was clear, so I ordered a new
length to be put on all of them before the tide turned, and that each
of them was to be down 3 feet or so before the tide began falling to
allow them to set, and told them that then they were to proceed as
before. Now, I consider the chap that first went in for making up
lengths was born right and with an eye to business and nicked profits.
We were working two triangles of screw piles I thought lovely, and
said, innocent-like, to my ganger, 'Get the joint of each one down say
3 feet below low-water mark so as to protect it, for no joint is so
strong as the solid pile, and then you can screw them down till all the
tops are level and right for the bracing.' Of course they said nothing,
and I am sure never thought anything or wanted to do, too much trouble.
It is not my place to teach them, either."

"No, certainly not; there you are right."

"Well, somehow or other, the ground turned hard, or we got into a
streak of compact gravel. I did not trouble further about the piles
after I had given orders, as the tide had started rising and the joints
were well covered. It was rather an up and down shore. I felt certain
in a few hours none of them could be seen except by divers, so I had a
bit of business on shore which took me nearly two hours before I got
back on the work. My ganger said, 'I am glad you have come back,
because they stick; I have tried to get the lot down, but not one has
screwed in more than a foot.' That was not exactly what I wanted, and
said, 'Why, the long ones went down easily?' 'Yes,' said my ganger,
'but they were at the point of the triangle, and these others are all
on one line or nearly so, and have struck hard ground.' I will cut it
short, although it got exciting, for it was a race between screwing
and, I might say, banging them in, and the tide that was going down;
and I was clocking and measuring, and hot and cold, according as the
race went, as I thought they would find me out; but I was left pretty
well alone, as they cared much more about inspecting the piles than
knowing how they were screwed down, besides the engineer was very busy
with a lot of groynes and ticklish work improving the harbour channel.
However, we just managed; but it made me feverish, and I expect the
blades, if they could be seen, are not exactly as when they left the
foundry; but there, there is a good deal in pilework that has to be
taken on trust, it is not like a foundation you can see and walk upon
if so minded. Still, screw piles are all right for some soils, but I
like disc piles better for sand, those that sink by water-pressure I
mean. I don't think there is the same fear of the disc being broken as
there is in the case of the screw, and the sinking is so easy and soft
that no parts get strained as in screwing, but the ground must be soft,
or there may be a bother.

"After this shave from being bowled out, I always took care to dodge in
a short one, now and then, when I knew the ground must be right, and I
never got scared again. It was lucky, too, that a good many of the
lengths varied, as on most jobs they are all the same, except the
making-up lengths, and then down they all have to go unless a whole
length can be left out when a seam of hard soil is reached, and that is
not often the case, and there is not much chance of a bit of 'extras'
that way on the quiet. I have known the game of 'extra' profit carried
to breaking off a screw blade purposely, but I draw the line before I
come to that."

"Do you? I should not have thought it, as you don't mind cutting off
the heads of timber piles, so you have promised to tell me."

"That is a different material and consequently requires different
treatment. You understand? Let me also tell you, I once heard a big
Westminster engineer say, 'Timber we understand, iron we know a good
deal about, and steel also; but we have plenty to find out yet both in
the manufacture and use of nearly all metals,' or something like that,
he said.

"I acted up to that; and always say to myself, We understand timber,
and know how to treat it--and so I don't mind cutting it, as I know
what I am about with it, although I represent unskilled more than
skilled labour. Metals are different goods, and it wants skilled labour
to tackle them nicely."

"There you are right."

"Yes, different goods. So, following the lead of the engineer, I leave
the iron piles as delivered, as we have yet something to learn about
the metal; and things that I don't know much about I avoid as much as
possible, and consequently there are good grounds for getting in some
short lengths as occasion offers, just to have as little to do with the
material that you don't know much about and that is a bit mysterious in
its behaviour. So I lessen the handling of it, and shorten the lengths,
and so increase the odds against the chance of it not turning out as
one thought it would; and I ought to be thanked for it, I consider. You
look a bit puzzled. I tell you, you are getting thick, and want fresh
pointing up to sharpen you. Listen to me. Now, suppose you buy a dozen
eggs, and you think and know, on the average, at the price two are bad;
you take one away and find it's bad, then you have 11 to 1 odds as
against 12 to 2 or 6 to 1, and there can't be so much chance of another
bad one turning up so quickly. If you don't understand my meaning I
can't make you. There may or may not be a different application of
explaining the egg business, but mine is what I mean you to take, and I
don't intend to bother about any one else. You are younger than I
thought you were, or your brain is all of a tangle."

"Wait a minute. All right. I understand now; you lessen the chances of
failure and the extent of it when it occurs by having a little less to
do with goods that are made of material no one seems to knows
everything about."

"Now you have it. Shake fins. Glad we have worked on to the right road
again, as it looked like a collision just now."




"Now for some details.

"Solid piles are usually from 4 to 8 inches in diameter, and hollow
cast-iron from 10 to 30 inches, and generally 10 to 20 inches. Avoid
any cast-iron screw piles that are less than half an inch in thickness.
When they are from 1/12th to 1/18th of the diameter is perhaps the
best, according as their length is little or great; but of course they
have to be of a thickness that will stand the load, and what is the
best foundry practice should not be forgotten.

"Now as to the blade of the screw. If of wrought-iron, which seems to
me the wrong material for that purpose, it should not be less than half
an inch in thickness; if of cast-iron, as usually is the case, the
thickness of the blade of the screw at the pile shaft should be about
1·25 to 1·50 that of the column, and at the edge not less than half an
inch, and it should taper equally on both sides, and care be taken that
the metal is the very best and so cast as to ensure uniformity and

"All sizes of screws from twice to six times the diameter of the pile
when hollow I have screwed, but the best are from 2 to 1 to 3 to 1, and
when they are more than 4 to 1 it is to be feared they will break
before they can be made to penetrate far enough to say nothing about.
Solid piles with screws four to seven times the diameter of pile I have
also fixed, and 5 to 1 to 6 to 1 is quite large enough; but the kind of
ground and the depth to which they must be got down should govern the
size and the pitch. The greatest depth, apart from imagination for
measurement, to which I have ever screwed a pile is about 25 feet.
Without special tackle I have made a 2 feet in diameter screw penetrate
hard clay, dense sand, and other hard soil from 8 to as much as 17
feet; but then 10 to 15 feet is deep enough, for there is such a thing
as overscrewing. A 3 to 4 feet in diameter screw I have fixed all
depths from 10 to 20 feet in ordinary sand, clay, and sandy gravel. A 4
feet to as large as a 5 feet screw, which great size should only be
used for soft soils, from 15 to 25 feet, and the most usual depth is
about 15 feet, and hardly ever above 20 feet.

"A 9 feet 6 inches screw blade has been used on a 7 feet in diameter
cylinder, but that is the largest I have heard of, but then it only
projected 2 feet 6 inches beyond the column. Five feet is usually about
the largest, and is only used for very soft soils. When more than that
size they are unwieldy and very liable to be broken, and if the screws
are fixed to a shaft and have to be shipped they are awkward things,
and the freight becomes expensive. For hard soil, and that which will
not compress nicely, about 2 to 3 feet is large enough for the diameter
of the screw, and 3 to 5 feet for soft soils. The pitch of the screw is
generally from one-third to one-seventh of the outside diameter of the
blade. It varies according to the hardness and softness of the ground
and is steeper as it becomes harder. When the pitch is increased the
effect of the power applied to screw it is reduced, therefore the
steeper or greater the pitch the harder the screwing.

"Piles can be screwed with a small pitch when sufficient power cannot
be obtained to make a steep-pitched screw penetrate. Piles with a
single turn of the screw, it seems to me, are the best, although the
double-threaded screw may be right in soft marshy ground; but the
usefulness of a double thread is doubtful, for I believe it breaks up
the ground for no good, although some state that the screw threads work
in parallel lines, and that a double-threaded screw is steadier; for
they say a single-threaded pile is always likely to turn on the outside
edge of the blade, and that the double-threaded is not, as it has a lip
on both sides.

"Generally the screw has rather more than one entire turn round the
pile, and when it is below the ground each side of the blade steadies
the other, for the turns range from one to about two. Sometimes the
edge of the blade is notched like a saw; but it is a question whether
the saw-edge blade will screw into ground that an ordinary blade will
not, and until it is proved by experiment it can only be a matter of
opinion; but there is one thing to consider, a saw-cut edge blade may
to some extent wedge the soil between the teeth; still, I have used
them, and they penetrated thin limestone, chalk, and compact gravel
seams. Instead of double threads, double points are the thing, and all
screw piles should have a point of some kind. For soft ground, a single
gimlet, and a double for hard soils, and I have noticed what I call a
double gimlet point is best for keeping a pile in the required
position, as each point prevents the other departing from a correct
line. By points I mean the ends are spread out about 3 to 4 inches on
each side of the axis of pile like spiral cutters.

"Unless it is certain the ground is easy and uniform, a pile with a
screw having one turn to two turns for bearing purposes, and two,
three, or four solid inclined screw-threads projecting about
three-quarters of an inch with two end spiral cutters as just named, is
my desire, or in addition to the bearing blade a single-turn thread of
about 3 to 4 inches projection and the same kind of point; then unless
it will screw, none will. They are less trouble when cast in one piece
with the pile; but not for transport or shipping, or foreign work
generally, because to be able to detach the screws is an advantage in
many ways, such as packing, defects, breakages, carriage, and I think
the castings are better when the blade is not cast on the pile. It may
also happen that a rocky bed is unexpectedly encountered, then the pile
is useless with the screw, but might be fixed firmly in Portland cement
without the blade in a hole made in the rock. At the top of the screw
blade seat in which a pile has to be fixed there should be a
wrought-iron ring about half to three-quarters of an inch in thickness,
and not less than 2 inches in width, to relieve any strain on the
casting. It may be put on hot, so as to cool sufficiently tight but not
strain the casting. A firm and even bearing for the pile on the socket
seat is important, and it should fit accurately.

"I have heard of screw piles in which the blade was made of two or more
separate segments so as to obtain, it was supposed, equal pressure all
round, and to ease screwing, but rather fancy they might be inclined to
jam the ground, as they would be not unlike a lot of very large round
saw teeth. They may be right, but it has to be proved they will screw
where a plain blade will not, provided the latter pile has double
cutter-points to steady it.

"Give me a screw blade not more than about 2 feet from the points, and
not one with a blade 10 feet or so above the points and say from 5 to 6
feet in the ground, for then, should the screw work at all crooked and
the pile be not exactly upright at the commencement of screwing, it is
no easy task to get it to stand vertically upon applying the power,
because such piles are generally long and slender, and shift about
until the blade is screwed. They want careful and constant guidance. Of
course, the idea of placing the screw a little way down is that when
the ground bears as well at that place as at the point, and there is no
scour, it is no use putting the bearing blade lower. That is right; but
then it always occurs to me to ask what is the use of anything below
the bearing level if the foundation be protected from scour, for a thin
pile by itself has little lateral strength.

"Of course, you are bound to make out a pile requires a lot of screwing
or you will be considered as making too much profit, but always take
care to watch how the first pile screws, and measure the distance every
few minutes. What the ground is can then be judged, and you will be
able to think out things for 'extra' profit. It causes me a lot of
consideration sometimes, but after a struggle I generally manage to
think rightly for my pocket, and work it all serene. What a beautiful
sharpener of one's brain 'extras' are!

"It is not always an experimental pile is screwed so as to judge of
the distance the permanent piles should penetrate, and therefore a
guess has to be made from the experience of screw piles under the
same conditions of screwing and in the same soil. There is a good
deal of chance about it, for although the soil may be of the same
general character it often varies in hardness; and that is where the
bother is, for it makes the 'extras' to be wrong way about for some
time. What I do then is to work the oracle, and try to make out the
screw blades will be broken or injured for certain if I am compelled
to screw them as ordered, and I work on the proverb that equal
support is not to be obtained at a uniform depth when the ground
varies, which is true; and I state that the resistance is different
and offer to screw on, but say am afraid the blade may be broken, and
in that how-kind-I-am-to-consider-your-interests sort of way
generally manage to obtain a bit 'extra,' or save something that
would have been loss, and get the pile measured at once for a
making-up length, and really without damaging any one, for if the
ground is harder at one place than at another there is no occasion to
go so deep, always provided scour is not to be feared. So I am
pleased, and it does not hurt them.

"Now for a hint or two on screwing piles. I shall not refer to the
columns above the ground, but to the bearing piles below, i.e., the
part that has to be screwed into the ground. However, I will just say
that upon the top of some of the columns the usual hinged shoes of
bearing-blocks should be placed to receive the ends of the girders, and
by that means the pressure on the columns will be on the centre of the
pile, and allowance be made for expansion and contraction, and that is

"Fixed staging is far the best from which to screw piles, but the
chances must be considered of its being swept away by floods in a
river, or smashed by the sea, and on any exposed coast there may not be
time to construct it during the working season, so as to give a
sufficient number of days for screwing operations. When a fixed stage
cannot be erected, or the work be done from the end of a finished pier,
pontoons or rafts are then a makeshift, but care must be taken that
they do not break from the moorings. A couple of pontoons well braced
together will do with a space between them to screw the pile, but in a
steady or shallow river, perhaps making a timber stage upon the shore
and floating it out can be done if a centre pile is fixed on the bed of
the river to be certain it is in the right position when grounded. The
staging must be equally weighted to make it sink, and arrangements made
so that it can be floated away at any time if necessary.

"Piles can also be fixed in a medium depth of water by ordinary
gantries, but if they are in the sea the road on the staging should be
kept from 12 to 15 feet above high water on an open sea coast or the
inclined struts and ties and rail tops as well are very likely to be
destroyed, and it is also advisable to construct the flooring of the
stage so that it can be easily taken away in case of storms. The stage
piles also require to be well stiffened by struts, transoms, diagonals,
and capping sills. I have screwed piles from a floor that has been
suspended from staging by chains and ropes to the height wanted, and
when lowered it was fixed temporarily and as many guides as possible
were made for the piles. Perhaps as good a way as any is to fix, say
four guide piles having a space between them a shade larger than the
outside dimensions of the screw blade and braced to the rest of the
stage, and after the screw is in position and ready for screwing in the
ground, place, say a couple of frames, one at top and one as low as
possible between the guide piles, about an eighth of an inch more than
the outside dimension of the pile shaft, for then the pile is kept in
its right position as it is screwed. The guide frames should be at
about every 10 or 15 feet of the height above the ground, and at some
point between the capstan level and the ground. Should it be a tidal
river, fix guide booms if a properly made iron frame cannot be placed,
and remember the more a pile is guided the easier it is to screw, and
especially so at the start.

"The size and strength of the staging must be regulated according to
the power available for screwing the piles, but the length of the lever
arms and the capstan bars require a space in which to revolve, from,
say, 35 to 60 feet square. No timber stage is immovable, for the wood
yields. It is well to have two floors in a stage if it does not cost
too much, and there is plenty of tackle and a lot of screwing to do;
say, one fixed above high-water level and the other about half tide in
order to obtain double power, and sufficient power to screw the piles
cannot sometimes be otherwise secured. A word about floating stages.
With them it is not easy to make a pile screw vertically unless the
ground is uniform, and should a pile meet a boulder it will most
probably be forced out of position. According to the power
required--which really means the nature of the ground, as the harder
the soil the harder the screwing--the form of the pile and the depth to
which it has to be screwed, so must be the size and strength of the
raft, pontoon, or lighter, and the moorings must hold it tightly. In
some places a screw cannot be fixed from a floating stage, for the
water may nearly always be too disturbed, and the pontoons may sway too
much, for in all cases men, horses, or bullocks must have a steady
footing, and screwing machinery also requires a firm base. Unless the
moorings are very secure the platform will be unsteady. Its level
should be as little above the water as practicable for work, so as to
keep the point of resistance and that at which the screwing power is
applied as near together as possible, and the lower the pontoon the
less it rolls. It does not matter much what craft is used so long as it
is broad and steady and not high, as a platform or deck must be made
upon it in any case. To do any good with floating stages the power
required should be little, and the ground soft and uniform, for
sufficient force to screw may not be obtainable from a floating body,
and in hard soil it may only be possible to screw piles a little way
down and not to a sufficient depth for the load they will have to bear.

"Of course, vertical pile screwing is the easiest, and to try to screw
them at a greater angle than 63°, or about 1/2 to 1, is unadvisable,
and may not succeed, and even if they do it is too steep to be nice. 1
in 10 to 1 in 20 for raking piles is enough; for if they have to carry
girder ends, the more the batter the greater the strain on the pile,
and the same during screwing.

"Sometimes in loose soil it is difficult to start screwing, and then a
good plan is to cast some clay or solid earth round the pitch; it
steadies the pile and will probably make it bite properly, or a heavy
weight placed on the pile may make it catch hold of the ground; if not,
a few blows from a ram may do it. As a hollow pile penetrates, the core
requires to be removed, so as to help it to descend. If it is not large
enough for boys to get inside, scoops and tackle can be used. Water
forced down makes sand boil round the screw blade, and when the pile is
empty the unbalanced head of water outside relieves the pile and the
screw blade from some of the surface friction. If water pressure cannot
be used, the water inside the pile should be removed either by pumps or
buckets so as to help to loosen the ground.

"Piles do not generally screw to the full pitch, but when a pile
descends _more_ than the pitch at the last turn, it can be considered
the weight of the pile is too great for the ground. The slip usually
increases according to the yielding or plastic nature of the soil, and
the depth to which the pile is screwed. When water reaches such soils
the slip is increased, but not perceptibly in sand and loose grained
soils. Suppose the full pitch is 9 inches. The slip may be anything
from about 1 inch to as much as 4 inches. By watching the way in which
the screw penetrates, and whether it descends about the same distance
_each_ turn, or regularly decreases, it can be judged whether the bite
of the screw is right. Some slip will generally take place, therefore
note at first how much it is, and consider whether it will not churn up
the ground, for if the screw blade turns on nearly the same lines, the
bite will be gradually destroyed, and then it may be very difficult to
obtain a fresh hold of the ground, and the pile will most probably not
screw vertically, and the screw blade is liable to be injured and may
become worn away considerably.

"Piles can be screwed by means of men, horses, oxen, and machines.
Man-power can be used anywhere, machines in most places, but horses and
oxen only on land when the piles are screwed on a foreshore or between
tides; of course all live power works at the end of the capstan bars.
Once I had the option of screwing by horses or oxen, and chose oxen.
Another man had horses. I made more profit than he did, and the piles
screwed easier than his. I did not let him come near me when screwing;
but if you have the choice, use oxen in preference to horses. Of
course, I am speaking of those countries where they are used to the


"Because they do not stop at any time or back like horses, not even
when the resistance of the pile becomes too great without more power,
but continue to pull, and therefore backward motion of the pile is
prevented. The oxen were yoked to two cross-arms attached to the end of
the lever.

"There are several machines for screwing piles worked by steam or other
power, and when the ground is not easy to penetrate, and a large number
of piles have to be screwed, their cost will be saved in the
regularity, quickness, and ease in screwing, and in stiff soil by
machine power I have known them screwed at the rate of 4 to 6 inches
per minute. Of course, it is a special machine, and not easily sold
when not further wanted except at a much less price than has been paid
for it, and that has to be considered. There are several different
methods of screwing piles from a fixed stage; for instance, suppose a
pile of sufficient length and with the screw attached is brought to the
site by barge or otherwise, the capstan head is then fixed, and the
pile swung vertically over the pitch by sling-chains fastened to
temporary eye-bolts passing through the bolt-holes in the flanges or
otherwise, and is moved either by a jib crane, a derrick upon a raft,
or some such hoisting apparatus; it is lowered into its place between
the guide-piles or steadied by sling-chains or other means, then the
capstan bars are put into the sockets of the capstan head, which should
be at equal distances apart, and the pile is ready for screwing after
it is known that it is vertical.

"Where circumstances did not allow of room for capstan bars of
sufficient length for men to walk round, I have screwed piles by ropes,
but it will only do when the soil is easy to penetrate. The way we
worked was something like this, we had two endless ropes passing round
the ends of short capstan bars and round two double purchase crabs
placed upon opposite sides of the pile, about six or eight men worked
at each crab, four or five winding, and two or three hauling in the
slack, one rope being passed through a sufficiently deep upper slot in
the capstan bar end so that it did not slip, also one in the lower slot
same end. Both the taut and the slack ends of the lower and upper ropes
were attached each to its own crab. A man must be stationed at the end
of the capstan bars to put the slack ends of the taut and slack ropes
into the slots. One rope gives the capstan half a turn when it is taut,
and then it falls out of its slot and is slack, and so with the other
rope, but it is not easy to keep the two ends of the rope equally
tight, and the power obtained is not great and may not be sufficient.
It is a kind of makeshift."

"How do you fix the capstan head to the pile shaft?"

"In many different ways. Sometimes it is keyed on or clamped tightly to
the top of the pile length by steel wedges, also placed upon the pile
length and fixed by temporary bolts passing through the top flanges of
the pile length, and also by fixing a temporary ribbed pile into the
capstan head, and by connecting it with the permanent pile by bolts or
slots, and so wedging is not wanted and it can be raised and lowered.
Another way is, two of the internal sides of the pile at top are cast
flat for a foot or so down into which the capstan head fits, and the
inside diameter is lessened for an inch or two to prevent the capstan
head slipping down, but it generally can't do that, even without the
narrowing of the pile for that object.

"As the capstan is subject to great wear and tear and sudden strain, it
should be strong, for if it breaks the work is stopped. Wrought-iron
capstan heads are used, but cast-iron are perhaps better. Sometimes the
capstan sockets are made to fit the ends of rails, if rails instead of
timber are used for the capstan bars, but rail bars are rather heavy
and are not nice to handle. The capstan socket is generally made to
receive from eight to ten or more radial lever arms, and the lengths of
the bars are anything from 5 to 40 feet, but the latter is rather too
long as it is very difficult to control the strain and the bar usually
bends and springs. The best working lengths are from about 8 to 20
feet, if the staging is so large. The best height for the capstan bars
above the floor stage is from 3 feet 6 inches to 4 feet 6 inches. The
capstan bars have to be lifted and again fixed as the pile penetrates,
or a temporary pile of different length has to be fixed in it, unless
the capstan head can be slipped up and down on a ribbed pile, hence you
may want a platform you can raise or lower easily when required. If you
use double-headed rails of the same section top and bottom for the
bars, you can have them bent up a little near the capstan head, and
when you start, the bent end is lowest, and then the bars can be
reversed and so the work proceeds.

"Put the men, horses, or oxen in the most natural position for exerting
their full strength or a loss of power will result, and therefore it
will cost more to screw the piles.

"Should there be gantry staging on the site, the piles can be pitched
from a traverser, or by means of an ordinary crab winch. They can also
be screwed from the permanent structure by means of a projecting stage
temporarily fixed to it, and of a length sufficient to reach the next
span. The pile is run forward upon rollers and placed in the right
position. Then it is screwed on the endless rope system previously
described, or by passing the rope round a deep groove in the capstan
bar ends, and the rope is held tightly by being placed round a smaller
grooved pulley fixed about a hundred feet or so back towards the shore.
The men haul the endless rope and so the screwing is done. The worst of
screwing by endless ropes this way is that the pile very probably may
be pulled over towards the source of power as it comes from _one_
direction, therefore, support is required on the side of the pile to
prevent this tendency. The circumference of the ropes used varied from
4-1/2 to 6 inches, but I have used a 10 inch rope. Small ropes are
generally relatively stronger than large ones. Stretch a rope well
before using, as it yields, especially hemp ropes. The distance between
the point at which the power is applied, and the ground should be as
little as possible. In firm sand, when the power has been more than
about 20 to 25 feet above the ground, it is often very difficult to
screw piles by ordinary means to more than a small depth, as two places
in the pile are wanted from which to apply the screwing force, and both
as low down as convenient; but in screwing from a second stage care
should be taken that the pile shaft is not bent, for it may then be
strained like a girder and not merely as a column, also when much power
to screw is required it is not easy to avoid pulling them out of the
vertical. Always screw them steadily and prevent jerking. Any
obstruction, such as a boulder, tends to displace a pile, and loosens
the ground around it. In soft soils it may be possible to pull piles
upright by pushing aside an obstruction if the pile is given a turn or
two after meeting it and before pulling; but it must be carefully done,
or the pile may be smashed, and it is only safe to pull it over in easy
soils and when much force is not required."

"How much power is generally wanted for screwing?"

"That is not so easily answered as asked. It varies very much, and, of
course, depends upon the kind of soil and the size and pitch of the
screw. Ten men may be sufficient and a single stage, but two stages may
be necessary should the pile be 50 or 60 feet in length, and then not
far from one hundred men. An engineer told me the force generally
required for piles of usual sizes under ordinary screwing circumstances
varies from about 8 to 10 tons to as much as 50 tons, and usually from
about 10 to 25 tons, and, of course, the number of men to screw in

"Ordinary piles and screws have gone down 21 feet in sand in eight
hours, and by steam machinery in clay at the rate of 6 inches per
minute, and also, to my loss only about 1 foot in a day--and then it is
time to stop altogether, should many piles hold like that. To compare
what has been done with what has to be done is misleading unless the
conditions are alike, for if they are otherwise the power required,
cost, and rate of screwing will all be different. I have screwed a
6-inch pile with a 2-feet one-turn screw into 20 feet of ordinary sand
with an applied power of 30 tons as calculated by an engineer from
measurements and the force of men applied at the capstan bars. There is
the surface friction on the screw blade and the pile shaft in the
ground, the cutting of the earth by the edge of the blade and the
points, and the loss of power from torsion and that applied compared
with the effective force, slip, friction, &c., to consider; and the
relative surface of the blades, width, and thickness of the cutting
edge and the pitch--for a steep pitch means harder screwing. By using
capstan bars and men at them, instead of ropes at the ends of the arms
worked by crabs, you will find about one-fifth more power is gained, or
rather is not lost. Of course, place the men as near to the end of the
capstan bar as convenient for work. My lecture is finished, and I am



Arrangement--Driving--Sinking by Water-jet.

"Tell me what you have learned about iron pile fixing, same as you have
promised me you will about timber piles."

"Very well. Here goes, then; first a word as to iron piles generally.

"Although a group of piles when properly strutted, tied, and braced
have plenty of stiffness, if you have to deal with them singly they are
never stiff, but they can be made steadier when getting them down by
having two large pieces of wood with a half hole in them, something
like the shape of the old village stocks, and by putting or lowering it
at low water until it is bedded in the ground. It must be weighted
though, so as to prevent it floating. It acts like a waling, and is
useful when the ground is treacherous, and provided it is level.

"From watching the behaviour of piles when doing repairs and at other
times, I think it wants a lot of careful arrangement to be sure the
load is acting equally on the whole group, or, as may be intended, on
say a few piles, and straight down the centre of each pile, for it
makes a lot of difference to the strain on them, and it is not easy to
make them all take the load at once as wished. It wants a good deal of
attention, and the piles are not unlike a pair of horses that are not
matched and don't work together properly--kind of now me, now you
business. Before finishing reference to driving and screwing, let me
say all the parts should be properly fitted together at the works and
numbered so that the putting up on the ground is easier and in order to
be certain all the bolt-holes agree; and it is well to have the lengths
interchangeable and all the same, except the making-up pieces, and all
bolt-holes as well as the flanges should fit in every respect.

"When columns rest on a masonry, brickwork, or concrete base the piles
ought to have a ring or base-plate right round them to hold them
tightly together. It lessens the pier being shaken, and saves the side
pushing of the holding-down bolts. I heard an engineer say the weight
of the pier above their ends should be not less than about four times
any force that might tend to lift them. The anchor-plates should be
well bedded upon a solid mass or the strain upon the pier may go in one
direction, and that the one not wanted. Don't be afraid of bracing and
strutting piles, the more of it the better. I don't think much of a
single turn of a screw blade a few feet below the ground for taking a
load, although some good for steadying purposes generally, because the
bed may become scoured out below the blade and then the screw is no
use. Therefore the depth of possible scour ought to be positively known
before relying upon the blade for permanent support. A lot can be said
as to the grouping of piles, whether in triangles or in rows. In a
triangle, although the load upon the foundations is spread over a
larger area, it does not give as much lateral strength as when the
piles are placed in one row, and taking everything into consideration I
think if I had six piles to put down I should not place one at the top
of a triangle, two lower down, and three at the base, but have two
parallel rows of three piles; besides it lessens the length of the
struts and the bracing, and that is something, but, of course, each
case requires to be treated in a special way, and I have noticed when
doing repairs that if there are six piles fixed thus, [Illustration] in
a triangle, the wind and other force acts principally upon the bracing
between the parallel rows, and the pile at the point does not do much
towards keeping the others in the right place; anyhow the bracing there
does not seem to hold as tightly as it does between the parallel rows,
and I have had to watch groups of them in storms, and when the sea has
been high, and that is my opinion."

"Now, as to fixing iron piles."

"When the ends have to be placed in rock, which has sometimes to be
done in shore pieces, 'jumping' the holes in more than about 2 feet of
water is to be avoided, for if the water is not still the holes become
filled with sand and drift, and you must not take the jumper out but
keep on continuously making the hole. It is ticklish business, because
sometimes the rock grinds the jumper, and then the wings and point wear
away. Occasionally they have to be worked inside a cylinder by ropes,
rods, and gearing fixed in it, the cylinder being movable and held from
the end of the part of the pier that is finished, but where the water
is deep the ends must be put in the rock in Portland cement by divers.

"I have driven a good many iron piles with a ram, but you have to be
careful, no matter whether the soil is sand, gravel, clay, or silt. I
like a copper ring on the head of the iron pile and a good long timber
'dolly,' not less than 4 or 5 feet in length, and then the ram does not
burst the top. When the ground is hard the best way is to make a hole
by jumpers of about 3 inches less diameter than the pile to be fixed,
and in chalk soil it is doubtful whether they will go down right unless
that is done; perhaps they won't drive at all, or a lot of them will be
broken. I have used a ram weighing from 1 to 1-1/2 ton for an 8 to a 10
inch pile and about a 3-feet fall, and never more than 4 feet, unless
you want to deal with some old metal merchant that will give a good
price for the scrap, and it does not matter how many get broken, or it
is a positive advantage to break a certain quantity out of every lot,
so as to have a big price for such difficult driving, and get 'extras'
that way."

"I understand, no breakages deducted."

"That's it. I have driven them at the rate of fully 6 inches a minute
for a few feet. They often rebound, so I had a boy with a lever, the
end of it being clinched to the pile. Directly the ram fell, he gave
the pile from quarter to half a turn for the first 4 or 5 feet of
driving, and they scarcely rebounded at all; and he earned his wages,
for I considered fully one pile extra was got down out of about every
ten by the turning movement. The points require to be regulated
according to the ground. From 1-1/2 to twice the diameter or width for
the length of the point is about right, but if it is made too sharp it
may break. Iron piles that have to be driven are seldom more than 12
inches in width, and the thickness of the metal is generally from
one-ninth to one-twelfth of the diameter. I heard an engineer say, I
think it was Mr. Cubitt, experiments showed that a T-shaped cast-iron
pile about 30 feet in length, should have the top of the T two and a
quarter times the length of the upright part, and the thickness a
twelfth of the top. Of course, the length of the pile must be
considered. I doubt if you can get equally sound metal throughout when
the thickness is much more than 2-1/2 inches. From 3/4 to 1-1/2 inch is
best, and piles I have broken up always seemed more even throughout
about those thicknesses; but there, I suppose it is all a question of
care in casting and proper machinery.

"One thing, don't drive any piles from a floating stage on the sea if
you can help it, it will make you pay for the privilege; besides I have
known some places where the sea was always so disturbed it could not be
done, even if the moorings were as tight as you dare make them. Driven
iron piles are not much seen now, and Portland cement concrete seems
the fashion, and no doubt it is better. Still, iron piles can be driven
in deep water without much trouble from it, and one might combine the
two nicely--the iron to act as a shield to the concrete while
depositing it, and give it time to set without disturbance and preserve
the face."

"Have you sunk any disc piles?"

"Yes, they are all right for fine sand and silt, but you must be
careful the discs are the same in form and dimensions upon all sides,
or a pile will almost certainly tilt and sink crookedly. I was busy on
the Lancashire coast once, and heard that Mr., now Sir James Brunlees,
tried a lot of different kinds of hollow disc piles, and that the best
was one with a plain flange base three times the diameter of the pile,
and circular, with the bottom nearly closed, it only having a hole in
it in the centre of the base 3 inches in diameter. Some ribs and
cutters were cast on the bottom of the disc to break the ground up if
it was hard. This is what I know about disc piles and have been put up

"When piles have to be sunk by water pressure, rotate the pile, and
don't let it be still long, so as to lessen or prevent surface friction
on the pile shaft and the sand settling round it. Always have circular
discs and not too large, not above 3 feet in diameter, for they do not
sink nearly so easily as the size of the disc is increased. About 2
feet discs are my choice as they go down much quicker than 2 feet 6
inches or 3 feet.

"Don't try to sink them in sand to a greater depth than 18 to 20 feet,
and remember that although they may sink easily for about 12 or 15
feet, afterwards they will want some labour. When you have finished
sinking piles with the water-jet, it is best to drive them down an inch
or two further by a heavy ram and a very small fall, or heavily weight
them as soon as possible after having done with the jet; then the disc
has a bearing on firm and undisturbed ground, and if you are afraid of
a blow on the pile you can have a heavy weight placed on it to help it
into position and the sand to become solid. Obtain considerable
pressure of water, and always cause the pile to rotate when sinking.
Don't let the pressure get much below 40 lbs. per square inch, and use
about 60 lbs. if you can get it. I have worked up to 100 lbs. per
square inch but not beyond, and fancy there is then too much pressure,
and that more sand is disturbed than is necessary. All that is wanted
is to make the sand boil and remove itself from the underside of the
pile and disc, but always have a few ribs or cutters on the underside
of the disc as they loosen the sand as the pile is rotated--besides,
should there be a strip of harder soil, it may be impossible to sink
the pile without them. A rather large tube and a moderate pressure are
best, and a tube not less than about 2 to 4 inches in diameter
according to the size of the pile, and it is better from 3 to 6 inches,
of course, if the pressure is high a larger size jet can be used, but
if it is less than 2 inches it will only make a small hole, and too
much below the disc, and not enough water passes through it. Try to
ascertain what pressure of water makes the piles sink the easiest.
Sometimes they will go down at the start as much as 3 feet in a minute,
and often 2 feet, and from that to 1 foot they should do for about the
first 6 or 8 feet in sand, but then the rate quickly decreases. The
nozzle should be properly shaped so that the jet is whole. I mean the
shape of the pipe at the place where it touches the sand. What is
wanted is to get just enough force to cause the sand to separate and
boil and to push it away from the disc and no further, or some of the
water power is wasted, therefore a good volume of water is as necessary
as a high pressure. You understand?"


"The tube should project about 6 inches below the bottom of the disc. A
toothed tube can be fixed round it so as to help to disturb the ground
and strengthen the pipe. The water supply may perhaps be obtained at a
sufficient pressure from the local water-works company, then, probably,
a force pump will not be required, but the pressure that can always be
relied upon should be known.

"In sand, and when the water power can be easily obtained, I prefer
disc piles to screw piles, because there is hardly any chance of
breaking or injuring the disc; you always know where the disc is, but
cannot positively say where the screw is--it may be sound and may not
be; in addition, the disc is stronger than a screw blade, as it can be
strengthened by ribs almost as much as one likes, and the disc in
sinking is hardly strained at all compared with a screw pile. They can
be sunk quicker, and do not require nearly as much plant to do it, for
when you have a force pump, a guide frame--something like an ordinary
pile-driving machine 25 or 30 feet in height, with a grooved pulley at
top in which the chain or rope runs so that one end can be attached to
the pile flange either by jaws or temporary bolts, and the other to a
crab winch, which, with the guide frame, is used for lowering and
keeping the pile in position, and stay the top of the guide frame by
ropes to short piles driven into the ground--and a hose and two levers,
with a collar to grasp the pile so as to rotate it, you have about all
the _special_ plant that is wanted.

"Of course, piles can be sunk by water pressure from a floating stage
such as a barge, pontoon, or raft, so long as the pile is kept
vertical, but there are the same objections to that method as with
other piles. Piles are, however, got down much quicker and easier by
the water jet than by screwing or driving, but the ground must be loose
granular soil, such as ordinary sand.

"There is not much 'extra' to be got out of iron piles. You can only
dodge a bit with a length short now and then when you have the right
parties to work with, and the inspector is cross-eyed or a star-gazer,
but you may get something 'extra' out of the filling them in. As usual
I draw the line somewhere. Everything on earth has a boundary line.
This is where I draw it. Listen!

"After as much water as possible--possible is a nice elastic word--is
got out of the pile, and it is as clear of deposit as convenient--another
nice easy word--and before commencing the filling, I put inside the
pile everything I can get hold of that is dry, for just then I have but
one way of looking at anything, and that is to consider it Portland
cement concrete, unless it costs me more to use it; but when the
filling is concrete, I make that as dry as mixing will allow, and
sometimes hardly that. The inside of the pile is sure to be wet, and
that will help the mixing. I never ram the concrete, but gently cast it
in. It is only a sort of anti-rust covering, and is put in for that and
to keep water out, and no weight comes upon it--it is not like the
hearting of cylinder bridge piers. Ramming the concrete is not far from
being a mistake, because the pile should have a chance of contracting
without straining, and may be it will crack; and it is just as well to
remember that although by ramming tightly you may get more solid
filling and better protect the inside from rust, the pile may be
strained, and it is a choice of evils, possible rust, or strain."



General Consideration.

"Now, as promised, I will tell you of a little bit of free trade with
some timber pilework."

"That's it. I am waiting for it."

"Well, they let me have 400 feet run of pile-driving. Double row of 16
to 12 inch piles, and there were some fine sticks nearly 55 feet long,
and that is a long length for a sound pile, and you have to pay for

"Before you begin to tell me how you scamped it, give me a hint or two
about piling, and say what you have learned from experience."

"All right. First, when a pile is some distance below the bottom
waling, which should be fixed as low as possible, a lot must be taken
for granted, and it cannot be controlled much. I know this from drawing
many piles; hundreds, I may say. After they are down about 5 or 6 feet
they begin to do as they like, and take to irregular habits, and you
cannot be certain the points are straight unless the ground is the same
throughout, and it hardly ever is. In fact, the resistance they meet
with varies, and then they accommodate themselves to circumstances; and
even when the ground is very soft they turn to the line of least
resistance, and if they have to be driven through several feet of soft
earth to reach the solid, they may play tricks and bend about in the
soft soil in go-as-you-please style, yet seem to be driving nicely; or
they may stick between boulders and can't be driven further and appear
to be firm as a rock, and so they may be as long as the boulders do not
move, but they often do after a time, should the ground become wet, and
sometimes when the next pile is being driven.

"Always be careful to see that the shoe has as large a bearing as
possible for the end of the pile, and is long in the point, and more
pointed as the soil is harder. Take a 12-inch pile with a 4-inch or so
seat in the shoe for the stick. Well, 12 by 12 is 144, and 4 by 4 is
16, and therefore the pile end has a bearing area upon the pile shoe of
one-ninth of the area of the pile. No wonder the bottom often becomes
ragged and the pile shifts. The shoe should have a good hold of the
timber, and be put on true to a hair, so that the point is in the exact
centre line of the pile, or look out for squalls. Now high falls and
light monkeys are out of fashion, and short falls and heavy monkeys are
the thing, not so many piles are injured. Pushing them down is better
than breaking them to bits. You should have the monkey so that its
centre falls upon the centre line of the pile. The average centre of
the pile should be marked on as exact as possible, and the end of the
pile be cut to a template, so as to make it fit tightly to the shoe, or
it may not drive straightly. I always take a lot of trouble that way
and seldom have to draw a ragged one, and believe they used to drive
straight. I mean from start to finish about the same number of blows
and to the same depth and vertically.

"When hand-driving in soft earth--it's slow business at the
best--weight the pile when the monkey is being lifted so as to stop the
quivering and press it down and keep it from springing. Provided the
work was of importance, and I was the Cæsar of it, before any pile was
pitched ready for driving it should be inspected, its dimensions taken,
it should be numbered, numbers be burnt in, and every foot from top to
bottom should be marked on by a brand; and perhaps the numbers should
begin at the bottom and work up, as there is not so much chance to
tamper with two figures as with one, &c.

"Pile-driving is fickle work, for sometimes the piles stick because the
points can't pierce the earth, and at others because they are held by
friction on the surface of the piles. I have known the shoe to be cast,
and the pile end look like a bass broom, and to be all in shreds. When
piles split a great deal and they must be driven, the best thing to do
is to get harder wood, lessen the fall and increase the weight of the
monkey; same as in tunnel lining, when stock bricks are crushed, blue
bricks have to be put in. The nature of the ground should govern the
hardness of the wood for piles. I always pick out darkish even-coloured
wood, and sniff for the resin, and the more in it the better for me.
You don't catch me driving many white wood piles, for they become dry
and break off short, and are not the timber for piles. Once a bother
arose about some piles. There was a layer of hard gravel, and by the
way the piles were driving I knew they would split, so I gave the word
that Memel piles were not hard enough for such gravel; and I worked it
humble like, and said to the engineer, 'I think you will agree, sir,
you can't expect me to be answerable for smashing them until we get
into the soft ground again. It wants rock elm or as strong timber for
this soil.' After smashing a few to shreds, they supplied us with rock
elm piles, and then we managed. It is true to say in the same soil the
harder the pile the better it will drive, and therefore with less
trouble and expense. The monkey should have an even widened-out base
where it touches the pile head, so as to get the weight as near the
head of the pile as possible; it also falls straighter than the long
thin rams of nearly the same width throughout. Grease the ways well,
and take care they are as straight as a die, and exactly vertical if it
is upright pile-driving, and you'll save money. Make the blows quickly
in fine-grained soil, so that it has not time to settle round the pile.
In clay there is no occasion for such quick-driving, but take care to
prevent the piles rebounding. Remember the same system does not do for
every soil, for quick driving in hard soil sometimes smashes the piles;
perhaps the earth has not had time to become displaced nicely and
settle before being jammed again, and then the pile point turns and
quivers and soon shreds, and cannot be driven down properly. Anyone
that says piles make the ground itself firmer when they are driven into
it, and so cause it to support a heavier load, will have to prove it
before that can be swallowed. It is the friction on the sides of the
piles that principally sustains them and not the bearing of the points.
In hard soils drive slowly, for it is like chipping up a stone with a
hammer. You must do it gently, or it will break the tool; and as you
can't clear out the hole in driving piles, it seems to me time is
required instead, so that the pressed out soil may settle away and take
a bearing. I tricked a chap once pile-driving from a barge."

"How did you do it?"

"Well, it was bound to be driving from a barge or nothing, and there
were three pile-drivers for us, almost as many as we could work, as the
driving had to be done by degrees. Some of the work was let to a chap I
did not like too much, and the rest to me. They gave me the choice of
plant, so I said to the engineer, 'May I have two of the pile-drivers
upon my barge, as Faggitts'--that was the other chap's name--'only
wants one.' I got the two. Now Faggitts knew about driving piles on
land, but had never done any driving from a barge, so I had a bit in
hand of him. If you take any pile-driving and it has to be done from a
barge, have more than one pile-driver on it if you have the chance; but
don't place them close together, make one steady the other, and have as
many as you can conveniently work at once; because, in my experience,
the more you have the less the swaying, and the piles drive more
regularly and the barge is steadier, and you don't have so much bother
with the moorings. Of course, if the monkey does not fall flat upon the
pile head the pile does not receive the full force of the blow in the
right direction, the pile may be driven slightly crooked and it does
not get properly treated and won't penetrate so easily, and therefore
you lose money. Old Faggitts found that out in the soft soil we were
driving them into. I said nothing to him, but he did to me. I never
told him.

"I have read somewhere that it is wearying work going into details, but
when you have to do the work yourself, unless you take care of the
details you'll find they will make it hot for you; and after all, any
one can speak generally, but when they have to explain in detail what
they think they mean, and have to do the work themselves, they will
soon find out that unless you know the details and attend to them
carefully, that you won't make a profit nor anyone else. Anybody can
talk tallish after about a fortnight's training, but then they have to
pull up or they will fall at the next fence, which I label 'details
wanted.' That's by the way, and I may have made it too strong, but it
is as well to sound your engineer. No general is successful unless he
knows the strength of his enemy and as much more about him as he can,
and acts accordingly, and chooses his own time and place for a battle.

"Driving piles in groups, especially if the ground is soft, and not
singly, is good. They go down more regularly and fit tighter, and they
seem to drive quicker. I have driven cheap fir piles between elm piles
that way, and a good many of the soft ones split when we had to drive
them singly. Have as few key piles as possible, because they are liable
to be jammed before they are down to the right depth, and then, if it
is a cofferdam, it is probable a leak will occur under the key pile,
because it is the easiest place for the water to soak through, and the
other piles being down below it, stop the flow, and it soon finds out
the short-driven key pile. When I notice a spot in a cofferdam at which
water leaks through the bottom, unless it is an old stream bed, it
occurs to me that the piles have not gone down properly, have got
bruised, bent, turned up, or broken off, and I have found out that was
the case on drawing them when the cofferdam was of no further use. Once
I was ordered to drive some three-cornered piles at the turns in a
cofferdam on a river front, but said, 'Square or circular shall be
driven, but any other shape I will try to get down properly, provided
they are carefully fitted and bevelled, but you really can't expect me
to be answerable.' They deducted a fixed amount if after the piles were
pitched there were more than a certain number visibly damaged or
smashed, so you may depend I had a good look at the sticks before they
were driven.

"I have driven piles 60 feet in length, kind of giant sticks, but 45 to
50 feet is long enough for good sound piles. Socket pile driving
piecework I avoid, for the joints are ticklish business; and if a pile
of ordinary length will not do, I throw out a mild hint whether the
better system to use would not be Indian brick or concrete wells, or to
spread out the foundations so as to get a sufficiently large bearing,
or have a fascine platform, and sink it till it is firm, and test its
stability properly by a load.

"There is a great deal in starting the driving correctly. I always am
very careful at the start, and experiment and watch how the piles
drive, and vary the fall a little until the best is known. Few
considerable stretches of ground are of the same kind, and to fix a
certain fall throughout is not the thing, it generally wants varying. I
have easily driven piles in fine sand by having two small pipes, one
each back and front, reaching a few inches below the point of the pile,
and sending water down them under pressure, and by keeping the pipes on
the move so that they can't be gripped. I worked out with the pipes the
place where the pile had to be pitched and made a profit that way,
because not only did the piles go down much quicker, and a lot of blows
were therefore saved, but the piles were easier to start right. I used
to call my two pipes the two bobbies, because they steered straight for
their station, and these two did the same office for the piles.

"Now a word as to systems of driving; the method must suit the ground.
I knew a man that believed in nothing but driving by gunpowder; he must
have been going in strong for gunpowder tea, or have been in the
militia, for the soil he had to do with was not homogeneous, and had
boulders and other hard obstructions in it. It was not like soft sand
and clay, consequently many of the piles were broken. The noise also
was a nuisance in the dock, and cattle that had to be unshipped from
the steamers were so unruly that they had to stop the gunpowder
pile-drivers; besides, to do much good with them, a large charge is
required, or it costs too much. The power necessary to work the
machines is better obtained by other means, and can be without so much
noise or shock.

"I have used all sorts and sizes of monkeys, from half a hundredweight
to four tons, but heavy rams and short falls are the best, and steam
for the power if the contract is considerable and will pay for such
plant; otherwise hand, unless the piles are large and have to be driven
a long way. A sixteen hundredweight monkey is about heavy enough to
work nicely by hand, but it is not sufficiently heavy for a 12-inch
pile, except in soft ground. For sheet piles a hand machine is good
enough, for it can be moved easily, and six to eight tons weight, being
about that of a steam pile-driver, costs something to shift, unless
there are rails and tackle handy. Of course the blows are quicker with
a steam pile-driver, and in sand that is a great point as the ground
has no time to settle round a pile; but should the soil vary and be
hard and soft, it is well to slow down the machine at first to lessen
the fear of smashing the piles and shaking them till they tremble to
destruction. I have worked a lot of different kinds of plant, and
driven many piles at once, and the power was obtained from one engine
giving the motion by driving bands, and in another case with drums
fixed on the engine shafts, the chains being carried over sheaves to
the different pile engines.

"This is my idea of pile-driving:--

"1. Steam driving. 2. Hand driving, if the piles must be driven very
slowly, and there are not many to drive. 3. Never use gunpowder
pile-drivers, always prefer steam, hydraulic, atmospheric, or some
other motive power.

"Gunpowder is more for blowing up than anything else, in my opinion,
and I know the pile shoes often shed in driving with it; that is, they
loose their hold of the piles and become detached.

"A pile should penetrate regularly, and after the first few blows drive
less and less, as then you have a good idea it is all right and
uninjured. Uneven penetration is a proof that piles are not all right,
and when they sink suddenly there is almost sure to be something wrong,
and they are most likely being over-driven, shredded, frayed,
shoe-cast, or split up. The rate of descent should be noted. It may be
considered they are driving properly if they sink about a foot at a
blow for the first one or more, and then 8 or 6 inches, and when they
get down to one-eighth, one-fourth, or half-an-inch a blow for some
successive blows it is time to stop and consider. I have driven piles
with as few as ten blows in sand with the aid of two water pipes at
work fore and aft, as mentioned before, and have had to give a pile as
many as 300 blows, and when they want as many as that, with all due
deference to everyone, the ground is firm enough to build upon for
permanent foundations without piles. My experience goes to show that
piles are often driven further than they need be, if only for use as a
cofferdam, and that back struts and counterforts are better than extra
depth in the ground, provided leakage is prevented. 8 to 10 feet down
for solid clay, 10 to 12 feet in gravel, and about 15 feet for ordinary
soils, and more care taken to ascertain the piles are where they should
be, and that they are sound and whole, and not turned aside, bulged,
and injured, would be my practice. In boulder ground, in my opinion,
piles should not be adopted; for broken, crushed, and twisted fibre
bass-broom shreds are not piles; they are out of place and should be
used for clearing leaves from garden walks. The longer the piles the
softer should be the ground they have to be driven into, or they shake
so much, and cost more to drive.

"Unless always well buried and at such a depth that neither the
moistness nor condition of the earth vary, I scarcely believe in timber
pile foundations at all, except in very peculiar cases, and as a kind
of aid to the main support or to help to prevent the toe of a wall from
being thrust forward, but for cofferdams, jetties, piers, and such
structures, of course they are useful. In hard and most gravelly soil
avoid them, and also in sharp sand, if you cannot use the
previously-mentioned water-pipe arrangement fore and aft; and although
in ordinary clays they drive nicely, and you make a bigger profit than
in sand, it puzzles me to discern what is the use of them for permanent
foundations, except to help to prevent a wall sliding forward, because
when a pile is driven into most clays the clay becomes tempered and
softer, and a layer of concrete put in a proper distance down is better
and much more certain, and distributes the load more equally. Elastic
soil is bad in which to drive piles, for it yields and then rebounds. A
pile will sometimes spring back almost as much as it is driven, and in
such a case it is well to let the ram or monkey rest on the pile
immediately after the blow is given, if you are hand-driving, or have
an arrangement so that it is weighted directly each blow is delivered,
and perhaps the best way is to hang heavy weights on the pile. In
driving in firm sand the ground at the surface becomes considerably
displaced, in clay about half as much as in sand.

"Pile-driving is different to masonry, and I always read the
specification for pile work, and then judge whether and how a bit
'extra' is to be obtained, and guess as to the knowledge of those I
have to deal with, and act accordingly. Sometimes a specification
simply says all the piles are to be driven to the same depth or as
shown on the drawings. That may be right should the ground have been
tested by experimental driving, or the nature of it be known; but if
not, I don't take much notice of the specification, because I hate
waste, and can't afford the luxury; and it stands to reason that simply
because a lot of piles are driven to the same depth they are not
equally firm, nor will they support the same load unless the soil is
exactly the same, and they drive well and regularly to the same depth
and all nearly alike inches by inches, and this seldom occurs. Often
'extra' profit is to be had, as you will soon hear described, for when
piles will not drive further than half or a quarter of an inch a blow
they satisfy me they are tight enough for the purpose intended if they
are at a fair depth and not wedged by boulders; but between ourselves,
should a building of any kind have to be erected on piles, and anyone I
really cared about had to live in it, I should always weight the piles
for as long a time as possible after finishing the driving and
reasonably more than the permanent load, watch the effects, and act
accordingly, particularly in elastic soil.

"Remember a pile sinks less after it has rested than if it be driven
continuously, therefore always take note of the set when the driving is
proceeding, and not just at the start, or after an interval, although
one does that for one's own benefit, and with a view to 'extras'; and
no one wants to drive a pile an inch more than can be helped--at least
I don't, nor have I, and it is certain never shall.

"You want to know when to stop driving. The time has arrived when a
pile penetrates very little, and nearly equal for several successive
blows of the heaviest ram by which it has been driven at the usual

"A word as to tie and sheet piles before referring to the way I have
worked piles for 'extra' profit. It is difficult to make a main pile
and a tie act together, one or the other is nearly sure to have to bear
more than its proper strain, and the tie rod becomes eaten by rust,
bent, and loose in the piles. In taking down old banks and quays you
will generally find the main pile and the tie pile are not held tightly
by the tie rod, the tie pile is loose or pulled over, perhaps when
first strained, and then becomes disengaged when the main pile has set
to the strain. The tie rods want to be very carefully and frequently
adjusted, if possible, and big washers and cleats on them are required.
They hold best in firm sand, not so well in clay, and in large light
loose soil, such as ashes, they are not much good. It is an impotent
arrangement and it is always uncertain whether they will act together.
Don't undertake to tighten up the rods. Fix the piles, and let the
engineer see to the tightening up, as you may injure the piles.

"When I have to drive a lot of sheet piles, of course the piles are
supplied to me, and I only take the driving. You may be sure the timber
is right, and that the edges are sawn square so as to drive tightly
together, and that the point is in order. I find it always pays well to
temporarily place a baulk at the ground line like a waling, but not
fixed to the sheet piling, as it guides the piles, lessens the shaking,
and they drive easier and better. It appears to me piles cannot vibrate
without force, and that is not where it is wanted, so it is wasted
motion. Agitation when drawing piles is all right, but when you are
driving you want it in the ground itself, and not in the piles. Once
when I had to drive some thin sheet piles, I made a movable guide
frame, the side against the sheet piling being planed and greased. It
was like one bay of a timber-lattice bridge, and it well paid for
itself as it steadied the piles.

"In taking a contract for drawing piles always find out how long the
piles have been driven, for if they have been down many years they will
be much harder to draw than if they have only been fixed a few months.
They can be drawn by lever, hydraulic jack, and chains, and pontoons in
a tide way."



Manipulation for "Extra" Profit.

"Now, I'll tell you about a bit of 'extra' dodging that rather scared
me. First, let me say, no one can ever know how much I hate waste--it
can't be measured."

"You and me are alike, a couple of turtle doves on that question."

"We are. Finish up, and we will have another. I remember Lord
Palmerston said, dirt was matter out of place, or something like that.
Now I think piles are often good timber out of place, so I followed
that lesson and said to myself 'What a lot of good timber is going to
be buried; and really it is breaking and loosening the ground too much
to please me, and that's a mistake, besides placing extra weight on
it'; so after dwelling on the subject as much as suited me, I decided
it was waste, and that it was poison to me. I had trouble on my mind
about it and it made me feel thirsty and does now. Pour another out."

"There you are."

"I'm better now. Well, I wrestled over the waste question some time,
and finally made up my mind not to be a party to it, it being against
my principles, and, like us all, no man shall make me swerve from them,
especially when they agree with my pocket."

"Certainly; shake hands. That is good!"

"Well, there was only one way to do it, so in order that every one
might have their way to a certain extent I decided to drive first one
pile to the depth as ordered and one to the depth that suited me, and
therefore both parties were satisfied and believed they had got what
they wanted; for while I left the other man, that is the
engineer--excuse the disrespect--to his happy thoughts, I descended to
simple practice in a way very comforting to me. Knowing it is not every
pile which is driven that drives whole, or is according to drawing,
many often being twisted and knocked to shreds--although I have seen
them driven through a layer of old brickwork, and whole, too--and that
there is a lot of uncertainty about them in some ground, I dwelt on the
matter, and came to the conclusion that according to the drawings every
other pile would be driven about 3 to 4 feet too far down, and that all
concerned hardly agreed upon the depth to which all of them should be
driven, and that I was the chief one to be considered; so I cut off a
few feet of the top of nearly every other pile, and varied the length
according to whether the pile happened to drive hardly or went down


"Somehow or other the ground seemed really grateful to me, for more of
the piles were cut off than I originally intended. They must have
passed the tip--may be the worms did it; anyhow the ground, after a few
had been driven, seemed to become harder, and we had more sawing to do
than ever. I like sawing. You see your work, and all is above board and
nothing hidden and no deception. Suits our principles. Now, you are
like me, you don't wish to disturb other people's minds, we are built
on the lines of love too much, and tenderness is better than anger any

"That's it. I consider you were doing a kindness all round, or as near
to it as makes no difference!"

"Well, in order not to disturb any one, it took some thinking over as
to the best time to ease off the tops. I mean cut the heads off and put
the rings on again, and give the tops a properly seasoned appearance. I
used to call it put their hair right. Now, you know docks are not like
railway works, for the men are nearly all at one place; here we were in
the middle of a large town, but you'll excuse my naming the place, I am
too polite to do such a thing without permission. No one was about at
dinner time, for all the chaps passed the gates. The place where my
work was was shut in nicely, and as there was always a row going on
from the traffic close by on road and river, and loading and unloading,
it was a really nice little home in which to do a bit of

"I understand; a convenient spot for scientific experiments in saving
labour and the waste of good material."

"That's the lesson. I found dinner time was the best after a week's
scouting, and that the road was clear as daylight, for all the spies
were away, and there was only one that ever hung about, and he was a
young engineer just come to the docks straight from Westminster. He was
a nice sort of chap, and a smart one, and had the kind of face a girl
looks fond upon from what I have noticed of their tricks. Of course, he
did not know much of actual work, being a new pupil, I heard. By the
way, what a lot of pupils to be sure some engineers turn out. I almost
fancy a few of them must make as much from the schooling branch of the
profession as they do from work; but let them, it is nothing to do with
me, but this pupil I can say was no fool, though, the same as all new
hands, the work was a novelty to him, like a new toy to a child.

"Now, the only thing to interfere with the 'extra' business as
described was this pupil, so I decided to fix his attention, if I
could, in another direction, and sweetly, so thought it out, and said
to myself, 'You have had more difficult things to steer through than
this--rather hotter, I fancy.'

"It so happened, just then, they had pulled down an old tavern, and
built on the site a showy crib with balcony overlooking the river, and
they had a lot of relics on view, and two nicish girls were there. Good
figures, you know, and fairly on; so I made myself particularly
gracious to Mr. Pupil and pointed out, submissive to his superior
knowledge like, a few things on the work. Then the plot was let loose
this way. I started a kind expression on my face, and said--

"'I'm afraid you find it rather rough, sir, here; there are not the
nice feeding places they have in town, in fact, I think there is only
one near here, sir, at all fit for you.'"

"'Where is that?'

"'It is the Anchor and Hope Hotel, sir. I can hardly direct you to it;
but you have plenty of time to go there and get back fully a quarter of
an hour before the men's dinner time is over, if you will allow me to
show you the place, and they have almost a museum of relics of the

"The relics settled it, and he took on all right, and I knew then
things were working smoothly and the wind was getting round to a nice
steady breeze from the proper quarter. He was a good-natured chap, and
one could see liked inspecting the woman portion of creation better
than works, at least, during dinner-time, and I don't blame him; some
men are built that way, and can hardly say 'no' to a woman, for if they
do they think they have done wrong and been unkind. Poor things! Well,
we got to the place, and, fortunately, no one was in the private bar."

"You mean lobby. Don't insult the place."

"I humbly beg pardon.

"In we went, and it was lucky, for the better of the two girls was on
parade; they were nieces of the landlord, so had more latitude than
paid slaves. I went in first, and Mr. Pupil turned to me and said, 'I
will be with you in a minute.' Now, that was just what I wanted, a word
or two of priming for Polly. So after shaking hands with her, said:--

"'Polly, in a second or two a young swell will be here just new on the
works, and will be on the job to the finish, three years, so make
yourself pleasant as possible. Three years' presents and fun, to say
nothing of odd trips out, are not to be snuffed at; and he is rich they
tell me, and should be real good business all round, if you work him

"She laughed; and before I could say any more the door was on the move,
and in Mr. Pupil came. I kept my weather eye on him, for I can
generally tell, when they run young, whether a chap is smitten
sufficient. I saw the place would be a pleasant diversion, just seeing
one of the tender gender occasionally, after being all day among men;
so to make it appear I was a wolf on business, said, 'Please excuse me,
sir, but I have to meet a gentleman at half-past twelve.'

"'Certainly. Do not let me detain you.'

"I just turned to Polly, and said, 'Show this gentleman your museum of
relics, and the private room looking across the river, as I think it
may perhaps suit him for an odd lunch now and then.' Polly twigged.

"I saw they were started on the road of mutual admiration, and
travelling pretty, and that he meant calling again. She also seemed to
like the prospect, and knew how to work the game of fascination right,
and she did; so the only one in the way of preventing my doing a bit of
engineering-up-to-date with the pile-driving was now removed in a nice
harmonious way, and to the entire satisfaction of the company's
resident engineer--no, hardly that, I mean mine. I consider I did a
kind action to all parties, not excepting myself. What a blessing women
are, if you use them right. Mr. Pupil had his lunch at the place every
day, and Polly and he understood each other, and got on A 1, so I was
told. It is soothing work bringing happiness to two young hearts as
beat soft.

"_Next day we started cutting off the pile-heads_, while Polly and Mr.
Pupil were occasionally very likely pitching their heads together so
that I should not have all the fun. Well, we managed to so drive the
piles after a day or two as to be able to cut off, generally during
dinner time, from 2 to 4 feet, and I should think must have done over
200, when one day, just as we had nearly sawn one through, up turned
Mr. Pupil. Polly and her sister were visiting, and never told me they
were going, so the Anchor and Hope did not weigh-in much from him that
day. My ganger, who was doing the sawing trick with me, looked a bit
down, but he is not so educated as me; so I turned to Mr. Pupil and
said--as he asked me what I was doing, and what was the matter--'Got
the pile down wrong, sir, and shall have to lift it. I think it's
broken off, or gone ragged, may be it has struck an old anchor.'

"He just looked very hard at me, nodded, and went away. It was a close
shave, and lucky it was not the chief engineer. However, we had a
quarter of an hour to work on that pile before the men came back, and
we soon ruined it with bars and tackle. Anyhow, we raised it in no
time, for we had the best tackle and everything you could wish for. We
split the pile right across. It was only down 5 feet, and most of it in
mud. We quickly cut it up into cleats; and out of misfortunes, between
you and me, I always make as much as I can. So when Mr. Pupil returned
I said to him, 'It wants a lot of experience to know when piles are not
driving right, but 25 years has not been lost on me, sir, and I will
have good work or none.' Perhaps 'none' would have been the correct
word; but anyhow I used it coupled, and you can't complain, for if the
pile had been cut there would have been none in the place where it was
thought there was. We saved a lot of driving, and I said to myself, 'It
is lucky this bit of wharf wall is left to me pretty well, because, as
nearly most of the piles are a bit short, the wall may settle if they
load it much or build on it; still I think it will settle equally, and
then it won't matter so much, and they are not going to build on or
near it, that I know,' so I saved nearly 1000 feet of driving on the
lot; but here comes the shake. I forgot to say the piles were driven,
and a platform fixed on the top for the wall in the old style, but it
has gone out now, since Portland cement concrete came into fashion. One
day the engineer walked over the work with two or three directors, and,
after a lot of talk, they decided to build some 3-floor warehouses upon
the quay, after some figuring and dwelling on it. That made me think. I
heard someone say, 'The piles are 15 feet in the solid ground, and
therefore will safely bear the load.' So they would if they had been,
but not many hundreds of them were, and many were in 5 feet of little
better than mud, and as some had been cut off 4 feet, those piles were
only 6 feet in the solid ground. Understand, this wharf piling was only
the beginning of a long two or three years profit for me, and I knew
the warehouses would be sure to settle, and if they did unequally, over
would go the show. I always avoided the quay wall afterwards; it seemed
like a sort of spectre to me.

"One day the engineer sent for me to come to the office. Of course I
was there sharp. He said:--

"'I want you to tell me your idea of the character of the ground upon
which the western quay wall is erected?'

"Don't you think I was lucky, old pal? Here was my deliverance. It was
not exactly a path of roses--there are not many knocking about
now--because if I said it was soft ground he could reply, 'You had a
very high price for such driving.' If I said it was firm, I felt sure,
should they build a warehouse on it such as I heard them talk about, it
would sink or topple over, so I had to be careful how the ship was
sailed. I answered the engineer like this: 'If you'll excuse me talking
to you freely, sir, I will speak my mind; but I most feel abashed with
such as you, for you know a thousand times better than me.' He then
said to me:--

"'Be at your ease. I wish to hear exactly what you would do in the
matter if you were in my position. I have made up my mind; in fact, I
have already committed my views to writing.'

"'Thank you, sir. Well, sir, I think it is a risky place, although the
piles were many of them dreadfully hard to drive, and wanted a lot of
care and all had it, I think, judging from the variation in the depth
to which they went down under the same number of blows, that the ground
is a bit mixed, and therefore I should choose another site, as there is
plenty of room.'

"'Your opinion somewhat coincides with mine. Your idea, I may say, is
one which the configuration of the ground leads me to think is the case
without doubt. It is therefore probable that in a few days I may have a
considerable length of the quay loaded with rails, nearly 2000 tons
will arrive for the main and branch lines before the end of the week,
as I intend to load part of the quay with about 8 tons per square foot
in order to test it. In any case, much as I am urged to commence the
warehouses at once, I shall not do so until the quay has withstood the
test during at least a month.'

"'That is a heavy test, sir.'

"'You can go now!' He bowed, and smiled his thanks, and I withdrew. Of
course, I said nothing to anyone. It don't do to annoy the guv'nor.
Well, in a few days the rails came, about 2500 tons of them. The
engineer sent for me again and said, 'I wish you to see the rails
stacked on part of the quay in accordance with instructions you will

"I could only say, 'Very well, sir,' and withdraw. I felt I was had
again, and went straight away and had a pull of rum. There was no help
for it now. I was in the fix and had to get out of it somehow, and what
made it doubly worse was being ordered to superintend my own ruin.
Listen, for you will when I tell you I might have been tried for having
killed or injured 400 men and one director! It was a near squeak for
the lot, and as it was--No! I'll tell you in a few minutes what

"Well, we stacked the rails over the place according to the engineer's
directions, after Mr. Pupil had taken the levels--he also took them
every day, to see how things were going. I made no remarks, for fear I
might say something that would lead to further enquiries, and took the
cue from a chap I once knew, the biggest rogue out he was; he could
please them pretty, and never had any fixed opinions about anything,
like some of our politicians, or could twist them about to suit the
times; and he set his sails according to circumstances, so as to be
pleasant to everyone, and was liked and respected by a lot that knew no
better and could not see through him, but he had not a bit of honesty
in him. Fact was, knowing I had got all I could out of short driving
and cutting off these piles, I played a mild game of respectful bluff,
more particularly as Mr. Pupil told me the ground had only gone down a
mere decimal of an inch.

"One day the engineer walked over by himself and said to me, 'Come to
the quay wall.'

"We got there, and I felt I had soft sawder enough in me for anything.
He led off by saying, 'Although this is a severe test it is not
altogether satisfactory to me. The rails shall remain in their present
position for at least another month. I have known, as in cylinder
sinking, subsidence to occur very suddenly and unexpectedly. I do not
like the system of foundations upon piles, but have been overruled

"Now what he said pleased me much, because I thought to myself if the
wall does break up it will not be exactly a heart-breaking trial to
him. Well, all went on as usual for a fortnight, and I heard nothing
further till one Friday about 5 o'clock. It was near low water, and Mr.
Pupil came to me and said the engineer wanted to see me. I went towards
the office, but on the way met him and the engineer and three or four
other swells, two of them that came before. I touched my hat, and
walked behind. I heard the engineer say, 'Mr. Selectus, although the
position is very good, I am not satisfied with regard to the
foundations, more especially as I believe the ground to be varied in
character; and on an old plan, dated 1720, I note a stream marked here;
in fact, Mr. Pupil has searched and found a water-course existed almost
from the earliest known times.'

"If he did not say exactly that, it was just like it, anyhow he spoke
up pretty straight. One of the directors (I heard they were all such
afterwards) said, addressing the engineer, 'I have an idea. The men
will cease work, I think, very soon?' 'They will,' said the engineer.
'Have you any objection to their marching and marking time, as it were,
upon the rails, as a final test, as I remember we so tested a
suspension bridge I had erected at my place?'

"The engineer assented, and remarked that although the weight of 500
men was not much compared to the weight of the rails, the vibration
they would create might cause a sudden subsidence. However, he slightly
bowed to the director, and said, 'I leave the experiment entirely to
you, although I may say it is not unattended with risk; for the test
load now imposed is a very severe one for such unstable soil, and the
effects of vibratory motion are usually most deleterious.'

"However, the director, after some talking, had his way, so the men
were fetched. We had about 700 at work then, the company's own men. I
will cut it short. Well, the director told the foreman, as the engineer
asked him to do so, what he wished to be done, and the men marched up
and down I should think six or seven times. It did not take long, and
they soon got into step, for we had a lot of militia chaps at work; and
then the director, who seemed to be enjoying himself, said, 'Now we
will try three trips, double quick,' so the men went by once all on the
smile, and we were as near laughing as smiling allows, when!----

"It chokes me to think of it. Fill up the glass, so that I may keep my
pipes open. Thank you, I was near being blocked up. Well, about half of
the men were behind the rails, and we were all, except the
director-in-command I'll call him, looking on and stationed on a mound
close by. I shouted out--seemed a sort of sudden impulse--

"'Look out! the ground is settling. Run for your lives.' About half of
the men heard me, and got away, but the front lot went on. I should
think 200 of them. Bless you, the ground began to yaw and sink with the
rails very quickly, and the wall pressed forward and toppled over in
one place for about a 30-feet length with men upon the top of it, and
the director as well, and fell very slowly, and quite majestically,
right into the river, and there was a splash and crash. I said before
it was nearly low water, and I should think there was about 5 feet on
the sill and 2 feet of mud. After all, somehow or other, only about
thirty men and the director were cast, and they were all taken out
right, for there was plenty of assistance. Still one man had his arm
broken, which was a good thing for him as it turned out, for the
director made him one of his lodge-keepers; but as he was a
smart-looking chap, and had been brought up right, and could not work
much after, it was an even bargain."

"How about the director?"

"Ah! that's the only fun we had; for I tell you, when I saw the men and
the wall go over it made me take root, and my boots were nearly pressed
into the ground, and they said I went awfully white in the face. It did
give me a shock; but it was lucky the break-up was so slow, for those
that could not get off had time to jump and get clear of the rails, but
I tell you it was a shave. As it turned out, the director had the worst
ducking of the lot that fell in. He went sprawling into the mud; but he
could swim, and when we saw him I nearly burst out laughing, only my
feelings had been so shaken, for he was smothered in slime from head to
foot, and looked like a real savage. All his hair, face, and beard were
thick with mud, to say nothing of his tailoring; and I tell you he put
me in mind of a baboon just then, and I don't think he will attempt any
more testing.

"Of course, the warehouses were not erected upon the quay, and the
engineer was not sorry at the way things had turned out. Anyhow, he let
me do the clearing away the rails and the rebuilding; and I drove in
the piles just the same length as the others, and nothing was said to
me or suspected. It worked all right; but suppose a lot of the men had
been killed, and the director as well! I tell you it was a near shave,
and all before my eyes. It would just have killed me; for I should have
known about another 3 feet down of those piles would have made them
stand all serene. As it was, my wife said I was that disturbed in my
sleep, and kicked so, that she hardly got a wink of rest, and had to
double herself up in bed for fear of having her legs broken; however,
it wore off in time, although once I sent myself and my old woman clean
off the bedstead, and I saw by the light of the moon we were sitting on
the floor, and the clothes were all of a heap close by. It made a nice
picture of domestic bliss. My wife gave it me hot, and she said she
would stand it no longer. I said, 'Don't grumble, you have not got to
stand. You are sitting down now, and you ought to know it.' She said
she heard me mumble several times in my sleep 'Cut 3 feet off her,
Bill!' That was my ganger's name, and, of course, my brain was alluding
to cutting off the piles; she thought it was her--no fear. Still, she
always makes out I was not so good as I once was, and she felt sure Old
Nick and me had night conversations. I laugh over the whole thing now.
I hardly did then."



"Now I'll tell you how we got on with some masonry bridges. Being more
of a scholar than most of them--thanks to the parish school--and being
able to read, write, and sum a bit, I knew a trifle extra to the other
chaps, and was made a ganger when very young. Somehow or other, I
drifted into being crafty, and just then made friends with a man that
was up to every game, and remembered old George Stephenson. He could
tell and teach you something, and did me; but even I have known the
time when we hardly ever had a drawing to work to, except the section,
and have walked many miles behind an engineer, and heard him say to my
partner--who was a mason, and a real good one--'Joe, put a bridge
there, the same span and width between the inside of the parapets as
the others.' 'All right, sir!'

"You know that was the time of the rush for railways, and few
understood the business. Too many do now, I think, and the old country
is too full of mouths generally. Then there was scarcely time to think,
much more for many drawings; they were made after.

"We used to take a bridge at a time, at so much the cubic yard, and we
did put it in thick, abutments, counterforts, wingwalls, and parapets,
and all the work was as straight as could be made; and I have known my
partner, Joe, nearly drawn into tears when he was forced by
circumstances over which he had no control to own an arch to a bridge
was not exactly a straight line. Spirals and winders made him that
waspish as I took good care to make myself particularly wanted
somewhere else than at the bridge at which he was busy when he had to
do them.

"Some of the bridges we built have enough masonry in them to nearly
build a church or a small breakwater, and lucky they have, as it gave
one the chance of a bit of profit; and the depth of the foundations was
hardly so deep as shown in the drawings made after we had built a
bridge. Somehow or other our imagination used to scare away reality,
and we generally were paid for a foot or more extra depth all round.

"Joe said that was the way he got his professional fees for building a
bridge without a drawing, and the only way he could and, moreover, did;
but he always put the masonry in solid, that is to say, when he
considered it should be, although hardly, perhaps, to the specification
throughout, but the face looked lovely; and if the inside work was
rather rough and tumble and really "random," he knew what a good bond
was, and would have it, and was really clever at selecting the right
rock in the cuttings for masonry; but there, no one can expect the
filling-in work to be done the same way as the facework.

"Of course, it was not exactly honest to be paid for more work than we
had done; but it is only fair to say we were generous with our _extra_
profits, and always treated the inspector and our men right. We were
bound to educate them and enlighten their minds. I own it was not
right, and, after all, it would want an 'old parliamentary hand' to
tell the difference in dishonesty between over-measurement founded on
lies and stealing. However, one is supposed to be the result of
cleverness, the other, crime.

"I forgot to tell you we took a cue from a director who occasionally
walked over the line, and who always showed about half-an-inch of his
cheque-book sticking up out of his pocket. We were told he wore his
cheque-book like the mashers do their pocket-handkerchiefs; but that he
was not worth much, and was on the war path for 'plunder,' and so were
we, and took his tip. I said to myself, as he has brought a new fashion
into play in these parts, let us take the hint.

"'So we will,' said my partner.

"'How long is the specification for masonry?

"'I am sure I don't know. What _are_ you talking about? I never read
such things. All I want to know is for what purpose the bridge is to be
erected, and whether it is to be coursed work, ashlar, or the same as
the others, and up it goes according to my specification. I'm above
other people's specifications, thank you. What's the use of my
education if I am not? Do you think the alphabet must be again taught

"'I beg pardon, partner, you are right; but appearances go a long way,
and shamming is fashionable.'

"'Oh, well, have your way; we all look better when we are properly
clothed; and I once heard an engineer say he never felt right when on
any works without a plan in his hand, and we know a music-hall singer
is generally not at home without a hat; besides, it will please them to
see we have the specification always on the premises.'

"'That is what I think.'

"Well, I made two copies of it, one for Joe, my partner then, and one
for me, and wrote in large letters on the top, 'Specification--masonry
--bridges and culverts.' Then we both showed the top out of our
pockets, with that writing on it, in the same way the director did his
cheque-book. It worked beautifully; for a few days after a big engineer
came down, and we heard he had said he thought we were the smartest
masons on the work, and he was pleased to see we appeared careful to
comply with the specification, for he noticed we each had a copy in our

"The fun was, my partner had never read it at all; I only when copying.

"The game worked really lovely; we were looked upon as downright
straight ones, and the inspector--who wanted some dodging, I can tell
you, as well as a tip, now and again--was taken away and posted at the
other end of the work, and then we made hay while the sun shone, and no
mistake. We used to make the bridges rise out of the ground; we gave
some drink to our chaps; and then, as soon as the wagons with the rock
arrived from the cutting, in it went. The difficulty was to keep the
face going fast enough for the filling-in work. It was a game. First a
wagon-load of rock, and then--well, I suppose I must say--the mortar,
but it is squeezing the truth very hard indeed. There was Joe, my
partner, superintending in his own style, the raking and mortar
business, and I was busy at the facework looking after our best mason.

"Give my partner his due, he was always careful about bond and
throughs, and he was fond of mixing up the flat stones a bit, for he
said it prevented their sliding on the beds, and always maintained that
the weight above kept all tight enough and more than the mortar, so
long as the stones were flat and large. I said, it's lucky it did.

"One day he frightened me. We were short of stone, owing to a mistake
in the cutting, and so the facework was up a good height. At last Joe
caught sight of the engine and wagons coming round the hill, and said
to me--

"'Hold hard, here they come, thirteen wagons; they will fill you up
both sides.'

"'I agree with you; they will, and more.'

"It was then past one o'clock, and Joe called out to me--

"'Before we leave I mean to be level with you, but you must help.'

"'Joe, it can't be done.'

"'Away with your cant's; it _shall_ be done.'

"Well, it was tempting us too much, such a lot of rock to work on all
at once; if we had only had a little more than sufficient for one day's
work at a time, we could not have done what we did. By Jove, he did go
it. Down came the rock--I know you will kindly excuse me from calling
it building stone.

"'Easy does it, Joe, or you will burst the show.'

"'Not I,' he shouted.

"Now listen to me, for this _is_ truth. Never since the foundation of
this world did bridges grow at this rate. It beats mustard-and-cress
raising and high farming into fits.

"'Smash them in, lads, bar them down; give them a dose of gravel
liquor. Now then, for some real cream mortar.'"

"These, and such-like, were his war-cries."

"'Bless me, if the mortar is not as thin-placed as the powder on a
girl's face, Joe.'"

"'It's pretty.'

"'Now, lads, five minutes for beer.'

"All was soon comparatively silent.

"'Joe, you must draw it milder, for the row going on is more like an
earthquake let loose than anything else I can think of, and it may
spoil the game, for it is bound to draw a crowd.'

"'All right, partner, I never thought of that. Talk about Jack and the
beanstalk, this beats it to squash. It's lucky the rock works in flat,
and is not hollow. Of course, all the stones are on their natural beds,
according to the specification--understand that. Don't let us have any
mistake as to the catechism; if they are not, they will grow used to
their new ones and shake down to rest.'

"I've never built a bridge that fell or gave much, perhaps a wingwall
has bulged, but then it is the want of proper drainage and backing and
nothing to do with the masonry. _We_ only attend to the masonry
according to the specification. Chorus--According to the specification.
But they all do it, as the song says.

"It's my firm conviction that the man that invented wall-plates ought
to have a marble monument in his native town, for they are beautiful
distributors of weight, and when the stones are small, they are
salvation for such masonry as we made rise."

"I agree with you, they cover a multitude of sins, and are powerful
agents in the cause of unity and good behaviour."

"That is right."

"Have a sip?"


"I nearly got bowled out once at the masonry game. This is between

"Of course, we understand each other; shake hands."

"They nearly caught me."


"We were walking over the work--when I say we, I mean a party of
directors, a couple of engineers, and the resident engineer. An unlucky
thing happened. Someone said, 'I should think a good view of the
surrounding country is to be obtained from the top of this bridge.'
Now, you know, in those days, some engineers liked offsets at the back
of a wall very close together, say about every two feet, as they
thought the backing remained on them, and helped to prevent the wall
overturning; but it seldom does, the backing is usually drawn away from
such off-sets. However, unfortunately, most of these directors had only
recently returned from Switzerland, and had been up the Mortarhorn, I
think they said--or thought they had, or read about it in a guide book.
Anyhow, they started climbing up the back of one of the abutments. They
ought to have known our work is not quite so solid as nature, nor as
the Romans made in the old slow days when they were not fighting; but
it is all right for the purpose intended, at least, for what we intend
it, and that is enough. The abutment of the bridge I am referring to
was 50 feet in length, and what must they all do but start at once at
the climbing business, like a lot of schoolboys eager to get there
first, and I had only time to think a moment, and to shout,

"'Be careful, gentlemen, please, the mortar has not had time to set
yet, it's green.'

"Lucky, I said 'yet'; but between you and me, I should be an old one,
and no mistake, if I had to wait till it set right.

"They got upon the first offset all serene; but when they footed it on
the third, down they came, and humpty-dumpty was not in it with the
show. It was a flat procession and a general lay-out, and such a
rubbing of mid-backs occurred as few have seen before. They fell soft,
though, as we had partly finished backing up the bridge. I was nearly
had; but I had a bit in hand with which to squeeze home at the finish,
and get in the first words. They were:--

"'Gentlemen, I had no time to warn you, but the mortar has not had time
to set all round, it is green; and where it has set, it is that
powerful it often shifts the stones first, and then clenches them
tight, and there is no parting them at all; they become gripped
together just as by nature in the quarry. It is wonderful material, and
the best lime known, or that I have had to do with during thirty years
of hard working experience."

"Of course, the directors could say nothing; they were bankers and
solicitors, or such-like, nor could the engineers. It did not do to
make out the masonry had not been properly executed. I thought I had
got off beautifully, and the whole party were just going to start when
out of the blessed wall, there and then, flew two pheasants!"

"Well, I never!"

"You wait. Yes; and before we could speak, out came a fox. I own I was
nearly beaten, but one of the directors, turning to us, said, 'You
appear to have a veritable Noah's ark here, and we know a pheasant is a
gallinaceous bird.'

"We all laughed. He then went on to say, 'Perhaps if we wait long
enough the procession will continue. This may be the ancestral home of
the dodo or the mastodon. Who can say it is not?' They again laughed.

"Now, you know, there is no denying, neither a pheasant nor a fox can
squeeze themselves through an ordinary-sized mortar joint. While
laughing I got my mind right, and said, 'Gentlemen, I feel sure the
poachers have been on the prowl here, and have disturbed the work.'

"'Yes,' said the director. The others seemed afraid to speak. There is
always a cock in every farmyard, and he was in this. 'A four-legged
poacher--the fox; and I am afraid, if we do not exercise due care, the
board will be charged with larceny.'

"Then we all thought we ought to laugh, and did. 'Gentlemen,' I said,
'I'm sure the bridge has been tampered with, and no doubt if we keep
watch we shall find the rascals.'

"Excuse me now saying 'rascals' to you, but, old chum, of course
between ourselves, that is you and me, we have never done any

"Not we, certainly: at least we forget doing it if we did. A good
memory is not always a blessing, or to be owned to, although it's

"Shake. That's right. As we understand each other, I will now tell you
how things ended. I went on to say to the gentlemen, 'I will root out
this matter; and may I ask you to say nothing to anyone. My partner and
myself will get to the bottom of it. Trust your old servants,
gentlemen.' Then I raised my hat. That fetched them; for one turned,
and said to me:--

"'I cannot send my keepers to-night, but to-morrow they shall meet you
here at six. Please watch to-night.'

"He then handed to me a five-pound note. Blessed if he did not own the
land for miles round and I did not know it. I beamed all over, and said
I would, and looked as humble as only an old sinner can; and I was just
going to forget to tell you I put that 'fiver' carefully away, to keep
it from the poachers."

"I could believe that of you; I could, old chap, without your saying

"Well, now talk about 'all's well that ends well;' this was better than
that--simply crumbs of comfort, except the awkwardness of the situation
before the finish.

"I suppose you want to know all about the cause of the tumbling show."

"Yes; I am waiting to know."

"Very well, I will tell you. I had become greedy, and as there was not
much more work for me on that railway, I used to make it a rule,
wherever I was, and before leaving, to have a final haul in by way of a
loving remembrance of a past country in which I had spent some part of
my life in opening up to civilization, and the immeasurable benefits of
rapid and cheap locomotion. Is that good enough?"

"Rather; it likes me much."

"Now this bridge was a beauty to draw on, so we just left a few voids
here and there. Tipping the backing must have broken a bit of the wall
unknown to me, or something must have given way in the night; and I
suppose the birds walked in, and the fox after them, and then the
abutment settled and the backing pushed it closer together. Now the
birds got to a place where the fox could not reach, and there very
likely they would have been, three caged-up skeletons; but the Swiss
mountain climbing spoilt that fun, and pulled down the wall
sufficiently to raise the curtain on the show.

"It so happened that all the engineers and residents had to go away on
some land case--I like _other_ people to go to law; and so we had three
clear days to put things in order; and we did, you bet, and began
almost before the break of day. I had an untarnished reputation at
stake, and was on my metal. My partner and myself just about both
smiled over the fun real mutual admiration."

"The engineers did not say much for we had been paid, and they knew
they would get nothing out of us, and therefore proceeded on the
principle that it is no use stirring dirty water, and I say, and
maintain, that on the whole--not _in_ the hole, mind you--never was
more solid and firmer masonry put together than our work, although we
took care to do as we liked, and relieved the foundations of some
strain now and again, and improved the specification.

"I forget whether I watched for poachers that night, but I might have
done for a few minutes, so as to make it all right; but as my memory is
not clear on the point, I had better say I fancy I did not, but I met
the keepers next night; and did a three hours watch and told them a
lot, and got well rewarded. Pay me and I'll patter pretty; but no pay,
no patter, is my motto. The only thing that grieved me was losing those
pheasants and the fox's brush and head. That was hard luck, but there!
life is full of disappointments which are hard to bear."



"Have I told you of my scare in a tunnel I got some 'extra' profit out
of by real scamping?"

"Not that I remember."

"Well, that was a whitener, for I was almost trapped, nearly caught,
and paid out. Retributed, I think it is called, but there, I am not
sufficiently educated, although you and me have had a good deal more
schooling than any others on this work, which perhaps is not too much
of a recommendation. Anyhow, you agree, don't you?"

"Of course I do!"

"Well, let us drink. Now we are oiled, the machinery will start again
easy and soft, and continue going for some time, but don't you consider
we know enough to suit us. I have watched various guv'nors I have had,
and they seem to be thinking and puzzling their brains even when they
are eating, and I don't think their digestion is improved by it. A
peaceful mind needs no pills. It is medicine for the upper works, and
exercise and good food is the right physic for the body unless you are
half a corpse when born. Now, when we eat, we have a look at the goods
first, and all we trouble about is to divide the vegetables, meat, and
bread, and beer, so that they last the show out in their proper
quantity to the finish."

"That's it, but what has that to do with the scare at the tunnel and
the scamping?"

"You wait. Really you should know impatience is not polite; and to be a
good listener, and look as if every word that was said to you was
virgin information and pure wisdom, is the best game to play."

"That is enough, get to the tunnel scare and scamping."

"Well, why I named about my food was, my old woman was queer just then,
a lying up on the cherub business, and the party that she had to look
after things was no cook, few are, and I believe she was paid by some
of those pill proprietors to make people ill and then pill them. Anyhow
I got queer and dreadfully out of sorts, and just at the time I was a
regular nigger, and had taken a length of tunnel lining, and in such
ground, horrid dark yellow clay, and it smelt awfully bad. We called
the tunnel the pest-hole. What with the food being wrong, and the
hateful place, I did the worst bit of scamping I ever was guilty of."

"Fortunately, the engineer knew what he was about, and our profiles
were nearly round, that is, the section of the tunnel was nearly
circular; if they had not been, that tunnel would have been filled up
by this time, and perhaps been the grave of hundreds, and it nearly
was. There were eight rings in the lining, and therefore some bulk to
play with. I got frightfully pesky about the job, and meant getting out
of it as quickly as possible, and did. I am not the one to play about
and squat, action is my motto; and I am busy if there is anything to be
got, and keen on the scent."

"You are right there. You generally find a fox, and get his brush,

"I was roused. The brickwork was in Portland cement, and believe me, I
never would have done what I did if it had been lime mortar. Must draw
the line somewhere, and the easiest conscience has a limit to being
trifled with. You know, tunnel work gives one chances that are not to
be had in the open, and the temptation is strong. I dropped word on the
quiet, 'Be careful to-night with the first two rings and then'--well,
they twigged, and I had no occasion to say much. Afterwards, the
material that was given them went in anyhow. But bless me, we had
Portland cement, it was supplied by the company, you understand. It
held almost anything together, firm as a rock. I said to my ganger,
whatever material you are given, so long as it is clean, will do, and
it will be just like conglomerate. The inspector was inclined to be my
way of thinking, and, by a manual operation on my part, he fully agreed
with me, and said he had always been of the same opinion, only other
people failed to comprehend his meaning. It has been said the pen is
mightier than the sword, and so it may be; but ten hours writing, and a
ten hours speech full of argument, have not the same force with some
inspectors as a few sovereigns judiciously placed to aid them in
arriving at a proper view of a subject."

"You are right; bribes and lies are twin brothers."

"Well, it was just a scamper all round. Yes, scamper and scamping. I
had some good brickies then--militia chaps, smart, and they could stay.
They made the rings grow; I forget how much we got in that night, but a
good length, for the bricks ran short at one end of the tunnel, and we
were close up to the face at the other end. No one that I did not want
to see was about. After measuring, I found we were short at least
twenty yards of bricks, and only about two thousand or so left, so I
said, 'Lads, if you finish the ring by five o'clock, you shall have a
quid amongst you; but do it, and keep the beautiful clean face on for
all you are worth.'

"I looked a bit crafty at them, and they twigged the tune to play. I
took old Bond--he was my ganger--with me, and said to him, 'How are we
going to do the lining?' We can't fetch bricks from the other end, and
I draw the line at timber to do duty as bricks. I waited, and the
'extra' profit string of my brain worked right, and I pointed and said,
'There is a heap of broken bricks and no one knows what; well, twenty
yards of that won't be noticed if you take it equally all round; put
that in, and dose it with cement, and rake it well on the top of the
rings, and don't forget to finish the top nicely and clean to a hair if
you have not time to fill in all of it. Keep the best stuff for near
the finish, and enough bricks to make a solid strip or two, and I am
otherwise engaged or tired-out till four. Wake me then; I'm off for a
peaceful snooze.' Well, they got it all in, and nothing was known
till--I won't name it yet, it must wait."

"I suppose the bricks you took from the brick-yard were tallied, and
deliveries checked with the work done in the lining?"

"Yes; but there is tallying of all sorts, and, of course, the right
amount of bricks were taken from the yard early next morning, but where
they went is best known to the yard foreman, the inspector of
brickwork, and the dealer; but as my partnership with them is now at an
end, of course my memory fails me, and I am sorry I can't give you any
more information in that direction. It grieves me to keep back anything
from you, and is so unlike me."

"I don't want to hurt your feelings. All right, I understand."

"Talk about varieties of concrete, why we had sardine and meat tins,
all sorts and sizes and weights and ages, tiles, ashes, bones, glass,
broken crockery, oyster shells, and a lot of black-beetles and
such-like shining members of creation. They all did their duty to the
best of their ability. What else there was I would rather not try to
remember, but it was _not_ bricks."

"Don't trouble, I can understand. We are all pushed a bit for the right
goods sometimes, and have to make shift; but it is hard, very hard, to
have to do it."

"Well, I found out that the bricks were not quite so many as I thought,
and for a 5 feet length, about 15 feet from shaft No. 7, they had to do
with one ring of brickwork, and the rest, my patent midnight
conglomerate. That frightened me, and had I known it at the time, I
would have stopped the show; of course I would, you know me. I always
draw the line somewhere."

"Right you are; although 'somewhere' is an easy-stretching sort of
place, and there is not much of a fixed abode about it; but it can
generally be found on a foggy night."

"It's my belief they did not put in enough cement mortar, and carry out
my orders, which indeed was very wrong of them."

"What do you mean, your orders were wrong?"

"Oh dear no, of course not, not likely--_their_ orders were wrong, not
mine. You don't follow me rightly. You understand now? Dwell on it, and
I'll wait."

"Oh yes, it was stupid of me. There, I am not so young as I was, nor so

"Now we are coming to the scare. Pass my glass, it makes me feel weak,
it does.

"That conglomerate length stood all right, more by luck than anything
else, till one night, although all the rest was sound work and done
properly, for it was well looked after, and there was no chance of a
slide towards extra profit; besides, the ground would not have stood
unbared long, and, of course, short lengths had to be the order, and
were bound to be carried out, for the clay soon got dropsy and swelled.

"Well, my guv'nor took a contract for a line about 20 miles away from
the tunnel. I had some work on it, and had to go to London, it was
abroad, for I was called up by him, It was a slow train, and followed
an express goods. There was a signal box at each end of the tunnel, and
a fair traffic, and fast trains passed. Something got wrong with a
wagon of the express goods train--I never knew exactly what it was but
anyhow, nothing very serious, for the permanent way was all right and
so were the wheels and axles. We were stopped by hand-signal in the
tunnel, and there may have been something wrong with the signals, but
that does not matter for what I am going to tell you."

"Were you scared to think the train after you would telescope you?"

"No, for there was none for an hour and a half.

"Well, the carriage I was in pulled up just under the place where that
patent midnight conglomerate length was put in, and I looked up and saw
the old spot had bulged, and was yawning, and looked to me as wide and
moving as the Straits of Dover in a S.W. gale, and a lot worse, and it
seemed to be getting wider every minute, and I saw something drop. I
was alone in the compartment, and it was fortunate I was for many
reasons or I know they would have found me out. I knew the place. How
could I forget it? It was just by the shaft. The passengers were
talking to the guards, or were otherwise engaged. Presently I heard the
down mail coming at a rare speed. I said to myself, 'There is not much
the matter, or they would not let her go through.' She was the last
passenger train down that night, and lucky she was, you will soon say.
Oh! dear me, when I heard her I felt cold and hot, and my heart got to
my teeth, and I believe if I had not kept my mouth shut it would have
jumped out, that's true. What scared me most was not about the mail
train, I knew she would be right, and would be past the spot before the
ground had time to tumble in. She was going too quick, but our train,
_and me_, right under the place, and bound to be there _after_ the mail
had shaken it to bits! That's what made me feverish.

"I said to myself, 'You are paid out in your own coin, you are.' Before
I had time to think more the mail went by all serene, and I hardly dare
move, but slid up on the seat just in time to see her tail lights
vanish. I then looked up, and if it had been my scaffold it could not
have been worse. Oh! fill my glass up, nearly neat, while I wipe my
forehead. Thank you. Yes, I looked up, and saw the crack had widened
and was becoming wider, and chips were falling now and again as large
as hailstones! I knew it was bound to come down. I looked to my watch,
another full hour had to pass before the next train was due behind us.
I was just going to get out, when I heard the guard coming along on the
footboard, and he said, 'Another five minutes and we are off,
gentlemen.' He did not see the falling pieces, as the carriage hid
them, but I did, and the engine blowing off steam prevented him hearing
them. Soon he reached my carriage, and said, 'You are the only
gentleman in this carriage.' He would not say anything more. I heard
him repeat the same words almost as he moved along the train, 'Five
minutes and we are off, gentlemen.'

"I said to myself, 'Five minutes more and I am buried and off for ever
somewhere,' for I was certain in five-and-a-half the lining would burst
and down everything would come and crush us to powder. I did not care
to think what else or how much. I cannot describe how I felt, but drink
squalls are nothing to it. I kept my watch out of my pocket, and gazed
at it till I hated it. One minute passed--two--three--and then I
watched the second-hand go round. What I suffered cannot be told. I
looked out of the window. I heard a whistle. It did not sound like our
engine, it seemed too shrill. I had no fear of a train being behind us
as I knew our road was blocked. Was it a down special excursion, or a
down special goods, I said, tremblingly, to myself, for I knew all the
down ordinaries had gone for the night. 'If it is,' I said to myself,
'you are settled and corpsed, and have made your own grave, and it will
be a rough one.' I won't say what I did then, but know it would suit a

"Thank goodness I was wrong, the whistle was from _our_ engine, but it
had been low and now was shrill. I was so feverish that I forgot the
steam was blowing off. At last we started, and I looked at my watch. It
was five minutes ten seconds from when the guard spoke. I knew I was
safe, but thought I would look back. I was just able to see in the
glimmering, as the fire-box was open, and by the tail lamps the last
carriage had well cleared the shaft when there was a horrid hollow
sound like waves breaking in a long cavern, and I saw something come
down like a veil across the metals. The tunnel was in, fallen in with a
slow smash, and not a minute after we started!

"I don't know how long it took the train to get to the signal-box at
the entrance, but we pulled up there, and the first thing I remembered
was the guard saying to me, 'No one is hurt, you need not be
frightened, but we have to thank God for it. Terrible shave. The tunnel
has fallen in, and just where your carriage stood!'

"I said, 'Oh!' and sank back upon the seat. The guard again came to me
and popped his head in and said 'You are the only passenger that knows
what is up. Keep it quiet, if you please. Shouting will do no good, and
I shall be much obliged to you. It's no fault of mine or the Company's.
Are you ill, sir?'

"'No, but I saw the tunnel fall in.'"

"'Traffic is stopped, sir, at both ends. The wires are right as we had
reply from the other end of the tunnel. I thought you must have seen it
fall in, because you looked very white, and were clasping the window
frame with both hands and shaking so. I was afraid you had been almost
scared with fright.'

"'No, I am not ill, but I saw it fall.'"

"'Well, sir, it is no fault of mine or the Company's, although I am
sorry it has frightened you a little.' He then went away and we started

"When he said, 'It is no fault of mine,' bless you, it near cut my
vitals out, it did; for I knew it was my fault and no other person's,
and that it was only by the act of Providence the mail was not smashed
to bits, and us too. I made a vow there and then never to have anything
more to do with tunnels, and whenever I go through one I always feel
wrong and twitchy, and shut my eyes till the rattle tones down and I
know we are in the open."

"How much fell in?"

"About 20 yards altogether in length. Traffic had to go round for a
month, but the rest of the work was all-right, and so it really was,
and I ought to know. No one found out that nearly the whole of the
fallen length had been scamped, for everything was broken and mixed up,
and, as luck would have it, a spring burst out there and the flow had
to be led away to one entrance, and the falling-in was always put down
to that, and that only; still I know the ground was a bit cracked, and
underground waters have mighty force, and are best guided and not tried
to be stopped, for they will come out somewhere.

"I met my guv'nor next day, and he quietly said to me, 'I have let the
tunnel work on your length to an old foreman,' and then he looked clean
through me. I know he thought a lot, and I'm afraid I can't play the
game of bluff as good as some can, and so work 'extra' profit out of
ruins. What do you think of that scare?"

"I don't want to think about it. Glad I had nothing to do with it.
Dreadful! No wonder you have a wrinkle or two. What shocking hardships
we all have to pass through in getting 'extra' profit, and so



"Deep river bridge foundations are not to be easily worked for 'extra'
profit as they are generally too carefully looked after; still, even
there, you get a chance occasionally, if you know how to work things. I
was always on the scent for 'extras,' and once got a bit out of a
cylinder bridge, more by luck than anything else."

"How did you do it?"

"Listen, and then you'll know."

"The bed of the river was soft for a depth of nearly 50 feet, then firm
watertight ground, and into that we had to go about 15 feet. Our
cylinders were 15 feet in diameter, of cast-iron, and in one piece 6
feet in height I will just name that there is more chance of a bit
'extra' profit when the rings are little in height than if they are in
pieces and have vertical joints and are about 9 feet long as usual. A
15 feet ring, 6 feet in length in one piece was not often seen then,
but they are now cast much heavier; still, they may be made too large
to handle nicely without special tackle, and foundry cleverness should
be considered less than ease in fixing on the site."

"Why are short lengths best for 'extra' profit?"

"Because you may have a chance of leaving out a ring if the coast is
clear, and nice people around you."

"I see."

"Well, the Company's foreman had to lay up for three days, for he had
ricked himself, and I had an old pal with me, and two of my nephews
working the crane, and other relations about. All had been properly
schooled, and knew crumbs of comfort were to be got out of a bit
'extra,' so I embraced the opportunity as we were such a charming
family party, quite a happy farmyard.

"The rings went down rather easily as the bed of the river was soft; in
fact, they sunk into the mud for the first 6 to 10 feet by their own
weight. So I gave the office, and we just dropped a 6 feet ring over
the side into the mud, for I knew it would sink all right, and that by
the time the Company's foreman returned to work we should have pumped
out the water from the cylinder and got enough concrete in to seal the
bottom; of course, after the resident engineer had gone down to see the
foundation was right, and I felt sure it would be, and that he would
only look at the foundation, and not bother about the height of the
cylinder or the number of rings; and if he did, we could dodge him a
bit, as there would be four or five of us, and stages were fixed on the
horizontal ring-flanges, and no numbers were cast on the rings, as they
all were made to fit together. He went down, just as I thought, to see
the foundation only, although he measured about a bit, and enjoyed
himself. We worked the tape right--it takes two with a tape.
By-the-bye, I hate measuring-rods, they are not good business for
'extras.' They are so unobliging. A tape you can pull a bit, and tuck
under, according as you want a thing to appear to be of a different
length to what it is. One of my gangers made a false end for a tape. He
used to turn the end of the true tape under for a few inches and slip
on his false end, or he added a false length if he wanted. He took good
care to hold the end, and he could slip it on and off like a flash of
lightning, and good enough for a conjurer. He could lengthen or shorten
a tape a few inches at will; all he wanted was to hold the ring at the
end. His false end was a bit of a real tape with his attachment, and I
have seen him trick them really pretty.

"Considering we had about sixteen rings altogether, top to bottom;
there was a good length on which to dodge, but our game would have been
too risky I fancy with eight or ten rings, and in a strong light,
because one could count the flanges pretty easily; but it is not many
that suspect a ring may be omitted.

"We were some 8 feet in the hard soil, and I considered that enough,
for the ground did not help much to keep the cylinders in place for 50
feet of the height above it, but they were well braced above high water
and at top. When I consider a thing enough, you don't catch me let them
have much more if I can help it. I hate waste.

"The foundations were declared to be all right, and so they were, and
we at once began the hearting, and sealed up the bottom after cleaning
up, and we put in good Portland cement concrete, for all the materials
were supplied to us.

"Of course, the Company's foreman, when he came back, could not tell,
nor could anyone else, that we had been having a happy time; but give
him his due, he did all he knew to find the rings were in. You know the
ring we got rid of for 'extras' we took care should be sunk in the
middle, between the two columns, and well away from each one. The
bridge was wide,--about four lines of rails on top--so we slung the
ring out very quickly, after the men had gone for the day, just about
midway between the cylinders, and down it went pretty quickly, and it
was bound to be in the mud fully 8 feet by the morning, and sure to
sink a bit more, for I had it dropped sharp, and I thought it would be
certain to break up where it fell. We worked it so nicely, and all was
as lovely and serene and merry as a marriage, and real crumbs of
comfort, and I thought no more about it.

"We sank the ring purposely midway between the other two cylinders, so
that if the bridge had to be widened it would not be found. But we were
had for once, and no mistake this time, and all our own fault, and just
where we thought we had been clever, for one day the engineer came down
and sniffed about. I wish he had stopped at home instead of coming
bothering; however, he did not, but came. The result was the resident
engineer handed to me a tracing with a new cylinder marked on in the
middle of a line drawn through the centre of the two cylinders, and
just where I had sunk the 6 feet length I thought I had got a bit
'extra' out of so sweet, and I might have just as well sunk it outside.
Well, I took two pills that night to brace me up and set my machinery
in perfect trim; and no one can know what I suffered, for I meant
getting out of the fix somehow or other, but could not see my road much

"You know I was certain we were bound to find that 'extra' ring. If we
could have broken it up, or have been sure it was broken, there might
have been no harm; but we did not know exactly where it was, and if we
did we could not raise it. I felt certain we should come to it, and
tried the crane to see if we could fix the spot, but we had to chance
it. It was no use humbugging ourselves into thinking we knew where it
was, when no one could possibly know. As I said before, I was positive
we should meet it in sinking the cylinder, and as the ground was soft
for some distance that it would tilt the centre rings--and then the
game I had played would be found out, for cast-iron is hardly as soft
as mud.

"I felt my reputation was at stake--in fact, all my noble past--and all
for a 15 feet cast-iron cylinder, 6 feet in height, and 1-1/4 inch in
thickness! I thought of blowing up the surface before the men were at
work, and doing a bit of subaqueous mining; but it was too risky and
desperate, so I saved myself for the final round, that is, I waited
with my teeth set till I met that sunken 'extra' ring, and meant
getting clear and settling it in one round, you bet, for I considered
the situation very degrading, not to say insulting.

"We quickly erected the staging, and I tried all I knew to get the
foreman away and the resident engineer. Still I dare not play the same
tune too much, or they would suspect, but they were too 'fly' to be
drawn off. I arranged with my nephews at the crane to give me the
office, if I was not on the spot, by sharply twice turning on the
blow-off cock.

"I happened to be on the top of a column on the next land-pier with the
resident engineer who had called me, and the foreman was there also,
when I heard the two puffs. I pretended to take no notice, nor did he
or the foreman, and I managed to govern myself and keep myself quiet,
just like the old nobility do, and think a lot.

"Before I left the resident engineer I found he was going at once to
some meeting, and I just wished he would take the foreman with him, if
only out of the love I had for him and give him a holiday; however, I
got to know on the quiet he had to superintend some unloading at a
wharf half a mile or more away, so the road was pretty clear. Directly
I got to the cylinder I knew what was up, for it had tilted.

"We could not pump out the water, and divers could not go down unless
the bottom was sealed, because of the almost liquid mud at the depth we
had reached, but in another 8 or 10 feet it could have been done. I
thought for an instant and then gave the word. 'Weight her down, lads,
get some more kentledge and then we will pull her straight. It's only a
piece of a wreck, or a bit of timber or stone.'

"I forget whether I told you that it was only my family party that knew
of the 'extra' ring being sunk, the rest of my men did not. My game was
to wreck the cylinder if I could, and tilt it over so that it would
fall, and then fetch the foreman when I knew it would go. If I could
manage that I felt I was right. Anyhow I was bound to smash up the
bottom ring, at least, I thought so then. Cutting out the obstruction I
was thankful could not be done, nor drawing it in, nor splitting it up
inside the cylinder. That was certain. I did not much care to tackle
lifting the rings. I wanted to smash them. Compressed air I did not
want to hear of, for that would have bowled me clean out, and shown the
whole game. I wanted to try to thrust the cylinder through the
obstruction, although, of course, I was not supposed to know what it
was, as that usually fails and ends in smash more or less, and I was
certain it would in this case, for it was cast-iron against cast-iron
on an earth bed. Attempting to thrust a cylinder ring through anything
and everything is always a dangerous operation, and one to be avoided.

"Now they knew exactly how many cylinder rings had been delivered by
the manufacturers, and if they had found the one we played 'extras'
with, they could soon see it was the same size and make, and could
easily tell how many were on the work and in the piers. I beg pardon, I
should have said, _supposed_ to have been in, and it was 1000 to 1 all
would not be well.

"It occurred in the summer, and the foreman came and sent a telegram to
the resident engineer, and before he arrived we had weighted the side
that was up and endeavoured to get it straight by hauling, but it was
no good; at least I think I tried to get it vertical, but I may also
have tried to smash it. I expected, and was afraid, they would lift it
by pontoons the next tide.

"Well, the resident engineer came. He tried a few figures over, and
said to the foreman, 'If we do not mind, it will cost more trying to
right it than it will to lift the lot.'

"Anyhow we got more power and more weights. He had the soil loosened on
the upper side of the ring; but, of course, as it was iron at the
bottom, it did not do much good; and we tried pretty well every dodge
in turn that is known, but I need hardly say with very little effect.

"The resident engineer said, 'Compressed air will be too expensive for
this one cylinder, but I think we can sufficiently clear the interior
by a force pump and dredger for a diver to go down.' Now the chief
engineer was abroad for a fortnight, so we left it alone that night;
but I tried all I knew, bar hammering, for that I dare not do, to smash
the rings and they would not break, the soil was too soft and even. I
was certain I could pull them over, but then they would most likely
lift the rings and might find out the cause of the bother.

"However, I let everything rest, and trusted to luck. The resident
engineer decided to have the cylinder raised, as we had two large
pontoons handy, so the top rings were removed to as low a depth above
water as possible, and chains were fixed round the rings and also to
bolts in the flanges, and in two tides all the rings were pulled up."

"'So you got out of the trouble all right?"

"You wait, don't be too sure. The resident engineer and the foreman
were pacing up and down just as we were lifting the cutting ring, and
we did that by the crane. They were at the other end of the staging
though. The cutting edge was within a few inches of the water-level
when I saw that a bit of the ring I had sunk for 'extras' was actually
jammed into and hanging to the cutting ring."

"Oh! save my nerves, that was bad."

"Well, I had the crane stopped in a second, for my nephew was watching
like a vulture, and I and my ganger had provided ourselves with a bar
each, and were standing on the flanges. The cutting ring was only 3
feet 6 inches in height, and after two smashing taps it dropped,
neither the foreman nor the resident engineer saw the fun closely; but
as the resident asked us what we had been barring at, I said 'A small
bit of a wreck got wedged on, sir, and would have stuck between the
pontoons, and I am very sorry we could not land it to show you."

"That's good enough old pal. Pass on, please."

"I thought you would laugh. Well, the pontoon had been brought to the
side of the staging as a precaution in case the chains might break or
an accident occur, so as to be away from the line of the bridge, and so
it did not matter where we dropped the cylinder ring I had 'extra' out
of, but it was an ugly fish to hook I can tell you, and is about the
only one I ever wished to get away, or did not want to see.

"Of course the cylinder went down all right afterwards, and the cause
of the tilting was considered to be the remains of a wreck; but it
strikes me, should they have to drive piles or sink cylinders anywhere
near that pier, they may meet with some obstruction, and perhaps think
they have struck rock; anyhow they will find out they have not 'struck
oil,' and may send forth the news that a recent discovery has shown the
early Britons built ironclads, and it was certain they sank, but there
was not sufficient evidence to show whether the warships floated for
many days."



"The experience you had with cylinder bridge piers reminds me of a near
shave for a bowl out I had. They let me a quarter of a mile of work,
and I had to put in an 18-inch pipe at the deepest part of an
embankment, just to take any surface-water that might accumulate now
and again. Of course, an 18-inch pipe will take a lot of water, and I
think we agree it is hardly right and proper to throw away good
material or provide against events which, an earthquake always
excepted, cannot occur in the opinion of the most experienced. You
can't accuse me of being wasteful, it's not in me; for I've heard my
mother say she never knew me upset anything I could eat or drink, and
that I always licked my plate and never lost a crumb. You know it is a
quality born in you, and I don't wish to take any credit myself, not
me; I'm constructed different. Nor do I wish to say you are not so
careful as me, and perhaps more; only, of course, you may put in a lot
of strong work when I am not looking, and I think you'll have to do to
get level with me. It never was in my heart to see anything wasted. It
is against my principles. I hate it, I do.

"I said to myself, 'You shall not waste any material.' So what I did
was to put five lengths of 18-inch pipe at each end of the slope, and
9-inch in the middle. The tip was almost on the spot, so I put in the
18-inch and the other pipes, and left a couple of lengths bare each
end. The embankment was over 40 feet in height, the slopes were one and
a-half to one, and the drain was about 50 yards in length, so it was
not bad business.

"I never forget what the engineers tell me, and when I hear a
discussion among them I always make a note of it, and wait till I have
an opportunity of making a bit 'extra' profit by it. What is the use to
the likes of us of a bit of education if we can't turn it into gold?
Not much; almost sheer waste, and I hate waste--abominate it. Well, one
day the resident engineer was talking to another swell about how a
splayed nozzle to a pipe caused an increased discharge.

"So, ever ready to learn, as you and me always are, I said to myself,
fond-like and quiet, 'Try it; put it into practice.' And I did, as I
told you just now, by the insertion in true scientific manner of
smaller pipes in the middle. I wrestled with the subject, and said to
myself, 'Now, look here, if I put in all 18-inch pipes that drain can't
have a splayed nozzle, that's sure; in fact, it is fact.' So I said,
continuing the discussion with myself, 'Don't be beaten. Let science
lead you.' And I did."

"Fill up your glass, lad. Grasp. I'm hearty to you."

"Now, it was in the summer, and we are coming to my scare. I said to my
men, 'Come an hour earlier to-morrow morning, for I have got a little
extra work, and some of you call at my place on your road.'

"They came, and I had the 9-inch pipes handy, and away we went, about
fifty of us, with a pipe or two each. It did not take long laying the
pipes, nor covering up the lot. In any case you could hardly see
through such a length, but as a precaution, I had the pipes put in a
shade zigzag after the first six or seven lengths, so everything seemed
all serene, at least, I thought so; but it was not, for I had the
nearest shave for a bowl out that I ever had, and all on account of a

"How did it happen?"

"Well, the resident engineer came over with his pet dog, and I took to
patting him, and felt really happy at the little bit of 'extra' I was
to get out of these pipes, when the blessed dog began sniffing about
one end and jumping up. The resident engineer got a bit excited.

"'Rat, is it, Dasher?' he said to his dog.

"The dog barked his reply to his master. The resident then said to me,
'Stop here with Dasher until I call him at the other end, as I intend
him to go through the drain.'

"Before I could say a word, he was up and down the slopes, and at the
other end of the pipe. I sat, or fell down, I don't know which, I did
feel bad. I heard him call 'Dasher, Dasher.' The blessed dog rushed in,
and then came back. His size was right for the 18-inch pipes but he was
near too big in the barrel for a 9-inch pipe.

"To think that after working the show so smoothly and lovely to the
satisfaction of all mankind as knew of it, and then to be bowled out by
a 'phobia-breeding animal as hardly knows how to scratch his back, was
too much. So I braced myself up, and said to myself, 'Mister Dasher you
have not done me yet, not you, hardly. It will take a man to do it.'

"I patted him, and smiled pretty at him, and gave him a bit of biscuit,
and grasped him round the middle just to see if he could get through
the 9-inch lengths. I felt seven years younger when I found he could
just manage it, but he would have to do it more like swimming than

"Now I knew the pipes were all sound and whole, for I never put in
broken goods, however small they may be.

"The engineer kept calling 'Dasher, Dasher,' so I said to him, through
the pipe, 'Wait a minute, sir; Dasher, I fancy is not so used to
tunnels as you and me. What do you say to try the other way in, sir, we
all have our fancies?'

"I knew it was no use attempting to work him off, as he meant what he
said, and would be sure to get suspicious--as he was no flat, I can
tell you.

"Well, after a lot of urging, in went the blessed dog, and Stanley's
journey in Darkest Africa was outdone then, I'm sure, and Dasher's
rear-guard was in trouble.

"We waited, and called, and whistled, but could hear nothing. We must
have waited half an hour I should say, at least it seemed to me as
long, and the resident engineer shouted to me two or three times, 'If
Dasher does not appear in a few minutes, your men must dig him out.'

"Lawks me, it makes me ill to think of the squalls there would have
been if I had had to do that. I wished just then that no dogs had ever
been made nor nothing on four legs except horses, cattle, sheep, and
pigs; but I turned sympathetic like and went to the top of the
embankment, and said, 'Perhaps there may be vermin up there; and I know
Dasher is a game one, and won't back.'

"This pleased the resident engineer. Believe me, I would have given at
that moment a sovereign to anyone who could have produced that dog.

"Old pal, you need not put your hand out, I said, 'at that moment.'
Don't excite yourself. I know you are always thirsty, but you have got
the gold hunger bad as well. Just keep quiet, and put your hand in your

"I beg your pardon, I was forgetting myself."

"All right. Now I'll go on again. Well, I thought the dog had got
jammed in, and knew what tight lacing was, and so he did. At last we
thought we heard him, and he came out looking more like a turnspit than
a well-bred fox terrier.

"Some blood was on him. He had had a squeeze and no mistake, and was
about done, but no bones were broken.

"I said slow and solemn like, 'Sir, he has tackled them.'

"'What do you think it was?'

"I said, 'You mean they, sir. He has had more than one against him.'

"I then took up Dasher and carried him to a tub of water and washed
him. I did feel very sorry for the dog. I said, 'He has had a regular
battle of Waterloo, but it is his high-breeding and proper training
that has pulled him through the fight He has finished the lot, sir, you

"The resident engineer looked pleased, and I am sure I was. Dasher soon
recovered and we walked away. Don't forget, what the eye does not see
the heart does not grieve for, that is to say, I escaped all right; and
those pipes were considered to be 18 inches in diameter, and you know
it is not right and proper nor becoming to differ with one's superiors
too much, it almost amounts to foolishness I consider in such cases. I
always keep my brain in curb till I get a lean measurement, and then I
speak, but it don't do to differ with your governor too much. The
wheedling lay is the best game to play, and I have an aversion to a
quarrel with anyone when you can get more by oil and smiles.

"Take my advice, and before you try splayed nozzles, know whether your
guv'nors or the engineers have dogs, and, if so, the size of their
barrels and whether they have done growing and laying on bulk, because,
to be safe, you must work the pipes to fit the bow-wows. Remember I had
a near squeak, and so did the dog. I always keep in with them now, and
Dasher gets a biscuit from me whenever I see him, but he nearly cost me
all I had. It is indeed a real pleasure to have the opportunity of
rewarding virtue in men or dogs."

"That's right. Fill them up."

"The thought of that day rather makes me nervous and dry."

"That pipe and dog business was not exactly a holiday, but I had a
worse nerve-shaker than that, for it is a wonder you see me now when I
come to think of it. But there, Providence shields us all, good and
bad, just to give the bad ones a chance to alter, and to test whether
the good ones are really good. Still, I never meant anything wrong, of
course not--no one ever does. It is always the surrounding
circumstances that make things bad; and so we all humbug ourselves into
thinking we are very right and proper and good, and we have our private
opinion about other people."

"Stop that. Speak for yourself, and never mind about other people."

"All right. Don't get testy."

"Well, they let me take a cutting in hard marl down at Throatisfield
Junction. It wanted a lot of blasting, for it was deceptive material.
The powder used to go very quick and not split or move the ground much
either. I would fifty times rather had a real rock cutting than this
hardened lime and clay soil that won't cleave, and when the blast is
fixed it only about blows up the tamping and makes a noise for nothing,
but blasting marl rock is often vexatious work. One day, by a mistake,
the firm I had the powder from did not send the weekly quantity by road
as they ought to have done. I always paid for it prompt. They knew me,
as I was an old customer. It was nothing to do with the cash, but a
mistake in their office, so the only thing to be done was to fetch it;
and as seventy pounds' weight of powder is no joke, and I did not want
to lose a relation just then, I got it myself by train, and it nearly
cost me my life. I took a large box, just like a cheese box, planed
inside and as smooth as glass. We used the large-grained glazed powder.
I thought to myself, 'I'll take it in the front van, and ride with it,
and then I know all will be safe.'

"Now, there never was much luggage by this local train, although a lot
of passengers, and hardly ever above a case or two in the front van. I
knew the guards, and all would have gone pretty, but the usual front
one had got a day off to bury a relation, and that nearly buried me and
a lot more. After the front guard knew from the other who I was, he let
me ride in his van when I showed my ticket. We had about 30 miles to
travel, and stopped at nearly every station, about six of them
altogether. It was nearly a two hours' journey. I got a chap to pack
the powder safely for me, and all I had to do was to keep it from flame
and heat and being knocked about. Of course the guard did not know what
was in my box, and did not seem to care--he had other things to attend
to that were, or seemed to be, more important. I sat on the box, and
began a yarn about railway travelling, and was making the necessary
impression upon him, just to show I knew a few swells and things. There
may have been a trifle more imagination than fact about my talk, but
not too much, just enough to season it. We were getting on very
pleasantly, and nothing ugly occurred till we got two stations from
home, then there was a crowd on the platform. Been a football match.
The result was that three swells got into the guard's van. The old
guard always locked the door, this new one did not. No room in the
first, or anywhere else. Now I should not have cared a rap, as these
three swells were as sober as judges, but one turned to the guard and
said, 'You will not object to our smoking, I suppose?' Asking a
question that way always seems to me more than half a command. The
guard took it that way, I think, for he said, 'No, gentlemen, as the
carriages are full; but if you can keep it as quiet as you can at the
stations I shall thank you kindly, as there is a superintendent here as
has pickled pork and coffee for tea, that considers smoking worse than
poison, and it is against the rules.'

"Well, you can imagine I was just about fit to sink, as I knew there
was enough pent-up force in that box to elevate me higher than I wanted
to go by that sort of machinery. Two of the swells were free and easy
kind, the other rather a lady's man, sort of feminine man--the latter
began the game, and said, 'Charlie, have you a Vesuvian?'

"I dared not say a word, but I thought, 'My noble swell, I have not,
but I have a Vesuvius here--in fact, I'm sitting on it--and if you are
not careful the real one will have to take a back seat, and ashes will
be large goods to what we shall be like.' Well, they all started
smoking, and threw the fusees out of the window. After all, I thought
to myself, there's nothing much to fear now, although it would be
considerably more pleasant if you were in some other train somewhere.
When I got in I put my box just a little way from the side, so that it
should not jar, and there they had me. Soon we got near to the last
station we had to stop before mine, and these swells all took their
cigars out of their mouths, and as there was no place upon which to put
them except on my box, _they put them there_! Pass me the bottle. Oh
dear, oh dear, the thought of it! and they said to me, so nicely, 'You
won't mind, I know.' Before I could think almost there were three
cigars alight and red, been well puffed, and within 2 inches of 70 lbs.
of the best glazed blasting powder, and me sitting on it as a sort of

"I dared not say anything; but worse was to come, for they kept taking
a whiff and putting the cigars down again!

"After the train started the van jerked a bit over the crossing or a
badly-packed sleeper, and just as one of the swells was going to pick
up his cigar, it slipped, fell upon the top of my box of powder and
then upon the floor, and the sparks did fly!"

"No wonder you felt bad. I feel for you now, I do. It makes me dry."

"Stop! Worse is to come--worse. Pass the bottle. Wait a minute; I can
say no more until I have loosened my collar."

"Well, true as I am here, if there was not a fizz, a few grains had got
loose. My box had a hole in it; a knot in the wood had shaken out! I
knew the fizz was not like that of sporting powder, but my powder--and
to think there might have been a train self-laid right up to the bottom
of the box! Providence again."


"I'm hearty to you. It must have been an angel that broke the train of
powder, for on looking carefully about I saw a dozen or more grains.
Luckily for me, the guard had his head out of the window all the time,
as the whistle had been sounding. The swells only laughed at the
fizzle. I did not; I knew what a fearfully narrow squeak I had had. I
expect they thought it was a match end. However, I have had a life of
narrow squeaks, and so I got over it pretty soon, and said, 'The next
station is mine, gentlemen!' I moved my box a trifle, and noticed there
was a bit of paper on one side sticking out. I saw one of the swells
also noticed it, and seemed thoughtful. He soon made me understand that
he knew the paper. It was specially prepared, and a peculiar colour.
His father was the owner of the powder mills, and lived about five
miles from my cutting. If I was not previously blown up, I knew it was
in his power to have me fined fearfully heavy, if not imprisoned. He
stared at me, and as we were going down a long 1 in 50 gradient and
corkscrew line the guard looked out for squalls and two of the swells
on the other side. He then whispered in my ear, 'Is your name Dark?'

"I could not speak, it took me back so; but I managed to nod. He said,
'Why did you not telegraph? I would have had it delivered specially';
and he pointed to my box. He gave me a half-dollar, and put out his
cigar. I quickly and carefully filled up the hole and picked up the
stray grains, and no one knew anything, except him and me. He then
said, 'Take my advice, don't try that game again; for if you manage to
struggle through such a journey without becoming a million or two atoms
you will probably be hanged'; and he motioned with hand to his throat.
'This time I shall say nothing.'

"I thanked him. I never felt so small and weak in my life. Well, I
arrived at my station, and got my box out and sat upon it for some time
till the reaction on my nervous system had worked; but I would have
given just then some one else's gold-mines for a strong lap-up of
something neat. Mind you, about five minutes before we stopped the up
mail passed us, and we were both going full forty miles an hour.
Suppose the box had fizzled out just then, it would have wrecked both
trains, killed a few hundreds, blown a big hole in the line, spoilt the
dividends for some time, shocked the world, made widows and orphans of
half the country round pretty nigh, have ruined a few speculators who
were on the 'bull' lay in the main line shares, and have smashed into
chips more than half the 'bucket-shop' outside benevolent (?)
institutions for the distribution of wealth as were operating for a

"It seems to me you lost a grand opportunity of being a big pot for
once, and showing them who's which--but there! you always had a kind
heart, and I remember you have often said a too sudden rise in the
world never did any one much lasting good."

"You are right; but perhaps it is as well for me. I am so modest, and
ambition knows me not."

_Note._--On all public works it is advisable to know by what means any
blasting agents are brought to the works. Daily use not infrequently
causes the men to be very reckless, and stringent regulations in
conformity with the various Acts and general experience should be made,
and every care taken to have them faithfully observed.



"Have you managed to squeeze any 'extra' profit on the quiet out of

"Yes, twenty or thirty years ago, but there is not much to be got now.
Since a few engineers took to writing upon the subject they have
reminded or informed others pretty well what to look after, but there
were not many thirty years back that knew how it ought to be made; and
you see, although one receives the materials, the concrete has to be
made with them, manufactured, as it were, on the work, and you can
spoil the best Portland cement that is, was, or ever will be made in
the proportioning, mixing, and blending it with bad sand and gravel, or
dirty broken rock.

"They handed me the Portland cement, and all the specification said
was, 'All concrete shall consist of 1 of Portland cement to 6 of clean
gravel, and shall be mixed and deposited in a workmanlike manner [which
we consider means as the workmen like] to the entire satisfaction of
the Company's engineer.'

"This was drawn up by a civil and mechanical engineer, which is a
big-drum kind of title, and I should think covered corkscrews and
manufacturing machinery, and everything else under the sun that can be
handled at any time, including a 6-inch drain, the Forth Bridge, and
the Channel Tunnel thrown in. It's too much, it seems to me, for one
man to completely understand; and I once heard a celebrated engineer
say that, with a few brilliant exceptions, such a man knew thoroughly
neither civil nor mechanical engineering--life was too short. I don't
presume to say anything, but his specifications of our kind of work
might have been more exact; still they were sources of joy and comfort
to us.

"Machine mixing was hardly known at the time I am particularly
referring to, and the Portland cement was of all qualities, good, bad,
and indifferent, and some as I really can't say had any quality in it
at all, and was utterly unlike what you get now. It was then sometimes
bought on the same principle as going to the first shop handy, and
saying, 'Small bag of cement. How much?' There was no name on the bag,
for no one wished to own he had made the cement, and it was indeed of
illegitimate origin, and had no parents.

"The cement came, and we did pretty well as we liked, for the inspector
knew nothing about it; in fact, we were all in the same boat. But what
a lucky thing it is that there is such a thing as a margin of safety!"

"You mean the difference between the strain a thing has to bear in
ordinary use and what will break it?"

"Yes, that is it. One day an engineer said to me, 'There is a large
factor of safety in this case, which is fortunate.' I thought he was
talking about a flour factor near the works that also sold fire-escapes
and fire-extinguishers, so I said, 'He weighs nearly eighteen stone,
and I should call him big rather than large, for he is like the prices
at which he sells flour, and charges a penny a quartern too much; but
he is greatly respected in the neighbourhood by those who don't know
what fair prices are, for he is so oily and civil, as just suits a
lot.' Between you and me, he swindled them, and beat us for 'extra'

"The engineer looked as if he could not at first make out what I was
talking about, and, as it turned out, I did not know what _he_ was. He
seemed to enjoy himself, and let me finish my sermon. He then explained
to me what we call 'margins' of safety, and what they call 'factors' of
safety are the same goods."

"You have learnt something now."

"I have, another name; no doubt their word is the right one, but they
ought to consider the likes of us are not poets, or fed on stewed
grammar, and should remember we were boss-gangers once, and have
blossomed into sub-contractors.

"Let that pass. You should have seen the cement. It was lucky we never
had to sift it as we do now, or we should never have got any through a
forty-to-the-inch mesh. It was just like fine sand, and nearly the
colour of it, too, instead of grey. I have had a fair experience with
Portland cement now, for we had testing-rooms, machines and troughs,
fresh and sea water, slabs, and a host of other detective apparatus at
the last dock works I was on. However, the cement we had and I was just
referring to, was pretty nearly all residue, and of course it did not
stick the gravel together except in streaks that had good luck rather
than anything else. And the gravel! Well, it is an elastic truth to
call it gravel, for it was dirty; and I conscientiously feel I am close
to thinking I am not speaking in accordance with the principles of
strict veracity if I call it gravel.

"And the mixing! Well, there was not much of it, just a turning over or
two, and we deluged the stuff with water so as to make it easy to
handle, and we hurled it into the foundations as we pleased and at all
sorts of heights, just as might happen to be convenient. I did not
trouble myself about it then, but I do now, for I had a month or two in
and about the testing places when there was no other job for me that
suited, and I firmly believe almost all the failures of Portland cement
concrete occur because the men that used it do not understand it, or
the specification is not carried out, or is wrong somewhere. The best
goods in the world want proper treatment, and, after all, the abuse of
a thing is no argument against its use. Some quarry owners and stone
merchants don't like cement concrete; it is poison to them, because it
hurts their trade. It is my opinion, founded on what I have seen and
know, that Portland cement concrete is grand stuff when properly made;
but you can't make the 'extra' profit on it you could, unless you can
forget to rightly proportion the material. I mean leave out anything on
the quiet you find is more profitable when it is absent; and now mixing
machines are always used on works of importance where concrete is made
in any considerable quantity, that is the only way you get a chance of
a bit 'extra,' at least so runs my experience.

"Bless me! when I come to think of it, it is really wonderful that some
of the concrete I have cast in has set at all, and don't believe it can
all have set; for, first, the cement was wrong, then the gravel was not
gravel, the sand was like road siftings, no trouble was taken to
proportion the materials properly, and no mixing was done rightly, only
an apology for it. The water was dirty, and used anyhow, and if a lump
got a bit stiff it was rolled over, broken up in the trench and watered
down below. Some went in like the soup that has balls in it, and we
threw the concrete (?) down just anyhow. The inspector, as I said
before, knew nothing much about it, although he was a beautiful kidder
and could patter sweet and pretty just as if he were courting, and the
engineer was away, so the road was clear for a bit 'extra,' and we took

"Now, how the dickens could any concrete be right with such treatment?
It is cruelty to expect it."

"I left those works, and the engineer got corpsed, so he is past
blaming; but, fortunately, the middle wall of the dock that got
strained the most--the one in which was some of the concrete (?) I have
been telling you about--had to be removed for improvements, and when
they pulled it down I heard the concrete was in layers like thick
streaky bacon, a layer of gravel with hardly a bit of cement in it,
then a few lumps of solid on the top and hard as all would have been if
the cement, gravel, sand, proportioning, mixing, and the putting into
place had been done properly; then another layer of open stuff that had
stuck together a bit, and then a lot of soft oozy rubbish, like decayed
cheese, bad, coarse cement, you know, that would not or could not hold
together and had done the 'fly' trick, you know, had cracked about, the
coarsest part of the cement The streaks were there because we watered
the cement so much that it was not concrete but weak grout, and bad
too; and it could not drain down because one of the thin, hardish
streaks, already set, stopped it, and it was bound to make friends with
the gravel and dirt somehow, although trying to shun such company by
running away and so get off duty. It was the same all the way through,
and there were a lot of holes in it caused by the nearly set lumps
coming together and slightly sticking, and therefore preventing the
other material from filling the voids. _Hardly a cubic yard of the
whole mass was the same._

"That is what I call a real bit of scamping; but, honestly, I did not
think I was putting it in so bad as that, but I then knew hardly
anything about the material. I shall never do it again, for I know I
shall not get the chance, besides we all must draw the line somewhere;
but there, a lot is now known about concrete that was only in the
brains of a very few then.

"As the cement is now supplied to you, I often put it in a bit thick,
that is when I have to find the gravel and sand. It would be the other
way about under different circumstances; but at the present time, with
Carey's concrete mixer--which, luckily for plunder for us, is the only
machine that measures and mixes the materials mechanically, and turns
out from 10 to 70 cubic yards of concrete per hour--you do not get much
chance of 'extras' and none with it; and concrete mixing is now nearly
done as carefully as mixing medicine, and I don't regard concrete as
fondly as I used to, for no 'extras' worth thinking of are to be made
out of it. My old love, consequently, is cooling off, becoming warm and
perhaps distant respect, not much else; but good Portland cement
concrete is the best material, bar granite, I know of, if properly
used, as it is then all the same strength--that is when the Portland
cement is right, the proportions, mixing, and depositing even and
proper, and the gravel and sand really clean sharp gravel and sand. You
see, in that case, it is uniform throughout, and, after all, what is
the good of the hardest stone or brick when you have a weak mortar to
join them together which cannot nearly stand the same strain in any
direction as the stone or brick?"

"You are right, it is simply waste. Like deluging good spirits with
pure water, and spoiling them both. Lucky you had finally left those
dock works before they pulled the middle wall down, or you might have
had a bad quarter of an hour in a very sultry atmosphere."

"After that we will have a toothful neat."

"That's warming and is real comfort."

"I have never had much to do with concrete, but I remember seeing a lot
go in on some dock works where I had some puddle to make for the
cofferdam, and I got something 'extra' out of that."

"How did you do it?"

"Well, you know, working such stuff all day and nothing else makes
anyone rather sick of it, it is like breaking stones for metalling, I
should think, and the weariness of it makes the big stones have a
tendency to hide and cause the face to look small and even. I had a
dozen men besides casuals, and all old hands at the game of 'extras.'
We had to, or were supposed to, work up a certain right proportion of
sand with the clay so as to prevent the puddle cracking and keep it
sufficiently moist. I own we sometimes let the clay have a taste of
peace; in fact, between you and me, we were going express speed, and
'extras' was the name of our engine.

"One day the resident engineer came, and somehow got up close to us
rather unawares, and took us by surprise. Of course, the material ought
to have been worked the same throughout, and we nearly did it, but
nearly is not quite. He seemed to sniff out that all was not just as
right as it might be, and said:--

"'Don't forget to work it up thoroughly. You have a good price, and it
is important the clay should be uniformly mixed with a little sand.'

"'Certainly, sir.'

"I generally agree with my boss, it pays best. So I at once called out
sharp to my chaps, as if all I loved in this world was at stake, 'Don't
fear mixing it, lads. Get it well mixed.'

"One of them, he was a new chap to me, and belonged to the militia I
found out, turned round, and said:--

"'All right, boss; I always make the broad-arrow kitchens in the camp,
and the flues and the openings for the Flanders kettles, so I know how
it ought to be done; but if you think I'm a white-faced doughey [i.e. a
baker's man] I am not, and you had better fetch a batch of dougheys and
start them at work feet and hands. It will make them sweat. That
puddle, I tell you, is as well mixed as the dougheys do the different
kinds of flour, and call all the bake the best and purest bread, and
make it smell sweet with hay water.'"

"I suppose you silenced him quickly?"

"No, I pretended to take no notice, for I knew I had spoken too sharp,
but the resident engineer smiled downwards and passed on.

"We had a heap of clay on one side and the same of sand on the other,
and the inspector saw we had from time to time a small mound of clay
and one of sand put separate and measured ready for mixing. We had a
few piles of clay and sand at first measured exactly, and then we got
used to it, and did it by sight only. We were close to the river, or
rather estuary, and used to fill a barrow now and again with the sand
and shoot it over the entrance jetty. A little was taken from each
heap. The engineer knew his book, and would not have it worked from one
or two big heaps, and the sand brought to it, but he would have
separate mounds of about 20 cubic yards at a time. There were nearly
5000 cubic yards of puddle to work up, and as the clay came from the
trenches so we worked it up. A kind of filling and discharging, and
everything on the move.

"I made a nice thing 'extra' that way, but nearly got bowled out, for
one day there was an extraordinary low tide, a low tide was expected,
but a land wind was blowing great guns, and it was the lowest tide
known for fifty years or so. Now, when you start the game of 'extra'
profit you will agree with me, it is necessary to have someone you can
rely upon, or else things may not go exactly as you expect. They may
work wrong, and then you have to look out for squalls when they lay you
bare and find out all. Here, I had been getting a rise out of my
bosses, and blessed if old Ginger's snip, his boy, whom I paid a bit
extra to do the harrowing well out, did not get a rise out of me. It
caused a near shave, too.

"Well, the tide ran down till it laid dry a little sandbank, that is,
some of the stuff that should have been at home in the puddle, had
travelled by the wrong road by the entrance jetty. I did give Ginger's
snip a talking-to, I tell you, after; but it was a near shave, as you
will soon know. I saw the bank, so I sent him down the jetty with two
chaps that knew what was up and got duly rewarded by me. They knew me.
I never forget friends--too good, I am. Not even to borrow from them,
if occasion requires, so that they should remember me in their dreams.
I said to them: 'Stir up the sand, lads, for I think I saw a leg in it,
and a bit of a dress; it may be there has been another midnight horror.
It's really shocking!' And that was true, for I thought the sand was
shocking, and that murder will out, as the saying goes. It was a shave,
for just as the tide began to turn, up came the resident engineer, and
there could not have been more than an inch or two over the sand, but
it soon rises, as you know, and almost walks up. I had not time to call
the men, and there they were, stirring away. It was lucky I thought of
the leg and the woman's dress. So I shouted, 'Come up, lads, it's

"Then the resident engineer started asking me questions; and I was
afraid he might ask the men something, so I kept him as long as I
could, and spun a yarn, and pointed out the spot where a body was found
some time ago, and talked away like a paid spouter, for every minute
that passed was good business, for the water was rising quickly, and I
knew the tide would soon just about put it right. After a little while
the resident engineer went away, and I was rubbing my waistcoat
thinking I had been in another near squeak, but won on the post by a
short head owing to jockeyship, when I saw him down below with a large
black retriever, and the blessed dog was half out of the water. I kept
as far away as I could, but I saw he had taken off his boots and turned
up his trousers, and was walking about on the heap probing with his
stick. He did not stop long, as he knew the tide was rising, and then
he came to me afterwards and said that a sandbank had been deposited at
least 30 feet in length.

"'Very likely, sir; but did you find the leg, or body, or dress of a
woman?' 'No. But I found a lot of sand that would have been better in
the puddle.' And he looked straight at me.

"Well, I had to put on my best sweet, innocent child face, and I
hazarded the mild remark, 'It's the eddies that have done it. I have
known them bring stuff for miles, sir.' It was no use saying from the
other side or nearer, because there was no sand like we had to mix with
the clay for the puddle for many miles, nor could I declare that a
barge had got upset. He did not say anything more, but called his dog
and went to the office. Let me impress upon you that the last 1500 or
so yards of puddle had more sand in them than the first 3500. Tides I
like, and they are healthy and useful; but it is the deuce to pay if
you think you can go against them, as King Canute showed his courtiers,
when he did the chair trick upon the sea-shore. Do you know I go so far
as to think that if a floating caisson were taken about and sunk so as
to lay bare the bed of the Thames in certain places, things would be
found by a little digging that neither you nor me dream of, and perhaps
might not like to see, for even sandbanks at certain times and places
are not pleasant to gaze upon. Eh?"



"You remember my old partner on the last dock works we were on?"

"Rather. He had been properly educated, and knew the time of day, and
there are few things he ever had to do with he did not get a bit
'extra' out of. On that you can bet the family plate."

"Right you are. Old partner, do you know I have a weakness. I liked the
old times when there was plenty of work to be had, and few that knew
how to do it. Then the likes of you and me were regarded at their
proper value, and estimated as worth something extra. Now there are
about a million too many of us, and not half the work to be done. Old
England is not like a big place that wants opening up, and it is a rare
high old breeding country, and a lot of folks seem to wish it to be
nothing else.

"My then partner took, labour only, a lot of brickwork in cement. It
was a dock wall, and it averaged not far from 20 feet in thickness. It
was a wall, and not a mere facing like little bridges. It gave a man a
chance of something to work on. When a chap takes a contract, labour
only, not having to find the materials, it is no use turning your
attention to saving them; the only game to play is to use the mortar
nearly liquid, so that it runs about of itself almost, and put some
random work in between the face work and the back, and trust to
mortar-rakes and grout, and oiling the human wheels as much as
required. I don't like the word bribe the inspectors. For two chaps
like us, that will have what we consider good work, it is not bribery,
it is downright pure philanthropy that prompts us to give a sovereign
away now and then in the proper and most deserving direction, which I
generally find to be the inspector. I never give gold away without
knowing it will come back well married, and may bring a family, and
they are welcome to my best spread. That's just where our education
enables us to grasp things right. What a shame it is for people to find
fault with the School Board rate, when it is only about four times more
than its promised highest figure, and the school buildings are such
models of art and strength; and how thankful we ought to be to the
teachers for their kind attendance, given for almost nothing! How
pleased our old schoolmaster would be when he knew we took every
advantage to make a profit somehow or other from what he taught us."

"I guess he would be, the joy might kill him; but how did you apply
your schooling to the brickwork?"

"Wait, patience please! As I said before, or nearly did, there was not
much face work compared with bulk in the wall. I had a lot of militia
chaps, and well paid and lushed them. They were something like
brickies. Bless me, the wall used to rise up; and I was half afraid if
those at the office worked out the check time, and compared it with our
cubic measurement, they would think I was paying all my chaps more than
any other member of creation ever did, or making too big a profit to
suit them, and don't you mistake. But there! the Company did the work
themselves, or let it in bits, and of course the check-time game was
not played anything like so strong as if we had been working for a boss

"Well, we were doing trench work, and had shoots for the materials to
travel from the surface down to the wall, and the trench was about 50
feet in depth from the top to the foundation. We had one shoot for
bricks and another for mortar in between each frame, and that would
have been plenty if all the work had been laid to a bond, but when only
about 4 feet in the front and 2 feet at the back was, and the rest
raked in level, except a course or two now and again, we used to want a
couple of shoots for each. I had the face of the wall made really
pretty, just like a doll's house, and pointed up lovely; but let me
give a bit of credit to the Company, for they gave us the best
materials with which I ever had to do."

"You mean the bricks and mortar were such that it would have been a
downright waste of good muscle to put the bond the same throughout,
simply pampering up the materials and turning them sickly, like some
people do children, so as to appear so fond of them before other

"Precisely; so after my partner got the face in right, the stuff went
down and in. All we had to be careful about was not to smash the
bricks. We soon managed that, and we had few broken ones, for they were
good, hard, and dark. Well, in they went, and when we began to work the
show, some of the scenery was hard to get right. Of course the
inspector began to find fault, that was what he was paid for, and was
about the only way he could work round for his 'extras.' After oiling
him a little, and pleasing him in the old-fashioned way, we managed
gradually to overcome the natural dulness of his mind, and we became a
happy crew--a lot of brickies with a single thought, and hearts that
beat as one.

"Well, in the stuff went; and after working out the averages according
to the rules of the exact sciences, me and my partner arrived at the
conclusion accordingly that about one-half or a trifle more bricks were
put in by hand, and the rest were like machine-made bread, unsoiled by
hand, and therefore must have been good and pure, as those alone know
who work on the same lines. My partner, in his younger days, before he
took to brickwork, had been to sea, and all the men used to call him
'Captain.' When he wanted to give the chaps in the office the straight
griffin, he used to say, 'Nelson's my guide.' That meant give them
'biff,' in other words, finish off the enemy as quick as you know how."

"You mean get the bricks in as fast as you can _only get them in

"Yes, that's it. If good old Nelson sent his shots in as fast as these
bricks were squatted, all I can say is the guns did not get much time
to cool. Let me give my partner all praise, for although he had a nice
spot to work on--as of course the timber in the trenches hid a lot of
the work, and made a nice gloom--as a precaution he kept the ladder
away from the top of the trenches, so that anyone had to walk along the
top strut and then get down, consequently there was not much chance of
being caught; and after the bottom courses were in and the face and
back right, it was easy work, because there was always time to get the
road right and all went as peacefully as could be wished. But the old
Captain, on the same dock, nearly overdid it one day, and all to save
him scarcely one hundred pence, but he got so eager that money to him
was food, and it is my opinion if he had been born rich he would have
made a fine miser; but apart from that, he knew how to make a contract
and what work was, and the training on board ship he had in his young
days set him right, and he was always on the work looking out for a bit
'extra,' or on scout. But once he nearly overreached himself."

"How did he do that?"

"I will tell you, if you keep quiet."

"Right away."

"It happened like this, and might have wrecked the whole place, and was
the consequence of working against orders. At one part of the works
there was an old slope at the end of the dock which was no use without
a new entrance. Where the trenches had been dug out for a wall a piece
of earth was left in at the dock end, and was stepped down like a
retaining wall, although only earth. Well, the orders were to keep it 4
feet above a certain level, which made it not so nice for unloading
from barges as 2 feet or so. As that end of the dock was only sloped
off, and left to itself, for no one ever seemed to go there, and it was
a good height, and up and down a bit at top, been stuff run to spoil,
my partner, the old Captain thought he might as well take another 2
feet off for about 10 feet or so, and ease the unloading the bricks,
cement, and sand, and made certain it would not be noticed. Now of
course it did not take long to pare a slice from that short length
sufficient to help the unloading, and I should have said this was done
soon after we began the brickwork. I remember the day well enough, for
if I had not have happened to have been having my dinner by myself on
the cofferdam, I believe we might have been flooded out and wrecked.

"The wind was blowing strong and had been for several days from the
same quarter, and it brought the water up till it was heaped. Before
the wind began to blow it had been very wet, and it was also the time
high tides were expected, so everything worked in the direction for a
real high one. I began my dinner before the usual time, feeling a bit
hollow, and had done by a quarter of an hour after the whistle had
blown. I was just lighting my pipe when I happened to look upon the
water. It wanted about an hour or more to high water, I watched the
tide flowing up, and, all of a sudden, it struck me it would be a
topper; but as the cofferdam was a long way above high water, so as to
stop any waves breaking over, for the estuary was nearly one mile in
width, and as this dam was a really well strutted one, it did not
trouble me. I dare say I smoked for nearly ten minutes, and was
thinking it was a nice job, and that 'extras' would have a good look
in, when, just as things that frighten you do occur to you very
quickly, it struck me--How about the Captain and his two feet off,
pared off, up at the trench end bank? Well, I did not stop, but went at
once to the place, although a good half mile away, and was soon there.
I saw it must be a near squeak, and I knew there was no chance of the
entrance gates being shut because a lot of craft was waiting to go into
the dock, besides it would give the office that something was wrong,
and I knew the chances were a thousand to one no one would come near as
it was right away one end of the works, and nothing doing there except
for us when we were unloading. Most of the chaps had never been that
end of the works at all. Now this was all very pretty looked at from
getting a bit of 'extra,' but it was hardly the same when that game was
played by the tide putting in a bit 'extra' and rising nearly 2 feet
more than ever recorded before. I looked at my watch and knew the tide
had about an hour yet to run up. I got out my rule and measured, and
then I was sure it would not be far off two feet over the dip the old
Captain had cut to save an odd penny or two. I was just turning round
to go to fetch him--for I knew where he was, and of course we always
let one another know, although we don't name it--when I saw him coming
pretty sharp with his ganger and a few trusty chaps. I beckoned to him.
He was alongside very quickly, and I said, 'The tide will be over.'

"He answered: 'I thought it might, as the bottom of the tenth step down
on the landing place was just the same level as the top of the dip. I
knew it by the water.'

"I said, 'There may be a chance about it, but I don't think so, for
this tide is running up so strongly that I know, from experience of the
estuary, that it will beat the highest tide ever recorded.'

"While I was speaking he measured, and took out his watch and timed
five minutes. He measured again, and then off went his coat like
greased lightning, and we all followed suit as if we were a lot of
figures pulled by strings, and he shouted, 'We have not a moment to
lose. It will rise 1 foot 6 inches above where we are.'

"He then clenched his teeth. 'Planks, stakes, bags, tarpaulins, bring
anything you can get, and come back at once or we are drowned out,
wrecked, and lost, all ends up.'

"We soon got some stakes in, and some planks, and we set to work, all
six of us, raising the dip in the bank the old captain had made. He
turned white as a sheet, and said, 'She is on us, simply romping in.
Half a dollar each if you can stop her.'

"We all worked like black devils flying from torture, for we only had
half an inch start of the tide. It was a sort of life and death race,
and death for choice.

"'She is still rising, Captain.'

"He then cried out: 'By thunder! She's over the far end at the plank
dip. Once really over, and all will go.'

"He stood still for a moment and then dashed to the place and laid down
on his side full length, and shouted: 'Give me a short plank, and my
coat.' He would not get up although we asked him. He had got the
frights, so we let him be. He placed the plank in front of him, and his
coat over it, and there we were filling in stuff at the back of him as
fast as we could, and putting in stakes for the planks. The tide was
still rising, He turned his head, and said: 'Are you ready?'


"He then rose, and a pretty mess he was in.

"'By thunder! that was a close shave. If we had only had another
tarpaulin or two we should have been right sooner. There was some sand
there, I remember we upset a wagon-load.'

"He looked scared, but soon brightened up and said: 'We are right now
though. The tide has stopped, but keep at it, lads, we must bury
everything and get a good 2 feet higher, for if once the water runs
over, the tail-race of the largest mill stream in creation will be a
fool to it, and it would only be a question of minutes before the whole
earth-bank would burst and let in ten acres or more of dock water, and
the sea, and perhaps break up a lot of craft and wreck the whole place.
Lads, I well remember seeing a catch-water earth-bank give way, and it
is soon over when the water runs down the back slope, and there is not
much chance of stopping a breach.'

"The men went away, and the captain said to me: 'My word, I shall not
forget this.' He then sat down and wiped his forehead and said on the
quiet to me: 'There is one blessing, no one on the work knows about it
but us, and, if we are careful, no one will.'

"'You had better get home at once and have a rub down and change and
sixpenn'orth or more, hot. I know what to do, and will see all is put
right.' He took the hint and skipped, but came back in half an hour,
and then we had a talk.'

"I tell you what it is, one can play a lot of tricks on land, and get
'extras' many roads, but water won't stand it. It is too honest, and
turns upon you and soon finds you out. I never did like water much, you
can't beat it, that's why I left the sea. It's an unsociable element,
and is most always in the way except when you're boating, washing,
fishing, or mixing something. You can't educate it so as to look at
work from an 'extras' point of view, for it cares for no one.

"Take my advice and always give it a margin and allow in temporary
structures a good 3 feet above the highest recorded water line, unless
you want the work wrecked, and then add a height necessary to keep out
the waves."

"You are right, for I remember getting a bit 'extra' out of some pipe
joints. Instead of making all the joints according to the
specification, we made a good many with brown paper and covered them up
quickly. The pipes were laid at a depth of some 20 feet, and it took a
considerable time before they began to leak. At last there was a burst
up, but it was so powerful that all the jointing was washed out, so
they never knew who was to blame. The place where that happened is
fully a couple of hundred miles away, and will never see me in it again
as I did not like the people, so I said to myself, all right, I will
leave something behind that will tickle you up, and cost the lot of you
some beans to put right, and I did, and so got even with them all. It
was one of those lovely small towns where everyone knew everybody's
business much better than their own."

"Do you remember Carotty Jack?"

"Yes, rather. You mean him who was up to snuff in spoon-bag dredging.
'Old tenpenny labor' only was his 'chaff' name."

"He was the sharpest card, so I was told, on the river for getting
'extras' out of dredging. He was measured by the barge, and paid
accordingly. I confess I don't quite know how he worked it, but he did
for years, and never got found out. You see, what is ten or twenty
yards of dredging, nothing either way? It is never noticed, and you
can't measure under the water as you can on land. It can't be done,
except in new cuts, when new cross-sections have been taken over the
ground. The beds of most rivers being always more or less on the move,
water then becomes a nice servant to work a bit of 'extras' out of, and
that is about the only way I am aware of where it comes in useful in
that direction.

"How Carotty did it, as I said before, I don't quite know, although I
saw the thing, but he used to work it somehow or other by movable
boards fixed on a pivot. He had three or four of them, and could fit
them together just about as quick as the roulette tables are fastened
by racecourse thieves and stowed away. They had two flaps at the sides
covered with stiff tarpaulin, and the ends were closed by planks
loosely fastened by a catch to the pivot. They were well made and
fitted splendidly, just like hinged box-lids, and the whole thing was
similar to a box with the bottom out and the sides hinged and ends to
slide up and down. I believe Carotty would have made furniture A 1, if
he had turned his attention to it.

"He had an old ship's boat of his own. The apparatus was stowed away in
it, and I might further say it resembled a shallow box upside down,
with the lid off, working on a saddle, and the flaps at the sides moved
as the box got pushed down on either side; but they kept the stuff from
getting under it almost always; for when they measured the barge-load
for depth, if they put the measuring-rod down on one side and touched
the board, it went up a foot or so on the other, and no one suspected
anything. The barges were all narrow ones, as usual with spoon-bag
dredging. The measurer used to walk round the barge and be busy trying
the stuff here and there, to see if there was no gammon. The mud was
thick, and went up and down very slowly. Carotty always had two or
three of these boxes fixed on the saddle, and just the right distance
to be out of reach, and he did not fix them on the same line. He kept
the frames two or three feet apart, so that if by any chance two men
started probing on the same line he would soon shift them a little, and
say it was an odd brick, or a tin, or a bottle, and then everything
went down easily upon both sides, and for one place where they were
extra sharp, he made the machinery in very short lengths, and zigzag
fashion. He told me he got pretty nearly from six to ten yards extra
out of every barge, according as the stuff and the size of the barge
was kind towards 'extras.' Of course, from the solid dredging he had
the best haul. Carotty was a cool card at the game of 'extras,' and had
a face on him like a nun, and could look that innocent and lamb-like as
only humbugs can. He used to laugh over it.

"He told me that he had known the time when no 'extra' machinery such
as his was needed, for plenty of water, some boxes, a false bottom, and
a few planks, were all the things that were wanted. Then they had to be
given up, and he said he was really compelled to make himself a present
of the first small pump he could privately annex, and soon found the
chance on one of the works where he had a little contract.

"He got some old bags, mended them, and soaked them in some solution
that made them tight, and he used to fill them with water and weight
them with a stone or two. He had a rope with a draw-knot attached to
short lengths of line so that he could let the bags loose or fasten
them against a hook when he discharged the barge out at sea or
elsewhere. Generally he used to unscrew the stopper of each bag at the
side of the barge, and when on the return journey let out the water and
then haul up. Although it cost him some labour, he said he used to get
one way or other a bit of gold 'extra' by that means every barge load,
or, rather, what was thought to be; and sometimes he did not let the
water out of the bags at all if the people he had to deal with were
easy, but now times were very hard on him, as he had to work at night
to keep the machinery right, and he thought it very cruel of them, as
it gave him a very short eight hours' recreation, as was the cry now
for the third part of a day.

"He was clever, and I believe he could have made an iron-clad out of
old fire-irons and coal scuttles if they had given him enough goods,
plenty of time, and paid him sufficiently, and you may bet the ship
would have answered its rudder all serene.

"He told me he actually got twopence a yard more on one occasion by
using the boxes right for a week, on the ground of extra hard dredging,
for, of course, all the stones and heaviest dredgings fall to the
bottom. He put in his machinery pretty close together, and heaped up
the stuff in the middle, and did the injured innocence business
properly, and after they had done a lot of probing about, during which
he told me the machinery worked lovely, they gave him another twopence
a cubic yard. Measurement by the ton would have spoilt that game,
though; but then it was not canal dredging he was doing, but in the
open. Give Carotty his due, I was told there was not a man on the river
who could dredge to a section as he could, and he did the work quickly
and well, but he always managed to get paid for more than he did, and
he told me he never meant to do otherwise. He said he considered he was
cheap goods at the price, and wholesome; but he complained tremendously
of the dredgers and excavators introduced lately, for they spoilt him,
and there was but little chance of 'extras' now worth the trouble or
the risk. In consequence, he had given up doing dredging."



"Will you listen to me for a few minutes?"

"Yes. I notice you have something pent up in your head."

"Well, this was rather an amusing bit I am going to tell you, but was a
near shave for real squalls, as you will agree when you hear about it.

"I got the guv'nor to let me do a bit of linking in at so much per
chain. Of course, he supplied the rails--they were flange
rails--sleepers and fastenings, and they were all right. I linked in
the road. We had a mixed up permanent way, nine by four and a half
half-rounds, and ten by five rectangular sleepers. Check pattern, an
odd and even road. Between you and me, I think mixing them up betwixt
the joint sleepers is a mistake. It makes the road stiff one place and
loose at another, and a train cannot run steadily, and I would rather
have all rectangulars, and put them wider apart, and give the rail
flange a bit of bearing, for half-rounds are mere sticks, although they
are lighter to handle, and in that respect nicer. You see they have
only about three-fifths of the bulk of rectangulars, and when they are
adzed less than that, and not more than half the bearing for the rail
flange. If I had to do the maintenance, no half-rounds for me, still
they do for light traffic and for cheap agricultural lines."

"I agree, they are temporary goods."

"Well, it was funny, but here we had too much and too little of a good
thing, and were as near in hot squalls as could be. I expect they made
a mistake in loading them; anyhow, young Jack, my ganger, found he had
no half-rounds, but a lot of rectangulars. He is a bit impetuous, and
would not wait, it's not in him, so he put in all rectangulars that
day, and, of course, with the result that they had not enough
rectangulars left for the other road all through, so about six or seven
chains were nearly all half-rounds, and he actually placed one
rectangular one side of a rail joint, and a half-round on its back,
flat end upwards, on the other, and so a lot of the half-rounds did
duty for rectangulars.

"It was a bit of a scurry, and as soon as the road was in the spikers,
ballasters and packers were on us, and no time for thinking. Well,
neither me nor Jack gained much by the fun, except our men would have
been stopped, and they were not, and things would have been put out a
bit for the day. My guv'nor did not know, or would have made us pull it
all up and put it in right. Now, they knew the number of sleepers, &c.,
that had been served out, and had sufficient confidence in me to be
sure I never scamped the materials, except a bit of ballast here and
there, and that is soon made up.

"Of course, there was no mistake six or seven chains of road were weak,
and I told Jack to put in a little extra good ballast and pack the
sleepers well there, and what he did extra at that place was to come
out of the part where all the rectangulars were, for I never throw away
or lose anything on purpose."

"Quite right, we agree. Shake, for I'm hearty to you."

"He understood how I wanted the wind to blow, and it would have gone on
all serene, but you know, just when you think you are out of a scrape,
you sometimes find you are in it, or as near to it as wants 'an old
parliamentary hand' to explain and fog away. I was down at the
junction, when I saw the engineer, and some swells with him. The
resident engineer was away that day. After a bit of jaw among them,
they beckoned to me, and said they wanted to go to the end of the line,
the very place where some of the sleepers were lying turned on their
round faces. There was a bit of luck. I felt dead wrong. However, they
had to walk about a couple of miles, and then wait till the engine had
returned with the empties; so I said to the engineer, 'Please excuse
me, sir, but I will arrange that the engine is at the ballast hole at
four o'clock, as you wish, and I will be back to attend upon you as
quickly as I can.'

"I scampered up the slope of the cutting and out with an envelope. I
always keep one or two about me handy. I tore out a leaf of my
note-book, and called young Snipper, the brake boy, and said to him,
'Jump on old Leather's nag. Take this to young Jack, and I'll make it
all right for you when I see you next time; but go quickly, and give
this letter to no one else but young Jack. If he is away for more than
a few minutes bring the letter back to me. No--wait till he comes up,
and send someone to fetch him to you. You understand.' 'Yes, sir, I
know what you mean.' 'Now do a bit of the Johnny Gilpin business.' Off
he went, and was busy.

"This is what I wrote to young Jack, my ganger:--'Bosses has come, and
will be up to you in about an hour. X.... them. Cover up the ends of
the half-rounds, and sprinkle them pretty with fine ballast if you can
do it in an hour. Then shunt the empties or the full wagons over where
the half-rounds are, and look innocent, as if you had never moved above
a foot all day, and be busy, or I'll pull your throat out, much as I
love you. Smooth it right, and leave rest to me. Pull all your gumption
out ready. Keep this, and hand it back to me. Show no one, or I'll have
you hung. If I find all right, there are two pints, and something
else.' That's what I call a business letter. No double meaning about

"Young Snipper got there in double quick time, and young Jack was there
as well. I saw he had carried out my letter of instructions. Still, I
knew the engineer would be likely to twig, as he was near to being
hawk-eyed. Now, I felt sure they would be hanging about for an hour,
perhaps two, as most of them had never been up there before, and they
thought of carrying the line on further to somewhere or other, but they
did not on account of the expense, for several tunnels, viaducts, high
retaining walls, and other heavy work would be required. Here was the
very place for a rack railway on some system like Abt's, it seemed to
me. I saw one at work in Germany, and know they are safely used in
Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and in North and South America. As you
know, you cannot nicely work a railway by adhesion only much above a
gradient of one in fifty with sharp curves upon it, or one in forty on
a straight line, consequently the rack is the thing to use then, I
fancy, for on the Abt rack railway the pinions on the engine can be
easily put in and out of gear on the rack, and the journey be continued
by simple adhesion, as by an ordinary locomotive, and the rack system
works all right round moderate curves.

"I should think, in hilly parts of the country there are many places
where 4 feet 8-1/2 inch gauge railways could be laid out almost on the
surface of the ground, and at such gradients as about one in fourteen,
and there should be no difficulty in working them safely, because
similar lines have been worked for many years. There must be many
little feeder lines that end nowhere almost now, that could be so
continued over the hills to a main line, and thus join two large
traffic trunk lines, and raise the feeder from obscurity to some
importance, and from the state of a mere agricultural 5l. to 10l. per
mile per week line of railway to one earning more than double. However,
that's by the way. Now, my best game was to draw the swells away as
quickly as I could, and yet not show them my hand. I started badly,
though, for I said, 'Gentlemen, I think a shower is coming up over the
hills, and if you command me, I will tell the engine driver to run you
down quickly by himself, and come back for these empties. It won't
delay the work in any way, gentlemen all.' They said, 'Never mind; if
there was a shower they could stand upon the sleepers by the wagons and
get sufficient shelter.'

"That meant on the sleepers I was trying to hide. Just fancy, the very
half-rounds that troubled me. I felt I could sink through the earth, as
I saw the engineer's eyes were doing full time as lighthouse revolving
lights. I thought, he will have me chucked from this job, sure as
half-rounds are not rectangulars, for he would not have bad work.

"Now the wagons did not quite reach all over the half round road, the
swells took to walking between the roads. Why, I never knew, but they
did. I felt certain, if any of them took to walking upon the
half-rounds, they would find it all out. I got to young Jack, and on
the quiet he returned to me my letter to him, which I burnt afterwards.
By luck, one of the directors--that's what they were--drew the
attention of the engineer to something on the station road close by;
and all except two of them passed on, but two directors kept behind
with me, and one started walking on the half-rounds, and on those too
that were on their tops, as should have been uppermost, and one nearly
got upset before he travelled five yards. So I went for him there and
then, and said, 'Please, sir, the road is not packed yet, and has only
just been put in to take these few empties. It will be as firm as a
rock in two days, sir.' I left the rest to him. He looked at me and
said, 'I hope it will be, or passengers will think they are travelling
over the Rocky Mountains.'

"I smiled, and looked as pleasant and truthful as I knew how, but
thought, hope with you, as with me, is grand goods, but fact is better
business. They were a smart lot, and no one was going to move them on
till they had seen just about all they felt inclined to, but I had a
bit of luck then, and ever after have liked birds."

"What was it?"

"Well, a cocktail rose almost at our feet. The line passed between two
coppices. From that moment I was safe, as both the directors talked of
nothing but shooting. I kept the game alive for all I knew and more
than I did, that's certain, and before I had done had made out it was
the finest part of the whole country for game, although they ran a bit
wild, and wanted stopping. It is convenient to always ease down a
strong sentence, then you can alter its meaning a bit when what you
have said don't agree with what you are saying; so I warned them the
birds wanted stopping. They all got talking and pointing about till
they had no time to spare to get back so as to catch the train at the
junction. I tell you it was a near squeak, and shook my constitution
more than a trifle, and no fault of mine, but it ended all serene."

"Your escape reminds me of one I had. It was a long while ago, must be
about forty years back, when railways in many parts were a sort of
novelty, and the natives used to turn out, swells and all, to see what
was going on, and made a line a free show. One day about seven or eight
swells came bearing down on me. One I knew had put a lot of money in
the line, although he was not a director, and I have no doubt got it
well back in a few years by the good the railway did his estate, for
houses began to spring up all round soon after we had finished. I
remember, and you will, that old Jack Slurry used to say married folks
were nothing to a new railway for increasing the population in certain
parts. It brings people together as never could come before, and so up
goes the number of mouths, and no sooner do houses rise than shops
follow, then churches and chapels and clubs and halls and so on like a
procession, till the old folks almost wonder where they are. I'm
talking a bit astray of my subject, and will now to it again.

"These swells came straight to me and asked me to show them through a
few of the cuttings, and I did. I met my ganger in one, and managed to
get in front of them and ask on the quiet who they were. He said, 'Them
is nobs. They be hanteaquariums. They are searching for as old goods as
can be found!' I knew what he meant, so I broke a small boulder or two
and showed them the impressions of shells, and I called to my young
Snipper and he got them a specimen each, and they were pleased. One
gave me a quid when they left. They were real gentlemen, at least one
was; and it is only charitable to suppose the others were in company,
and this one was banker!"

"I agree with you."

"After looking at a few of the cuttings, and my putting in some
pleasant words which seemed to be food to them, one of them opened a
gate and they commenced to walk back along the fields and through the
wood, near to where a culvert is, and close to a bit of marsh. They did
not seem to mind the dirt or brushwood, and they asked me to come with
them, and point out and say anything I thought they would like to hear,
and I did. Perhaps they would have liked to have known what the prices
were I was paid, but I had not the heart to distract their minds from
their own true-love study to such a plain thing as £ _s._ _d._ I ought
to have told you our engineer we used to call 'Old Fangbolts.' They
were his hobby, and it is my opinion that if he has as long fangs to
his teeth as the bolts he would have put down, when they get decayed he
will know what pain is, and wish they were short spikes. He had his
way, of course, although there was a great waste of metal. Now
fangbolts are good things for getting a through grip of the sleepers
when the fangs are screwed on tight, but still they don't keep the
rails from spreading much more, if any, and I rather think less, than
flat-faced spikes of fair length. At least, that is my experience."

"And so it is mine."

"Between you and me the chap that first had the stern end of a bolt put
uppermost in the rail, so that he could be sure the nut was on, knew
what he was about, because fangs are nasty goods to screw on, and,
bless you, tricks are sometimes played that way. I have known them just
turned round once and then wedged by a piece of ballast, and they
appeared to be tight; and when a bit of the road had to be taken up and
the fang had got loose it was on the premises--perhaps, it is truer to
say, just outside and at the door--and then you could always say the
threads were wrong and blame the maker, or wriggle out and wrestle with
the subject in the direction that looked the most serene."

"You mean work your lay according to circumstances."

"Precisely. Besides I have had two fang bolts with triangular fangs to
fix in the flange of a rail almost in line, one each side of the web,
and they could not be both screwed tightly, for the points of the fangs
under the sleeper met when you turned them. This time, of course, none
of these nobs knew what a fangbolt was, and if I had told them I dare
say at first they might have believed it was a Roman tooth, or a piece
of chain armour, or part of an early Briton's war paint. Well, we were
walking through a wood--it belonged to one of them--and clearing our
way, for the brushwood was rather thick, when we came to a small mound,
and I own I did not know what it was. One of the swells smiled, and
said, 'How very interesting. This is a tumulus.' I said, 'Excuse me,
gentlemen, but I am always glad to learn anything, and you don't mean
to say some earth has tumours and, swells a bit, because if you will
tell me how to work it it would save me and others money and a lot of
work forming embankments, if it does not cost too much to start the

"They smiled, and one said 'A tu-mu-lus was not a tumour, but an
artificial mound raised over those who were buried in ancient times.' I
touched my hat and said 'I thought there was something wrong,
gentlemen;' and told them I knew there were a good many women round
these parts that had wens and they swell up as big as marrows, but I
did not know the ground had tumours, and was eager to learn it had, as
I thought I saw a useful application of them, and they might be a new
form of wonder produced by inoculation. One of them then said, 'No
doubt the women have their whims and playful humours, but he trusted
they were free from wens or other tumours.' Then they all laughed, and
one of them hazarded a remark and said, 'This is the ... formation.' It
sounded to me like upper railroadian formation. I forgot myself, and
turned round sharp to him and said, 'It is nothing of the kind,
gentlemen. There is no such thing as a upper railroadian formation.'
They did stare. I went straight on, and said straight out, 'There is no
formation here at all, besides upper railroadian formation is utterly
unknown on railways. The formation is at the bottom of the cuttings or
the tops of the banks and nowhere else."

"They stared just as if I was going to shoot them, and one of them
laughed and said, 'I am afraid there is a slight misunderstanding
somewhere.' Then the others smiled. I thought it was time to stop my
tongue. The same one turned to me and said, 'My friend was alluding to
the geological character of the locality. It undoubtedly is Upper
Si-lu-rian.' So I touched my hat, and said, 'I hoped they would excuse
me, and would they kindly remember I was a bit rough.' They all said,
'Oh! certainly!' and they seemed to like the business that had just
passed, and were enjoying themselves, I could see that.

"Well, all this passed when we pulled up at the mound, which was about
fifty feet away from the line, and in the thick of the brushwood. One
of them began poking about with a stick, and bless me, I saw about
half-a-dozen fangs here and there. I thought to myself it is lucky Old
Fangbolts is not here. He would have shot me, and killed himself right
off, or gone loose. I twigged what the mound was made of. It was only a
small one, but the gentleman was at first mistaken, and no wonder,
because there are a lot of real ancient mounds round and about the
wood. However, this mound was a mixture of fangs that should have been
screwed on the bolts and were not, that's certain, and earth and turf,
and had been artfully covered up, for it was quite green except one
little streak. I expect some vermin had tried it, and found it no good,
and scratched away a bit, and bared it. Anyhow, it might have been
awkward for me, for one of the party picked up a rusty old fang, and
turned to the other nobs, and said, 'I don't think that is very
ancient; at least, if it be so, it is a Birmingham-made ancient relic,
and has been deposited upon the wrong battlefield.'

"I believe that was only a sly hint to me that he meant the battlefield
to be the permanent way; but, of course, I took no notice. He threw
down the fang, and then we all walked on. No patter is sometimes the
best game to play, and look as if you were learning a lot. However, on
being asked about the mound, I said, 'It's only an old earth mound that
has grown over green. It may have been there fifty years, not more,
perhaps less.'

"Really, it was full of fangs that ought to have been screwed on the
bolts, a heap of them, too. So I gave the office in the right quarter,
and two of us went next morning very early, and soon dug a hole, and
buried the mound, and carefully cast the excavation as close by as
possible, and covered it up with a nice green top, so as to look quite
natural and pretty, and when we had done we considered we had improved
the scenery. It was a near squeak though, and it was lucky no engineer
was with them, or I should have been had.

"It is my opinion, from what I have noticed, that the engine does a
good deal to keep down the rails, and as long as the rails and sleepers
are right, and the ballast good, and the sleepers well packed, the
fastenings have more to prevent the rails spreading, and the road
bursting than keeping the rails down, although, of course, that is
necessary and should be done as well."

"I think you are quite right there."

"Old Fangbolts was all for the through grip, and did not seem to care
much about preventing spreading. Well, engineers work in all grooves.
Some have one way of thinking, some another, and all perhaps are partly
right, and if they would but balance accounts, instead of harping on
one string, it would be a smoother world."

"There we agree."

"Did you ever get a bit 'extra' out of rock ballast?"

"No; never had a chance."

"I did this way. Of course, rock ballast is not equal to shingle and
clean gravel, but there is more chance of 'extra' profit, for you can
pitch it in big, if you have a nice cover of small ballast, so as to
make it look pretty at the finish, and like a garden path, and as
occasion offers you can pare off the cess between the ballast wall and
the top of the slope in embankments and the foot of the slope in
cuttings, a couple of inches or so and sometimes get paid the specified
depth that way, although the real depth of ballast throughout is not
within 2 or 3 inches of it on the average. When the guv'nors are
walking over the line keep them on the outside rail on curves as much
as you can, as the cant makes the ballast wall look big. You have to be
careful with the packing under the rail, because, if you don't mind, it
may happen the centre of the sleeper is on a bit of rock, and then the
sleeper may split when doing the see-saw trick as the trains pass and
sway about.

"Just so. You must be careful not to pack them upon a middle pivot."

"I had two chaps who would almost have done for masons. They used to
pack the sleepers with a few lumps where the rails rested on them, just
to get the rail top nice and the rest was filled up anyhow, like nature
on the sea shore; and we can't do wrong in taking a hint there, you
know, for the cue is right, particularly when it runs towards 'extra'
profit. Still, I don't like to chance breaking a sleeper's back, so I
let them lie easy between the rails, or rather under the parts of the
sleepers where no rails rest."

"I understand. You pack the sleepers only where they are under the

"Yes. One day the engineer said to the inspector who was a kind-hearted
man and bred right, 'Mind the sleepers are evenly packed and not with
large pieces of rock.' He called me up and repeated it extra treble to
me. 'Very well, sir; but some of the rock will soon weather, and don't
you think it better to keep it a bit large rather than small? The
quarry runs very uneven. Some of the rock is as hard as nails, sir, and
some soft, and it is not exactly the best ballast to handle or in the
world; and if you will excuse me, don't you think, sir, on these soft
banks another 3 inches under the sleeper would be advisable?'

"He did not seem to want to agree, but after a week, an order came from
my guv'nor for 3 inches extra depth upon all banks. That was a good
stroke, as it enabled me to do with larger stuff, and lessened the
breaking it up. He was right in what he did, and so was I. I like rock
ballast for 'extras,' although the walling is a nuisance. There is more
chance for expansion of profits than in gravel ballast, and that is a
great recommendation to us, anyhow, and is good enough apart from what
things really are. I gave the tip on the quiet in the quarry to send
half the rock down a trifle bigger, and it did not want so much getting
or handling in the quarry, so they liked the new order, and it saved
some breaking. Consequently I prefer rock ballast that weathers quickly
sometimes, although, of course, an engineer should avoid it for ballast
if he can, and the money allows."



"Have you managed to get a bit 'extra' out of measurements?"

"Yes, occasionally, but that game is about played out. In the good old
times they used to let us all kinds of work, for we did business in
company more then than we do now, and what one did not know the other
did, and so we could do pretty nearly everything except metal work, so
long as they supplied us with the materials.

"I have already named about the 'extra' depth of foundations in
bridges, and pipes that were not so large as thought. I have also got a
bit 'extra' from side ditching when they had taken no cross sections of
the ground by leaving a few buoys or mounds at the highest parts. I
have also had a trifle out of the cuttings by rounding off the slopes a
few inches when they were long but working right to the slope peg at
top and nicking in an inch or two at the foot of the slope; but the
game is hardly worth the candle, as they have almost given up soiling
the slopes. Then there was a chance both ways. You got more measurement
than the actual excavation, and also a bit 'extra' for soiling that was
not put in, but it does not run into enough money to make it pay
safely, and as the slopes and formation are so much on show the fun is
hardly worth the risk. There is more to be had, so far as earthworks
are concerned, in road approaches than railway cuttings, and in docks
than either."

"I think you are right there."

"You see the earthwork is not so much in patches in dockwork, but all
together, and there is often as much in an acre or so of dock as in a
whole railway four or five miles in length, and inches in dockwork are
worth remembering. Besides they are not noticed so much, and the
excavation is soon covered up; and if it is in clay, and found out, you
can always say to the bosses--'I never saw such clay to swell in
patches.' Be sure to say 'in patches' for then you have an excuse handy
if the clay 'swells' nowhere else except at the place you have not
excavated to the right depth. You can generally get the surface not
exactly level throughout, and you have a large space to work on then,
and every inch means sovereigns. Really I think it does no one any
harm, and does good to me if the bottom is a trifle elevated. It comes
rather easy to most of us to make ourselves think a thing is good and
nice when it would cost us something to think otherwise."

"Yes. Money and our wishes usually work on the same main line."

"I once got done out of a bit 'extra' measurement by an engineer really

"Did you. How was that?"

"I don't mind telling you, but there will be squalls if you blab. It
happened like this. It was a line that had been commenced and most of
the easy work done. It was in the days when every jerry-builder and
parish sewer contractor, and big linen-draper too, thought he was a
railway and dock contractor. You know they borrowed a bit from a local
bank, and would take any contract from a bridge of balloons to the moon
to a tunnel through the earth to Australia. Channel Tunnels, Forth
Bridges, and Panama Canals would have been toys to them, and they could
have made them on their heads. They sprung up just like
toad-stools--can't call them mushrooms, it would be a libel on the
plants--and every one of them thought they were quite as good as
Brassey, and could have given him points. They had cheek, that was all,
just like quack doctors. Well, what with, so they told me, big local
loan-mongers to work the oracle and swim with them, and general
recommendations--which I never take much notice of unless I know what a
man has seen or done--saying they were full of the sublimest honesty
and wisdom as ever had been known, and were that clever as few indeed
could hope to be, the game was worked trumps for a time. Tests, not
general testimonials, is my motto. What you have done or seen done, not
what people are kind enough to say they think you can do, and which
they don't know you can do. The man that asks a chap that he is
friendly with to write a recommendation has his sentimental feelings
worked on, and then truth takes a back seat, and of course you are
bound to say your friend is the best man that could be made for the
place, just that and nothing else. It costs a chap nothing to write it,
and it is only very few that care to refuse, because it does not do to
tell a man whom you wish to be friendly with that you don't think much
of him, and that he is quite sufficiently a shirker and polite humbug
to suit a good many, or that your own private opinion is he is not far
off being twin-brother to a mouse-coloured beast of burden that brays.
It is not good form, so we all, from kindness I suppose, write pretty
of one another except when we are owed money and can't get it, then
adjectives are often necessary, and as strong as you can find, with a
few put in as are only known to chaps like you and me, and are not
taught in schools, although they learn a lot there as they should not.
Do you know when I read general testimonials I always think what a lot
of saints and Solomons there are wanting situations, and it must be
only the sinners and fools as are in harness. What you want to know
from a reliable source is, how did a chap get on upon any particular
bit of work he had to do, and have it specified what it was, and in
what position he was, and whether all was and is right. Therefore, if I
asked for a testimonial I want one specially written for the occasion
and with reference to the kind of work that is in hand, and not as if I
was going to let a man walk out with my daughter. I name this because,
between you and me, I've found when a man is praised up as a sort of
saint, and nothing said as to what he has done in work that he is near
to being either a humbug or an ass. That was just the case here, for it
was to one of these toad-stool contractors that the directors let the
first contract, and engineers who do not advise their directors to have
nothing to do with such public works contractors (!) I think deserve
all the trouble they get into. Surely it is better to have a contractor
who knows what work is and should be, even if he has but a small
capital, than one who knows next to nothing about construction, and is
financed by some loan-monger, or is at the mercy of some wire-puller?"

"I say, you are hot on the question."

"Well, I consider it about poisons some works that would otherwise have
been made all right, and would have paid well too at the original
capital. Besides it ought to be known a man must be specially educated
to properly execute large public works, and should be bred an engineer,
for one that can make shanties, dust-bins and privies, may blossom into
a jerry runner-up of two-story stucco villas that have the faces and
insides covered with lime and mud and half-penny paper, but it wants a
contractor that is just about an engineer to know how to properly carry
out railways, docks, bridges, canals, harbours, and all sea works and
similar undertakings, and not a bell-pull mender and drain maker,
because then he hardly knows anything himself of what has to be done
and he is at the mercy of others. He tenders at figures below what he
ought, and then the work cannot be properly executed, or the easy
portion is done somehow or other and then the man goes smash. It is
just the difference between our sterling building firms and the
jerry-shanty-raisers who ought not to be called builders. Well, this
one started with a rattle and scraped about, and then went to
splinters. That's why I have named it, and because on this railway
there was a road diversion. About a quarter of it was excavated and it
was in an awful mess. It was in gravelly sand, and taken out in dabs,
and in and out, all widths and depths.

"I thought I saw a chance of a bit 'extra' and said nothing. One day I
got rather fierce for 'extras,' and I sniffed out some small heaps at
intervals up the approach. They were about a yard in height and four or
five yards round. I felt sure they had not been put on the cross
sections, which I got to know had been taken in some places as close as
15 feet apart, so I thought, 'Before I get the wagon roads in and move
another heap, I will see the young guv'nor.'

"Well, I had to go to the office, and he knew of the heaps and said 'I
will allow you 30 yards for those. I had not forgotten them.' Now that
was what they were to a spadeful, so I thought it was good business as
I knew they were not shown on the sections. He said 'In case anything
should happen to you or me I will write what I mean and have it
attached to the agreement.' I thought that was kind of him. Now, we had
worked for about a week, and I was keen on plunder. He then dictated a
few lines to the timekeeper, saying that it was agreed 30 cubic yards
of earth were in the heaps and they were to be paid for as an allowance
in addition to the 9239 cubic yards, the total measurement of the
excavation I had to do under the contract. Of course it was worded
right, but I give you the meaning. This I signed, and it was witnessed
by the time-keeper and the young guv'nor. I made just about the same as
he did of the total measurement, but was so eager after the 30 cubic
yards in the heaps that I signed the paper off hand, but of course I
knew then what was written, but thought no more about it. I left the
office and had six of neat right off on the strength of those heaps. I
will cut it short now.

"Well, I finished the job quickly, and one day, just before I had done,
I thought to myself, 'There have not been any "extras" on this approach
road, for what with slope and fence pegs being set out there has
actually been no chance of a bit "extra."' After thinking I said to
myself, 'It is an awkward place to measure. I will make my measurements
so that they work out five hundred yards more, add a little all over, I
can but give way in the end, have a nice, warm, genteel wrangle that
will shake up the cockles of my heart, and I may get half or something
extra if I do the oily persuasive trick, and look wronged in my
countenance.' So up I went to the office and said, 'I shall about
finish to-morrow, sir, and I think you will say I have done the job
well and quickly, and deserve another. It has been a tight fit, and has
only just kept me going.'

"Usual patter followed that is required on such occasions, and is kept
in stock for them. I was beginning to feel real happy, and thinking I
had got twenty pounds at least, and no mistake for talking pretty. So I
said, 'As I am here, sir, do you mind telling me what you make the

"'Certainly. 9239 cubic yards, and 30 yards allowed for heaps. Total,
9269 cubic yards.'

"That did not suit me, so I started on the injured innocence lay, and
said meekly and persuasive like, 'You have left out something, I think,

"'No; I have not.'

"'Well, sir, I make 500 yards more than you; and if I don't get it it
will be very bad for me, for I shall not be able to pay my men.' That
did not seem to flurry him. He opened the safe, and read from the paper
I had signed some months ago. Blessed if it ever occurred to me to
think that I had signed for the total quantities, but I had, for I was
then so taken up with the 30 yards. Like you, I am old enough to know
that no contract is indisputable, and that many things in law have to
be tried before they are law when a question arises, and that there is
not much finality about the show; but here I was caught, and had made
my own net, and no mistake; so, after putting in all I knew and saying
to him, 'I did not take that bit of paper to mean the same as he did,'
I considered it best to shake down easy as I saw I was grassed, so I
took his measurement; but I wished blue ruin to the heaps, and may
where they were tipped be well worried by worms and vermin. Look out! I
shall break something."

"Don't slap the table with your clenched fist like that, or we shall
have to pay for damages, and have nothing left for drinks."

"Right you are; but it does make me wild to think of it."

"You were had at your own game there!"

"Yes; but after all said and done, except the ground is level
throughout, I heard two engineers say earthwork measurements are
generally a matter of fair averaging; and if tables are used, some like
this table and others that, so all are happy; but they agreed
cross-sections are the best, and unless a plaster cast is made of the
surface of some ground, no one could say what the measurement really
was to a few yards, and that it does not much matter as the price per
cubic yard is so little compared with most prices of work, such as
masonry, brickwork, concrete, &c."

"You have finished, I fancy?"


"Now I'll tell you how I once got a bit 'extra' from measurements in
rather an odd way. The work was done without a contractor, it was
principally let in pieces to sub-contractors, and the rest day-work;
but I heard they did not gain much, if anything, by it. Came to nearly
the same thing, and all the bother and risk themselves, and about the
same good work.

"Well, the funny way I made some extra profit, of course, as usual,
very much against my will, was this. I happened to be in the engineer's
office, and heard the resident say to his assistant, 'Mr. ----, please
make a list of timber required for the quay sheds, and take out the
quantities.' Now it is only fair to say the assistant knew his book and
was up to snuff, but we are all caught tripping sometimes, and whether
it was his anxiety to ascertain the exact quantities, I don't know, but
he got mixed, and blessed if the timber was not ordered net lengths,
and nothing allowed for mortises and making joints. Just as we were
going to start on the sheds they took us away, and before the
foundations were excavated for the walls. It was fortunate they did, as
it happened, for it afterwards occurred to the assistant that he had
forgotten to allow for mortises and joints. So the sheds had to be made
about a foot less width than they should have been, and we got paid for
the foot or so at each end that was left out; and the inspector got the
tip, I suppose, for nothing was said, and it was not noticed, for they
were wide store sheds, with a line of rails through the centre, and it
really did not matter at all. So you see I was forced to take a bit
'extra,' but that is the only time in the whole of my life. Of course
it worried me much."

"No doubt it caused another wrinkle to set on your forehead."

"Very likely; but an old partner of mine told me he once was paid for
the corners of a lot of level-crossing lodges twice over by taking the
outside wall measurements all round instead of two outside and two
inside, but only once, when things had to be done at a great rush; it
was a case of hurry up all round, for all the final measurements of the
whole line had to be done in a fortnight."



"It is nearly midnight. I am game for another hour, are you?"

"Yes. I like talking on the quiet, it draws you together, you know; you
feel for a time as if we all belonged to one family, although we do
not, and don't want; that's a fact."

"Precisely, old pal. Let us grip and sip."

"Did any of your men ever play rough on you?"

"Not often; but I remember one. He was a good working hand, and I did
not mean to lose him. Ted Skip was his name. This is how it occurred.
One Saturday night I was in the village, and saw at the corner of a
lane a man standing up in a cart spouting away fit to give him heart
disease, or break a blood-vessel, and getting hot so quick, that I am
sure he was going to beat record time. I believe he was fed on
dictionaries and stewed Socialist pamphlets that did not agree with
him. He was pouring it out. He said in effect that pretty nearly
everybody was a thief except himself and his comrades, and that nearly
all things were poison as they were, and unless we all did as he said
we were fools and felons, and worse. Then he went on to say, beer was
poison, tobacco was poison, and the way things were now, and all went
on, was worse than poison. Then he talked about us, called us railway
slave drivers and slaves, and I am sure there was no one or nothing
that existed that was not poison to him except himself and what he
possessed, and the fools that paid him. I got wild after a bit, hearing
him lying away as fast as he could speak, and I shouted, 'You are all
poison, you old bit of arsenic, for what is not ass about you is from
old Nick.' He was then shouting out 'Your constitution is wrong. All
the bills are of no use.' That was too much for me, so I pushed my way
in and showed him my fist, and said, 'I'll soon show you whether all
the Bills are of no use and whether my constitution is wrong. My name
is Bill Dark, and there are numbers of people here that know I have
never been sick or sorry since I was born, and I have taken beer and
smoked tobacco from the time I was fifteen. In moderation, I believe in
this country it does good to most of us, and pretty well all except
those that are built up peculiar, and if you want to see if I'm of no
use, come on; only get a sack first, so that the pieces of you that
remain, and are large enough to be found, can be taken away and burnt
to-night instead of later on. You understand what I mean.'

"Our chaps cheered me like mad, and I suppose old Arsenic thought his
show was being wasted, for he threw up his arms and drove off, and we
yelled him out of the village. Well, now you'll hear what came of it.
Teddy Skip was there, and heard me say that beer and tobacco in
moderation in this country I believe did good to most of us. A week or
so passed, and I forgot all about old Arsenic when Teddy Skip came to
me, and said, 'Guv'nor, after hearing you down in the village, and
feeling a bit cold now and then, I thought I would try a pipe. I find
it suits me, and is quite a friend, but it costs me nearly twopence a
day, at least that is what I reckon it does. I have been with you a
long time, and hope you won't mind another twopence a day just to buy
the tobacco as you recommended to be used in moderation.'

"He had me there, so I made no bones about it, and said, 'Very well
then, another twopence from Monday;' but I gave him a parting shot in
this way, 'I know you are courting Mary Plush, and may be joined soon,
but don't you come to me for a rise after each lot of twins is born,
and say you have done a kindness to me and the public generally;
because the wife and ten children lay is played out for increase of
wages, and folks do with them that show as much moderation in size of
families as remember I said should be used with beer and tobacco.' He
began to move, and said smiling, as he cleared out, 'All right,
guv'nor, thank you, I understand.'"

"That was pretty for you; but did I ever tell you how I got well
insulted by one of my chaps?"

"No. Out with it."

"It was in my early days, about the first work I had on the piece. It
was clearing and forming through a wood, and there were more rabbits
there than trees. The contract was just started, and you know what the
chaps are then, they want 'sub' nearly to their full time. Well, I was
not flush, in fact they nearly drained me out, so the rabbits were too
much for me, besides they were wasted in my sight where they were,
simply gold running loose; so I bagged a fair lot, in fact as many as I
could catch. Now, my men finding I was subbing them nicely seemed to
think I was the man they had been looking to serve since they took to
work, so I considered I ought to stop their game with another variety
of sport. It does not do to let wrong ideas rest quiet in any man. It
is not kind. It was Thursday, and on Saturday I should have a fairish
draw for myself on account of work done; but as things were, I was
nearly run out. About six wanted 'sub,' so I threw a rabbit to each of
them, and said, 'That is tenpence, and it ought to be a shilling, for
they are as big as hares and more feeding, and they are not half the
trouble to cook.' They grumbled, so I growled out, 'Except on
Saturdays, it is that this week and next most likely, or nothing, so
choose your time.' One stayed behind, and said, 'Boss, just you look
here: eightpence is enough for that, and too much, because I know it is
poached, for I saw you doing a lift among the "furrers," and when I
receive stolen goods I am paid for holding them, and chancing the
consequences, and I don't pay for taking care of them. Do you
understand? It is the last I take, and don't you mistake.'

"This 'riled' me, so I said, 'Off you go, or I'll flatten you out.' I
was had there. Of course, he was at the same game as I had been, and
rabbits to him were not exactly a novelty. Well, I carried on the fun
there to such a tune that at last it became too hot. A dealer used to
fetch them. He had an old cart. It looked like a baker's, and had some
name on it, and there was a bit of green baize, and a basket or two,
and a few loaves to keep up the illusion. We worked it till it turned
on us, and the business had to be stopped."

"I never have done much at that. Not enough money for the risk to
please me."

"Believe me, I have given up the game twenty years or more. I soon
found in taking work by the piece I was bound to have a bit of capital,
and, as a rule, what I want I get if it is to be had by anyone, and I
generally find it is. I overdid it though, that's the worst of money,
the more you get the more you want, and it's the biggest slave-driver
out and spares no one. Well, complaints about poaching went up to
head-quarters and I was called before the guv'nor. He said to me very
sharp, 'I shall measure up your work unless from this day I hear no
more of your poaching.'

"Of course I bluffed it a bit, but it was no good. However, knowing he
always liked fun, he listened to me and I went off fond as a lamb.
After promising I would keep watch on the men, which he did not let me
finish saying before he had advised me to have assistance, he meant
someone to watch me, I went straight for some joking, just to get the
venom out of the subject. There is nothing like flattery to start a
talk easy, so I said, 'You, sir, know a host of things more than me,
and no doubt can explain how it was my father told me when I was a boy
that all the family had a natural power of attracting animals. He said
it was born in us. One day, sir, he drew me close to him and whispered,
after feeling my head, 'You have the family gift very powerful.' You'll
excuse me, sir, but I just name this because game always follows me
about, and when these rabbits come on the work there is no mistake they
are trespassing, and so I punish them by taking them into custody
according to the law. When I walk up and down the line they seem to be
that joyful, sir, as is real touching. They will come, and the bigger
they are the more they seem to like me (between ourselves, that is you
and me, to-night talking quiet, small 'uns don't suit me). I have not
got the heart to frighten them away, and so they come to me, and sooner
than let them go back to their savage life I take them up and become
like a parent to them. You cut me so hard in price for the work, sir, I
cannot afford to keep them long, so they have to partly keep me."

"Did your guv'nor stand that?"

"Yes. He was a good listener and always gave a man enough rope to hang

"I should have punched your head if I had been him."

"Very likely you would have tried to, but he did not, so I went on to
say, 'Well, sir, it is my undoubted belief the big rabbits down here
can tell the difference between some letters and others, in the same
way, I suppose, as they know the difference between some shot through
their ears and a cabbage leaf in their mouth, or a horse and a fox; for
they always run away from every cart but mine. I was just thinking I
had said enough when the guv'nor had his turn and said:--

"'After what you have told me, attach a dozen white boards to the
fencing, and have these words painted upon them in six-inch black
letters--"Rabbits are vermin," and have your name put underneath. As
you say some of them can read, that will cause them to cease following
you. I am determined that this poaching shall be stopped once and for

"'Excuse me, sir, but suppose they still will come to me after the
notices are up, and I can't keep them away?'

"He answered, 'In such an event fix notice boards painted thus: "Any
rabbit found trespassing upon this railway will be prosecuted with the
utmost rigour of the law, and any rabbit found destroying the fences or
hedges, or committing any damage of whatsoever kind will be shot.' Have
your name put on it as before.'

"After that I thought it was time to go, and as I went out I could hear
laughter. He had me, you know, so I was compelled to take to butcher's
meat again throughout, and only a spare rabbit now and then went home
to see his relations by aid of my mouth."

"What a row there is outside?"

"It's my dog barking. He must have heard you talk of rabbits. He is
clever. I trained him so that I always knew when any engineers or
inspectors were on the prowl. I call him 'Spot,' because he can 'spot'
them so well. I made him do the spy business right round our end of the
docks I was then on, and also on railway work."

"What did he do?"

"He used to do a tramp up and down quite naturally, about quarter of a
mile in front of the tip and a quarter of a mile back of the gullet, or
anywhere I had work, and not even the men knew he was on scout. He is
the best watchman I have known; and so long as things were right and no
bosses about he never came close to me unless I called him, but if
anyone was prowling about he soon was close to me, and three pats
communicated to him that I twigged, and he went on the scent again. He
seemed to sniff out the faces of all my guv'nors in an instant, and
looked anxious till I patted him three times, and then he turned up his
eyes to meet mine, and a lovely beam of satisfaction came over him and
he was as happy as he could be, and then he vanished. He was a sly dog,
and useful too. He slept at the bottom of my bed in a basket. My wife
did not like him on the bed; said dogs were dogs, and carried too many
relations on their persons, so I hung a big basket to the tail end of
our sleeping apparatus, and there he snoozed. Now, wherever I was, he
was, or near to; he did not seem happy except he knew where I was. I
always took him wherever I went, and on free pass. It's not very often
I am travelling far, except when the works are finished; still, I
easily trained him to be a good free traveller after a few trials, so
that I never took a ticket for him. Not me. I always think it is hard,
provided you have no luggage for the van, and have your dog well under
control, that you cannot take him with you free, like you do a stick,
an umbrella, or your pipe. A dog does not occupy a seat nor make a
noise the same as a baby; but there, I don't mean to argue the
question, and, personally, have no occasion, because I have not paid
anything for my dog's travelling for years. The problem is solved as
far as I am concerned, and the rest of creation will have to look out
for themselves."

"How do you do it?"

"You mean, how does my dog, Spot, do it? In this way. I take my ticket,
and before putting it into my pocket hold it in my hand for a moment. I
then go on my right platform. Spot, that is my dog, then knows he is to
get on that platform. He usually waits till a good many people want to
pass, then he slips in beautifully quiet, sometimes by the side of a
lady, or under cover of a group of passengers, and I have never known
him noticed at the doors, as the ticket collectors are busy ticket
snipping. I don't interfere with Spot's platform arrangements, for
properly educated and well-brought-up dogs would object; but there is
no doubt at some of the terminal stations the game could not be worked
unless all the platforms are open. Suppose he was noticed on a
platform, and they tried to find him, he was so good at hiding that
they always thought he had gone; besides, they had plenty to do, and
more serious business to look after. Once I saw they were searching for
him, but they did not find him. He was not on the platform at all, but
under a truck in the siding and enjoying the fun. He rested there, or
at a convenient place till he heard the train coming, or saw I was
about to get in. He timed his movements very cleverly, and has taken me
by surprise sometimes, but he was sure to be under the seat, and hiding
as quietly as a mouse, and taking no notice of me; not he.

"When I arrived at my station, if it was a big one, there was no
trouble, I got out and Spot sneaked out without taking any notice of
me, nor did I of him then. He used to make straight for the wall, and
you bet he got out of the station quick, or was turned out. I have seen
him driven out, as the porters took him for a stray dog. Once they
threw a stool at him, it just caught his tail, and made him squall a
trifle; but although it was a hard trial for me, I suppressed my
feelings, as I had no ticket for him. I have known him sit down after
following me out of the carriage, close up to the wall one end of a
platform, and wait till the ticket-collector was busy sorting the
tickets, and then Spot would walk out like a nobleman. I waited for him
at a respectful and safe distance from the station, and then we had an
affectionate meeting, and he had a biscuit and I had a drink, and we
were a happy two. Spot is a real good dog, and as honest as the day,
for I trained him in the right direction from the time he was a pup. He
is a cool one; but there, it is a gift of nature like a swell singer's


"Now, listen; for once I was nearly had, even with Spot. There were
about ten people in the compartment of a long carriage, and I sat next
to a fly-looking chap, and only got in just in time, with my dog handy.
Off the train went, and I was trying to consider what I ought to think
about during the journey, when we all started, for Spot barked really
fierce; and I said, 'Quiet.' Blessed if there was not another bark, and
from another member of the dog creation. I knew it was not Spot, so I
looked under the seat, and saw two bags, and Spot looking very warm and
ready on one of them, with his head a little on one side. I knew it was
live game, and I saw the other bag move. I thought the railway company
had got the office and caught me, and that it was a 'put up job,' but I
was wrong. It was all right. The chap next to me whispered in my ear
that he was a rat-catcher, and had live rats in one bag, and his dog in
the other, and they were travelling as passengers' luggage. I winked,
and he did. Then it occurred to me, I was too friendly with him.
However, of course his dog was trained to keep quiet, but mine was not
in the presence of rats, so I had to look under again, and put out my
stick, and say. 'Quiet, bosses.' Spot knew what that meant, and was

"Now, the other passengers steadied down very quickly, for of course
they did not know we had not paid for the dogs. It was a fast local
train and only stopped at the terminus, so there was no chance of their
getting out before me at the station. I took care of that. It might
have been awkward otherwise. The beauty of it was, this rat-catcher, I
could see was not altogether satisfied when he came to dwell on it, for
I fancy he thought I was a spy, and that he was caught; and I was not
quite convinced he was not a detective. Still, a bold game generally
pays the best; anyhow, I pretended I was dozing. It was evening, and
when the train had barely stopped, after saying. 'Good-night all,' I
got out first, and did not wait to see how the rat-catcher fared. I had
Spot to look after, and was afraid the guard might have heard the
barking; but he did not, for if he had we should both have been had
lovely, all through a bag of rats. What my dog suffered from having to
leave the game alone, it grieves me to think. All I know is, he was
really bad for days after; but I should say the rats were tuning up to
sing, 'We are all surrounded.'"

"I'm off now. Good-bye, old chap. Cheer up."

"Thank you for coming to see me, and having a good chat. It's lucky no
one has heard us though, still, we have not confessed all. Have we?"

"Not exactly. Good-bye."

"Mind how you go, and I hope to see you to-morrow."

"All right; I'm safe enough, for I have been in too many squalls not to
be careful. I won't say artful."


_Crown 8vo, cloth, Price 4s. 6d._





_"An epitome of the best practice which may be relied upon not to

"The successful construction of works in concrete is a difficult matter
to explain in books."

"All the points which open the way to bad work are carefully pointed
out by our Author with a pertinacious insistance which demonstrates his
clear appreciation of their value."


"As numerous examples are cited of the use of concrete in public works,
and details supplied, _the book will greatly assist engineers engaged
upon such works_."


"A very practical little book, carefully compiled, and _one which all
writers of specifications for concrete work would do well to peruse_."

"_The book contains reliable information for all engaged upon public

"A perusal of Mr. Newman's valuable little handbook will point out the
importance of a more careful investigation of the subject than is
usually supposed to be necessary."



"To accomplish so much in so limited a space, the subject-matter has
been confined to chapters."

"_We take pleasure in saying that this is the most admirable and
complete handbook on concretes for engineers of which we have


_Crown 8vo, cloth, 7s. 6d._





"We gladly welcome Mr. Newman's book on slips in earthworks as an
important contribution to a right comprehension of such matters."

"There is much in this book that will at all events guide the mind of
the student to the points--and there are many of them--which have to be
weighed by designers of engineering works, and which, if attended to
and fixed on the memory, will certainly guard them against probable if
not against possible slips in earthwork."

"There is much to read, and read carefully, on all these points."

"He then presents us with sixteen maxims to be observed, where
practicable, in the consideration of the location of earthworks (hints
as to what should be avoided, which are of considerable value).... The
capital cost of a work and the cost of its maintenance may both be very
sensibly reduced by attention to all the points alluded to by the

"We are glad to see that the author enters at some length into the
subject of the due provision of drainage at the backs of retaining
walls, a matter so often neglected or overlooked, and carries this
subject to a far larger one, the causes which tend to disturb the
repose of dock walls. His remarks on these matters are well worthy of
consideration, and are thoroughly practical, and the items which have
to be taken into account in the necessary statical calculations very
well introduced."

"In conclusion we may say that there is plenty of good useful
information to be obtained from this work, which touches a subject
possessing an exceedingly scanty vocabulary."

"It contains an immense deal of matter which must be swallowed sooner
or later by every one who desires to be a good engineer."

&c.     &c.     &c.     &c.


"Mr. John Newman, Assoc. M. Inst. C.E., has written a volume on a
subject that has hitherto only been treated of cursorily."

"Useful advice is given which the railway engineer and earthwork
contractor may profit by."

"The book contains a fund of useful information."

&c.     &c.     &c.     &c.


"The book which Mr. John Newman has written imparts a new interest to
earthworks. It is in fact a sort of pathological treatise, and as such
may be said to be unique among books on construction, for in them
failures are rarely recognised. Now in Mr. Newman's volume the majority
of the pages relate to failures, and from them the reader infers how
they are to be avoided, and thus to form earthworks that will endure
longer than those which are executed without much regard to risks."

"The manner of dealing with the subsidences when they occur, as well as
providing against them, will be found described in the book."

"It can be said that the subject is thoroughly investigated, and
contractors as well as engineers can learn much from Mr. Newman's

&c.     &c.     &c.     &c.





_The Engineers' Sketch-Book of Mechanical Movements, Devices,
Appliances, Contrivances, Details employed in the Design and
Construction of Machinery for every purpose._ Collected from numerous
Sources and from Actual Work. Classified and Arranged for Reference.
_Nearly 2000 Illustrations._ By T. B. BARBER, Engineer. 8vo, cloth,
7_s._ 6_d._

_A Pocket-Book for Chemists, Chemical Manufacturers, Metallurgists,
Dyers, Distillers, Brewers, Sugar Refiners, Photographers, Students,
etc., etc._ By THOMAS BAYLEY, Assoc. R.C. Sc. Ireland, Analytical and
Consulting Chemist and Assayer. Fourth edition, with additions, 437
pp., royal 32mo, roan, gilt edges, 5_s._


    Atomic Weights and Factors--Useful Data--Chemical Calculations--
    Rules for Indirect Analysis--Weights and Measures--Thermometers and
    Barometers--Chemical Physics--Boiling Points, etc.--Solubility of
    Substances--Methods of Obtaining Specific Gravity--Conversion of
    Hydrometers--Strength of Solutions by Specific Gravity--Analysis--
    Gas Analysis--Water Analysis--Qualitative Analysis and Reactions--
    Volumetric Analysis--Manipulation--Mineralogy--Assaying--Alcohol
    --Beer--Sugar--Miscellaneous Technological matter relating to
    Potash, Soda, Sulphuric Acid, Chlorine, Tar Products, Petroleum,
    Milk, Tallow, Photography, Prices, Wages, Appendix, etc., etc.

_The Mechanician_: A Treatise on the Construction and Manipulation of
Tools, for the use and instruction of Young Engineers and Scientific
Amateurs, comprising the Arts of Blacksmithing and Forging; the
Construction and Manufacture of Hand Tools, and the various Methods of
Using and Grinding them; description of Hand and Machine Processes;
Turning and Screw Cutting. By CAMERON KNIGHT, Engineer. _Containing
1147 illustrations_, and 397 pages of letter-press. Fourth edition,
4to, cloth, 18_s._

_Just Published, in Demy 8vo, cloth, containing 975 pages and 250
Illustrations, price 7s. 6d._


A Treasury of Domestic Receipts and Guide for Home Management.


Hints for selecting a good House, pointing out the essential
requirements for a good house as to the Site, Soil, Trees, Aspect,
Construction, and General Arrangement; with instructions for Reducing
Echoes, Waterproofing Damp Walls, Curing Damp Cellars.

Sanitation.--What should constitute a good Sanitary Arrangement;
Examples (with Illustrations) of Well- and Ill-drained Houses; How to
Test Drains; Ventilating Pipes, etc.

Water Supply.--Care of Cisterns; Sources of Supply; Pipes; Pumps;
Purification and Filtration of Water.

Ventilation and Warming.--Methods of Ventilating without causing cold
draughts, by various means; Principles of Warming; Health Questions;
Combustion; Open Grates; Open Stoves; Fuel Economisers; Varieties of
Grates; Close-Fire Stoves; Hot-air Furnaces; Gas Heating; Oil Stoves;
Steam Heating; Chemical Heaters; Management of Flues; and Cure of Smoky

Lighting.--The best methods of Lighting; Candles, Oil Lamps, Gas,
Incandescent Gas, Electric Light; How to test Gas Pipes; Management of

Furniture and Decoration.--Hints on the Selection of Furniture; on
the most approved methods of Modern Decoration; on the best methods of
arranging Bells and Calls; How to Construct an Electric Bell.

Thieves and Fire.--Precautions against Thieves and Fire; Methods of
Detection; Domestic Fire Escapes; Fireproofing Clothes, etc.

The Larder.--Keeping Food fresh for a limited time; Storing Food
without change, such as Fruits, Vegetables, Eggs, Honey, etc.

Curing Foods for lengthened Preservation, as Smoking, Salting,
Canning, Potting, Pickling, Bottling Fruits, etc.; Jams, Jellies,
Marmalade, etc.

The Dairy.--The Building and Fitting of Dairies in the most approved
modern style; Butter-making; Cheesemaking and Curing.

The Cellar.--Building and Fitting; Cleaning Casks and Bottles; Corks
and Corking; Aërated Drinks; Syrups for Drinks; Beers; Bitters;
Cordials and Liqueurs; Wines; Miscellaneous Drinks.

The Pantry.--Bread-making; Ovens and Pyrometers; Yeast; German Yeast;
Biscuits; Cakes; Fancy Breads; Buns.

The Kitchen.--On Fitting Kitchens; a description of the best Cooking
Ranges, close and open; the Management and Care of Hot Plates, Baking
Ovens, Dampers, Flues, and Chimneys; Cooking by Gas; Cooking by Oil;
the Arts of Roasting, Grilling, Boiling, Stewing, Braising, Frying.

Receipts for Dishes.--Soups, Fish, Meat, Game, Poultry, Vegetables,
Salads, Puddings, Pastry, Confectionery, Ices, etc., etc.; Foreign

The Housewife's Room.--Testing Air, Water, and Foods; Cleaning and
Renovating; Destroying Vermin.

Housekeeping, Marketing.

The Dining-Room.--Dietetics; Laying and Waiting at Table: Carving;
Dinners, Breakfasts, Luncheons, Teas, Suppers, etc.

The Drawing-Room.--Etiquette; Dancing; Amateur Theatricals; Tricks
and Illusions; Games (indoor).

The Bedroom and Dressing-Room; Sleep; the Toilet; Dress; Buying
Clothes; Outfits; Fancy Dress.

The Nursery.--The Room; Clothing; Washing; Exercise; Sleep; Feeding;
Teething; Illness; Home Training.

The Sick-Room.--The Room; the Nurse; the Bed; Sick Room Accessories;
Feeding Patients; Invalid Dishes and Drinks; Administering Physic;
Domestic Remedies; Accidents and Emergencies; Bandaging; Burns;
Carrying Injured Persons; Wounds; Drowning; Fits; Frost-bites; Poisons
and Antidotes; Sunstroke; Common Complaints; Disinfection, etc.

The Bath-Room.--Bathing in General; Management of Hot-Water System.

The Laundry.--Small Domestic Washing Machines, and methods of getting
up linen, Fitting up and Working a Steam Laundry.

The School-Room.--The Room and its Fittings; Teaching, etc.

The Playground.--Air and Exercise; Training; Outdoor Games and

The Workroom.--Darning, Patching, and Mending Garments.

The Library.--Care of Books.

The Garden.--Calendar of Operations for Lawn, Flower Garden, and
Kitchen Garden.

The Farmyard.--Management of the Horse, Cow, Pig, Poultry, Bees,
etc., etc.

Small Motors.--A description of the various small Engines useful for
domestic purposes, from 1 man to 1 horse power, worked by various
methods, such as Electric Engines, Gas Engines, Petroleum Engines,
Steam Engines, Condensing Engines, Water Power, Wind Power, and the
various methods of working and managing them.

Household Law.--The Law relating to Landlords and Tenants, Lodgers,
Servants, Parochial Authorities, Juries, Insurance, Nuisance, etc.

_On Designing Belt Gearing_. By E. J. COWLING WELCH, Mem. Inst. Mech.
Engineers, Author of 'Designing Valve Gearing.' Fcap. 8vo, sewed, 6_d._

_A Handbook of Formulæ, Tables, and Memoranda, for Architectural
Surveyors and others engaged in Building._ By J. T. HURST, C.E.
Fourteenth edition, royal 32mo, roan, 5_s._

    "It is no disparagement to the many excellent publications we refer
    to, to say that in our opinion this little pocket-book of Hurst's
    is the very best of them all, without any exception. It would be
    useless to attempt a recapitulation of the contents, for it appears
    to contain almost _everything_ that anyone connected with building
    could require, and, best of all, made up in a compact form for
    carrying in the pocket, measuring only 5 in. by 3 in., and about
    3/4 in. thick, in a limp cover. We congratulate the author on the
    success of his laborious and practically compiled little book,
    which has received unqualified and deserved praise from every
    professional person to whom we have shown it."--_The Dublin

_Tabulated Weights of Angle, Tee, Bulb, Round, Square, and Flat Iron
and Steel_, and other information for the use of Naval Architects and
Shipbuilders. By C. H. JORDAN, M.I.N.A. Fourth edition, 32mo, cloth,
2_s._ 6_d._

_A Complete Set of Contract Documents for a Country Lodge_, comprising
Drawings, Specifications, Dimensions (for quantities), Abstracts, Bill
of Quantities, Form of Tender and Contract, with Notes by J. LEANING,
printed in facsimile of the original documents, on single sheets fcap.,
in paper case, 10_s._

_A Practical Treatise on Heat, as applied to the Useful Arts_; for the
Use of Engineers, Architects, &c. By THOMAS BOX. _With 14 plates._
Sixth edition, crown 8vo, cloth, 12_s._ 6_d._

_A Descriptive Treatise on Mathematical Drawing Instruments_: their
construction, uses, qualities, selection, preservation, and suggestions
for improvements, with hints upon Drawing and Colouring. By W. F.
STANLEY, M.R.I. Sixth edition, _with numerous illustrations_, crown
8vo, cloth, 5_s._

_Quantity Surveying._ By J. LEANING. With 42 illustrations. Second
edition, revised, crown 8vo, cloth, 9_s._


    A complete Explanation of the London Practice.
    General Instructions.
    Order of Taking Off.
    Modes of Measurement of the various Trades.
    Use and Waste.
    Ventilation and Warming.
    Credits, with various Examples of Treatment.
    Squaring the Dimensions.
    Abstracting, with Examples in illustration of each Trade.
    Examples of Preambles to each Trade.
    Form for a Bill of Quantities.
      Do.      Bill of Credits.
      Do.      Bill for Alternative Estimate.
    Restorations and Repairs, and Form of Bill.
    Variations before Acceptance of Tender.
    Errors in a Builder's Estimate.
    Schedule of Prices.
    Form of Schedule of Prices.
    Analysis of Schedule of Prices.
    Adjustment of Accounts.
    Form of a Bill of Variations.
    Remarks on Specifications.
    Prices and Valuation of Work, with Examples and Remarks upon
      each Trade.
    The Law as it affects Quantity Surveyors, with Law Reports.
    Taking Off after the Old Method.
    Northern Practice. The General Statement of the Methods
      recommended by the Manchester Society of Architects for
      taking Quantities.
    Examples of Collections.
    Examples of "Taking Off" in each Trade.
    Remarks on the Past and Present Methods of Estimating.

_Spons' Architects' and Builders' Price Book, with useful Memoranda._
Edited by W. YOUNG, Architect. Crown 8vo, cloth, red edges, 3_s._ 6_d._
_Published annually._ Seventeenth edition. Now ready.

_Long-Span Railway Bridges_, comprising Investigations of the
Comparative Theoretical and Practical Advantages of the various adopted
or proposed Type Systems of Construction, with numerous Formulæ and
Tables giving the weight of Iron or Steel required in Bridges from 300
feet to the limiting Spans; to which are added similar Investigations
and Tables relating to Short-span Railway Bridges. Second and revised
edition. By B. BAKER, Assoc. Inst. C.E. _Plates_, crown 8vo, cloth,

_Elementary Theory and Calculation of Iron Bridges and Roofs._ By
AUGUST RITTER, Ph.D., Professor at the Polytechnic School at
Aix-la-Chapelle. Translated from the third German edition, by H. R.
SANKEY, Capt. R.E. With 500 _illustrations_, 8vo, cloth, 15_s._

_The Elementary Principles of Carpentry._ By THOMAS TREDGOLD. Revised
from the original edition, and partly re-written, by JOHN THOMAS HURST.
Contained in 517 pages of letter-press, and _illustrated with 48 plates
and 150 wood engravings_. Sixth edition, reprinted from the third,
crown 8vo, cloth, 12_s._ 6_d._

    Section I. On the Equality and Distribution of Forces--Section II.
    Resistance of Timber--Section III. Construction of Floors--Section
    IV. Construction of Roofs--Section V. Construction of Domes and
    Cupolas--Section VI. Construction of Partitions--Section VII.
    Scaffolds, Staging, and Gantries--Section VIII. Construction of
    Centres for Bridges--Section IX. Coffer-dams, Shoring, and
    Strutting--Section X. Wooden Bridges and Viaducts--Section XI.
    Joints, Straps, and other Fastenings--Section XII. Timber.

_The Builder's Clerk_: a Guide to the Management of a Builder's
Business. By THOMAS BALES. Fcap. 8vo, cloth, 1_s._ 6_d._

_Practical Gold-Mining_: a Comprehensive Treatise on the Origin and
Occurrence of Gold-bearing Gravels, Rocks and Ores, and the methods by
which the Gold is extracted. By C. G. WARNFORD LOCK, co-Author of
'Gold: its Occurrence and Extraction.' _With 8 plates and 275
engravings in the text_, royal 8vo, cloth, 2_l._ 2_s._

_Hot Water Supply_: A Practical Treatise upon the Fitting of
Circulating Apparatus in connection with Kitchen Range and other
Boilers, to supply Hot Water for Domestic and General Purposes. With a
Chapter upon Estimating. _Fully illustrated_, crown 8vo, cloth, 3_s._

_Hot Water Apparatus_: An Elementary Guide for the Fitting and Fixing
of Boilers and Apparatus for the Circulation of Hot Water for Heating
and for Domestic Supply, and containing a Chapter upon Boilers and
Fittings for Steam Cooking. _32 illustrations_, fcap. 8vo, cloth, 1_s._

_The Use and Misuse, and the Proper and Improper Fixing of a Cooking
Range._ _Illustrated_, fcap. 8vo, sewed, 6_d._

_Iron Roofs_: Examples of Design, Description. _Illustrated with 64
Working Drawings of Executed Roofs._ By ARTHUR T. WALMISLEY, Assoc.
Mem. Inst. C.E. Second edition, revised, imp. 4to, half-morocco, 3_l._

_A History of Electric Telegraphy_, to the Year 1837. Chiefly compiled
from Original Sources, and hitherto Unpublished Documents, by J. J.
FAHIE, Mem. Soc. of Tel. Engineers, and of the International Society of
Electricians, Paris. Crown 8vo, cloth, 9_s._

_Spons' Information for Colonial Engineers._ Edited by J. T. HURST.
Demy 8vo, sewed.

    No. 1. Ceylon. By ABRAHAM DEANE, C.E. 2_s._ 6_d._


        Introductory Remarks--Natural Productions--Architecture and
        Engineering--Topography, Trade, and Natural History--Principal
        Stations--Weights and Measures, etc., etc.

    No. 2. Southern Africa, including the Cape Colony, Natal, and the
    Dutch Republics. By HENRY HALL, F.R.G.S., F.R.C.I. With Map. 3_s._


        General Description of South Africa--Physical Geography with
        reference to Engineering Operations--Notes on Labour and
        Material in Cape Colony--Geological Notes on Rock Formation
        South Africa--Engineering Instruments for Use in South
        in Africa--Principal Public Works in Cape Colony: Railways,
        Mountain Roads and Passes, Harbour Works, Bridges, Gas Works,
        Irrigation and Water Supply, Lighthouses, Drainage and Sanitary
        Engineering, Public Buildings, Mines--Table of Woods in South
        Africa--Animals used for Draught Purposes--Statistical
        Notes--Table of Distances--Rates of Carriage, etc.

    No. 3. India. By F. C. DANVERS, Assoc. Inst. C.E. With Map. 4_s._


        Physical Geography of India--Building Materials--Roads--
        Railways-- Bridges--Irrigation--River Works--Harbours--
        Lighthouse Buildings-- Native Labour--The Principal Trees of
        India--Money--Weights and Measures--Glossary of Indian Terms,

_Our Factories, Workshops, and Warehouses_: their Sanitary and
Fire-Resisting Arrangements. By B. H. THWAITE, Assoc. Mem. Inst. C.E.
_With 183 wood engravings_, crown 8vo, cloth, 9_s._

_A Practical Treatise on Coal Mining._ By GEORGE G. ANDRÉ, F.G.S.,
Assoc. Inst. C.E., Member of the Society of Engineers. _With 82
lithographic plates._ 2 vols., royal 4to, cloth, 3_l._ 12_s._

_A Practical Treatise on Casting and Founding_, including descriptions
of the modern machinery employed in the art. By N. E. SPRETSON,
Engineer. Fifth edition, with _82 plates_ drawn to scale, 412 pp., demy
8vo, cloth, 18_s._

_A Handbook of Electrical Testing._ By H. R. KEMPE, M.S.T.E. Fourth
edition, revised and enlarged, crown 8vo, cloth, 16_s._

_The Clerk of Works_: a Vade-Mecum for all engaged in the Superintendence
of Building Operations. By G. G. HOSKINS, F.R.I.B.A. Third edition, fcap.
8vo, cloth, 1_s._ 6_d._

_American Foundry Practice_: Treating of Loam, Dry Sand, and Green Sand
Moulding, and containing a Practical Treatise upon the Management of
Cupolas, and the Melting of Iron. By T. D. WEST, Practical Iron Moulder
and Foundry Foreman. Second edition, _with numerous illustrations_,
crown 8vo, cloth, 10_s._ 6_d._

_The Maintenance of Macadamised Roads._ By T. CODRINGTON, M.I.C.E.,
F.G.S., General Superintendent of County Roads for South Wales. Second
edition. 8vo.                                        [_Nearly ready._

_Hydraulic Steam and Hand Power Lifting and Pressing Machinery._ By
FREDERICK COLYER, M. Inst. C.E., M. Inst. M.E. _With 73 plates_, 8vo,
cloth, 18_s._

_Pumps and Pumping Machinery._ By F. COLYER, M.I.C.E., M.I.M.E. _With
23 folding plates_, 8vo, cloth, 12_s._ 6_d._

_Pumps and Pumping Machinery._ By F. COLYER. Second Part. _With 11
large plates_, 8vo, cloth, 12_s._ 6_d._

_A Treatise on the Origin, Progress, Prevention, and Cure of Dry Rot in
Timber_; with Remarks on the Means of Preserving Wood from Destruction
by Sea-Worms, Beetles, Ants, etc. By THOMAS ALLEN BRITTON, late
Surveyor to the Metropolitan Board of Works, etc., etc. _With 10
plates_, crown 8vo, cloth, 7_s._ 6_d._

_The Artillery of the Future and the New Powders._ By J. A. LONGRIDGE,
Mem. Inst. C.E. 8vo, cloth, 5_s._

_Gas Works_: their Arrangement, Construction, Plant, and Machinery. By
F. COLYER, M. Inst. C.E. _With 31 folding plates_, 8vo, cloth, 12_s._

_The Municipal and Sanitary Engineer's Handbook._ By H. PERCY BOULNOIS,
Mem. Inst. C.E., Borough Engineer, Portsmouth. _With numerous
illustrations._ Second edition, demy 8vo, cloth.


    The Appointment and Duties of the Town Surveyor--Traffic--Macadamised
    Roadways--Steam Rolling--Road Metal and Breaking--Pitched Pavements
    --Asphalte--Wood Pavements--Footpaths--Kerbs and Gutters--Street
    Naming and Numbering--Street Lighting--Sewerage--Ventilation of
    Sewers--Disposal of Sewage--House Drainage--Disinfection--Gas and
    Water Companies, etc., Breaking up Streets--Improvement of Private
    Streets--Borrowing Powers--Artisans' and Labourers' Dwellings--
    Public Conveniences--Scavenging, including Street Cleansing--
    Watering and the Removing of Snow--Planting Street Trees--Deposit
    of Plans--Dangerous Buildings--Hoardings--Obstructions--Improving
    Street Lines--Cellar Openings--Public Pleasure Grounds--Cemeteries
    --Mortuaries--Cattle and Ordinary Markets--Public Slaughter-houses,
    etc.--Giving numerous Forms of Notices, Specifications, and General
    Information upon these and other subjects of great importance to
    Municipal Engineers and others engaged in Sanitary Work.

_Metrical Tables._ By Sir G. L. MOLESWORTH, M.I.C.E. 32mo, cloth, 1_s._


    General--Linear Measures--Square Measures--Cubic Measures--Measures
    of Capacity--Weights--Combinations--Thermometers.

_Elements of Construction for Electro-Magnets._ By Count TH. DU MONCEL,
Mem. de l'Institut de France. Translated from the French by C. J.
WHARTON. Crown 8vo, cloth, 4_s._ 6_d._

_A Treatise on the Use of Belting for the Transmission of Power._ By J.
H. COOPER. Second edition, _illustrated_, 8vo, cloth, 15_s._

_A Pocket-Book of Useful Formulæ and Memoranda for Civil and Mechanical
Engineers._ By Sir GUILFORD L. MOLESWORTH, Mem. Inst. C.E. _With
numerous illustrations_, 744 pp. Twenty-second edition, 32mo, roan,


    Surveying, Levelling, etc.--Strength and Weight of Materials--
    Earthwork, Brickwork, Masonry, Arches, etc.--Struts, Columns,
    Beams, and Trusses--Flooring, Roofing, and Roof Trusses--Girders,
    Bridges, etc.--Railways and Roads--Hydraulic Formulæ--Canals,
    Sewers, Waterworks, Docks--Irrigation and Breakwaters--Gas,
    Ventilation, and Warming--Heat, Light, Colour, and Sound--Gravity:
    Centres, Forces, and Powers--Millwork, Teeth of Wheels, Shafting,
    etc.--Workshop Recipes--Sundry Machinery--Animal Power--Steam and
    the Steam Engine--Water-power, Water-wheels, Turbines, etc.--Wind
    and Windmills--Steam Navigation, Ship Building, Tonnage, etc.--
    Gunnery, Projectiles, etc.--Weights, Measures, and Money--
    Trigonometry, Conic Sections, and Curves--Telegraphy--Mensuration
    --Tables of Areas and Circumference, and Arcs of Circles--
    Logarithms, Square and Cube Roots, Powers--Reciprocals, etc.--
    Useful Numbers--Differential and Integral Calculus--Algebraic
    Signs--Telegraphic Construction and Formulæ.

_Hints on Architectural Draughtsmanship._ By _G. W. Tuxford Hallatt_.
Fcap. 8vo, cloth, 1_s._ 6_d._

_Spons' Tables and Memoranda for Engineers_; selected and arranged by
J. T. HURST, C.E., Author of 'Architectural Surveyors' Handbook,'
'Hurst's Tredgold's Carpentry,' etc. Eleventh edition, 64mo, roan, gilt
edges, 1_s._; or in cloth case, 1_s._ 6_d._

This work is printed in a pearl type, and is so small, measuring only
2-1/2 in. by 1-3/4 in. by 1/4 in. thick, that it may be easily carried
in the waistcoat pocket.

    "It is certainly an extremely rare thing for a reviewer to be
    called upon to notice a volume measuring but 2-1/2 in. by 1-3/4
    in., yet these dimensions faithfully represent the size of the
    handy little book before us. The volume--which contains 118 printed
    pages, besides a few blank pages for memoranda--is, in fact, a true
    pocket-book, adapted for being carried in the waistcoat pocket, and
    containing a far greater amount and variety of information than
    most people would imagine could be compressed into so small a
    space.... The little volume has been compiled with considerable
    care and judgment, and we can cordially recommend it to our readers
    as a useful little pocket companion."--_Engineering._

_A Practical Treatise on Natural and Artificial Concrete, its Varieties
and Constructive Adaptations._ By HENRY REID, Author of the 'Science
and Art of the Manufacture of Portland Cement.' New Edition, _with 59
woodcuts and 5 plates_, 8vo, cloth, 15_s._

_Notes on Concrete and Works in Concrete_; especially written to assist
those engaged upon Public Works. By JOHN NEWMAN, Assoc. Mem. Inst.
C.E., crown 8vo, cloth, 4_s._ 6_d._

_Electricity as a Motive Power._ By Count TH. DU MONCEL, Membre de
l'Institut de France, and FRANK GERALDY, Ingénieur des Ponts et
Chaussées. Translated and Edited, with Additions, by C. J. WHARTON,
Assoc. Soc. Tel. Eng. and Elec. _With 113 engravings and diagrams_,
crown 8vo, cloth, 7_s._ 6_d._

_Treatise on Valve-Gears_, with special consideration of the
Link-Motions of Locomotive Engines. By Dr. GUSTAV ZEUNER, Professor of
Applied Mechanics at the Confederated Polytechnikum of Zurich.
Translated from the Fourth German Edition, by Professor J. F. KLEIN,
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa. _Illustrated_, 8vo, cloth, 12_s._

_The French-Polisher's Manual._ By a French-Polisher; containing Timber
Staining, Washing, Matching, Improving, Painting, Imitations,
Directions for Staining, Sizing, Embodying, Smoothing, Spirit
Varnishing, French-Polishing, Directions for Re-polishing. Third
edition, royal 32mo, sewed, 6_d._

_Hops, their Cultivation, Commerce, and Uses in various Countries._ By
P. L. SIMMONDS. Crown 8vo, cloth, 4_s._ 6_d._

_The Principles of Graphic Statics._ By GEORGE SYDENHAM CLARKE, Major
Royal Engineers. _With 112 illustrations._ Second edition, 4to, cloth,
12_s._ 6_d._

_Dynamo Tenders' Hand-Book._ By F. B. BADT, late 1st Lieut. Royal
Prussian Artillery. _With 70 illustrations._ Third edition, 18mo,
cloth, 4_s._ 6_d._

_Practical Geometry, Perspective, and Engineering Drawing_; a Course of
Descriptive Geometry adapted to the Requirements of the Engineering
Draughtsman, including the determination of cast shadows and Isometric
Projection, each chapter being followed by numerous examples; to which
are added rules for Shading, Shade-lining, etc., together with
practical instructions as to the Lining, Colouring, Printing, and
general treatment of Engineering Drawings, with a chapter on drawing
Instruments. By GEORGE S. CLARKE, Capt. R.E. Second edition, _with 21
plates_. 2 vols., cloth, 10_s._ 6_d._

_The Elements of Graphic Statics._ By Professor KARL VON OTT,
translated from the German by G. S. CLARKE, Capt. R.E., Instructor in
Mechanical Drawing, Royal Indian Engineering College. _With 93
illustrations_, crown 8vo, cloth, 5_s._

_A Practical Treatise on the Manufacture and Distribution of Coal Gas._
By WILLIAM RICHARDS. Demy 4to, with _numerous wood engravings and 29
plates_, cloth, 28_s._


    Introduction--History of Gas Lighting--Chemistry of Gas Manufacture,
    by Lewis Thompson, Esq., M.R.C.S.--Coal, with Analyses, by J.
    Paterson, Lewis Thompson, and G. R. Hislop, Esqrs.--Retorts, Iron
    and Clay--Retort Setting--Hydraulic Main--Condensers--Exhausters--
    Washers and Scrubbers--Purifiers--Purification--History of Gas
    Holder--Tanks, Brick and Stone, Composite, Concrete, Cast-iron,
    Compound Annular Wrought-iron--Specifications--Gas Holders--
    Station Meter--Governor--Distribution--Mains--Gas Mathematics,
    or Formulæ for the Distribution of Gas, by Lewis Thompson,
    Esq.--Services--Consumers' Meters--Regulators--Burners--Fittings--
    Photometer--Carburization of Gas--Air Gas and Water Gas--
    Composition of Coal Gas, by Lewis Thompson, Esq.--Analyses
    of Gas--Influence of Atmospheric Pressure and Temperature
    on Gas--Residual Products--Appendix--Description of Retort
    Settings, Buildings, etc., etc.

_The New Formula for Mean Velocity of Discharge of Rivers and Canals._
By W. R. KUTTER. Translated from articles in the 'Cultur-Ingénieur,' by
LOWIS D'A. JACKSON, Assoc. Inst. C.E. 8vo, cloth, 12_s._ 6_d._

_The Practical Millwright and Engineers Ready Reckoner_; or Tables for
finding the diameter and power of cog-wheels, diameter, weight, and
power of shafts, diameter and strength of bolts, etc. By THOMAS DIXON.
Fourth edition, 12mo, cloth, 3_s._

_Tin_: Describing the Chief Methods of Mining, Dressing and Smelting it
abroad; with Notes upon Arsenic, Bismuth and Wolfram. By ARTHUR G.
CHARLETON, Mem. American Inst. of Mining Engineers. _With plates_, 8vo,
cloth, 12_s._ 6_d._

_Perspective, Explained and Illustrated._ By G. S. CLARKE, Capt. R.E.
_With illustrations_, 8vo, cloth, 3_s._ 6_d._

_Practical Hydraulics;_ a Series of Rules and Tables for the use of
Engineers, etc., etc. By THOMAS BOX. Ninth edition, _numerous plates_,
post 8vo, cloth, 5_s._

_The Essential Elements of Practical Mechanics; based on the Principle
of Work_, designed for Engineering Students. By OLIVER BYRNE, formerly
Professor of Mathematics, College for Civil Engineers. Third edition,
_with 148 wood engravings_, post 8vo, cloth, 7_s._ 6_d._


    Chap. 1. How Work is Measured by a Unit, both with and without
    reference to a Unit of Time--Chap. 2. The Work of Living Agents,
    the Influence of Friction, and introduces one of the most beautiful
    Laws of Motion--Chap. 3. The principles expounded in the first and
    second chapters are applied to the Motion of Bodies--Chap. 4. The
    Transmission of Work by simple Machines--Chap. 5. Useful
    Propositions and Rules.

_Breweries and Maltings_: their Arrangement, Construction, Machinery,
and Plant. By G. SCAMELL, F.R.I.B.A. Second edition, revised, enlarged,
and partly rewritten. By F. COLYER, M.I.C.E., M.I.M.E. _With 20
plates_, 8vo, cloth, 12_s._ 6_d._

_A Practical Treatise on the Construction of Horizontal and Vertical
Waterwheels_, specially designed for the use of operative mechanics. By
WILLIAM CULLEN, Millwright and Engineer. _With 11 plates._ Second
edition, revised and enlarged, small 4to, cloth, 12_s._ 6_d._

_A Practical Treatise on Mill-gearing, Wheels, Shafts, Riggers, etc._;
for the use of Engineers. By THOMAS BOX. Third edition, _with 11
plates_. Crown 8vo, cloth, 7_s._ 6_d._

_Mining Machinery_: a Descriptive Treatise on the Machinery, Tools, and
other Appliances used in Mining. By G. G. ANDRÉ, F.G.S., Assoc. Inst.
C.E., Mem. of the Society of Engineers. Royal 4to, uniform with the
Author's Treatise on Coal Mining, containing 182 _plates_, accurately
drawn to scale, with descriptive text, in 2 vols., cloth, 3_l._ 12_s._


    Machinery for Prospecting, Excavating, Hauling, and Hoisting--
    Ventilation--Pumping--Treatment of Mineral Products, including
    Gold and Silver, Copper, Tin, and Lead, Iron, Coal Sulphur,
    China Clay, Brick Earth, etc.

_Tables for Setting out Curves for Railways, Canals, Roads, etc._,
varying from a radius of five chains to three miles. By A. KENNEDY and
R. W. HACKWOOD. _Illustrated_ 32mo, cloth, 2_s._ 6_d._

_Practical Electrical Notes and Definitions for the use of Engineering
Students and Practical Men._ By W. PERREN MAYCOCK, Assoc. M. Inst.
E.E., Instructor in Electrical Engineering at the Pitlake Institute,
Croydon, together with the Rules and Regulations to be observed in
Electrical Installation Work. Second edition. Royal 32mo, roan, gilt
edges, 4_s._ 6_d._

_The Draughtsman's Handbook of Plan and Map Drawing_; including
instructions for the preparation of Engineering, Architectural, and
Mechanical Drawings. _With numerous illustrations in the text, and 33
plates (15 printed in colours)._ By G. G. ANDRÉ, F.G.S., Assoc. Inst.
C.E. 4to, cloth, 9_s._


    The Drawing Office and its Furnishings--Geometrical Problems--
    Lines, Dots, and their Combinations--Colours, Shading, Lettering,
    Bordering, and North Points--Scales--Plotting--Civil Engineers'
    and Surveyors' Plans--Map Drawing--Mechanical and Architectural
    Drawing--Copying and Reducing Trigonometrical Formulæ, etc., etc.

_The Boiler-maker's and Iron Ship-builder's Companion_, comprising a
series of original and carefully calculated tables, of the utmost
utility to persons interested in the iron trades. By JAMES FODEN,
author of 'Mechanical Tables,' etc. Second edition revised, _with
illustrations_, crown 8vo, cloth, 5_s._

_Rock Blasting_: a Practical Treatise on the means employed in Blasting
Rocks for Industrial Purposes. By G. G. ANDRÉ, F.G.S., Assoc. Inst.
C.E. _With 56 illustrations and 12 plates_, 8vo, cloth, 10_s._ 6_d._

_Experimental Science_: Elementary, Practical, and Experimental
Physics. By GEO. M. HOPKINS. _Illustrated by 672 engravings._ In one
large vol., 8vo, cloth, 18_s._

_A Treatise on Ropemaking as practised in public and private
Rope-yards_, with a Description of the Manufacture, Rules, Tables of
Weights, etc., adapted to the Trade, Shipping, Mining, Railways,
Builders, etc. By R. CHAPMAN, formerly foreman to Messrs. Huddart and
Co., Limehouse, and late Master Ropemaker to H. M. Dockyard, Deptford.
Second edition, 12mo, cloth, 3_s._

_Laxton's Builders' and Contractors' Tables_; for the use of Engineers,
Architects, Surveyors, Builders, Land Agents, and others. Bricklayer,
containing 22 tables, with nearly 30,000 calculations. 4to, cloth,

_Laxton's Builders' and Contractors' Tables._ Excavator, Earth, Land,
Water, and Gas, containing 53 tables, with nearly 24,000 calculations.
4to, cloth, 5_s._

_Egyptian Irrigation._ By W. WILLCOCKS, M.I.C.E., Indian Public Works
Department, Inspector of Irrigation, Egypt. With Introduction by
Lieut.-Col. J. C. Ross, R.E., Inspector-General of Irrigation. _With
numerous lithographs and wood engravings_, royal 8vo, cloth, 1_l._

_Screw Cutting Tables for Engineers and Machinists_, giving the values
of the different trains of Wheels required to produce Screws of any
pitch, calculated by Lord Lindsay, M.P., F.R.S., F.R.A.S., etc. Cloth,
oblong, 2_s._

_Screw Cutting Tables_, for the use of Mechanical Engineers, showing
the proper arrangement of Wheels for cutting the Threads of Screws of
any required pitch, with a Table for making the Universal Gas-pipe
Threads and Taps. By W. A. MARTIN, Engineer. Second, edition, oblong,
cloth, 1_s._, or sewed, 6_d._

_A Treatise on a Practical Method of Designing Slide-Valve Gears by
Simple Geometrical Construction_, based upon the principles enunciated
in Euclid's Elements, and comprising the various forms of Plain
Slide-Valve and Expansion Gearing; together with Stephenson's, Gooch's,
and Allan's Link-Motions, as applied either to reversing or to variable
expansion combinations. By EDWARD J. COWLING WELCH, Memb. Inst.
Mechanical Engineers. Crown 8vo, cloth, 6_s._

_Cleaning and Scouring_: a Manual for Dyers, Laundresses, and for
Domestic Use. By S. CHRISTOPHER. 18mo, sewed, 6_d._

_A Glossary of Terms used in Coal Mining._ By WILLIAM STUKELEY GRESLEY,
Assoc. Mem. Inst C.E., F.G.S., Member of the North of England Institute
of Mining Engineers. _Illustrated with numerous woodcuts and diagrams_,
crown 8vo, cloth, 5_s._

_A Pocket-Book for Boiler Makers and Steam Users_, comprising a variety
of useful information for Employer and Workman, Government Inspectors,
Board of Trade Surveyors, Engineers in charge of Works and Slips,
Foremen of Manufactories, and the general Steam-using Public. By
MAURICE JOHN SEXTON. Second edition, royal 32mo, roan, gilt edges,

_Electrolysis_: a Practical Treatise on Nickeling, Coppering, Gilding,
Silvering, the Refining of Metals, and the treatment of Ores by means
of Electricity. By HIPPOLYTE FONTAINE, translated from the French by J.
A. BERLY, C.E., Assoc. S.T.E. _With engravings._ 8vo, cloth, 9_s._

_Barlow's Tables of Squares, Cubes, Square Roots, Cube Roots,
Reciprocals of all Integer Numbers up to 10,000._ Post 8vo, cloth,

_A Practical Treatise on the Steam Engine_, containing Plans and
Arrangements of Details for Fixed Steam Engines, with Essays on the
Principles involved in Design and Construction. By ARTHUR RIGG,
Engineer, Member of the Society of Engineers and of the Royal
Institution of Great Britain. Demy 4to, _copiously illustrated with
woodcuts and 96 plates_, in one Volume, half-bound morocco, 2_l._
2_s._; or cheaper edition, cloth, 25_s._

    This work is not, in any sense, an elementary treatise, or history
    of the steam engine, but is intended to describe examples of Fixed
    Steam Engines without entering into the wide domain of locomotive
    or marine practice. To this end illustrations will be given of the
    most recent arrangements of Horizontal, Vertical, Beam, Pumping,
    Winding, Portable, Semi-portable, Corliss, Allen, Compound, and
    other similar Engines, by the most eminent Firms in Great Britain
    and America. The laws relating to the action and precautions to be
    observed in the construction of the various details, such as
    Cylinders, Pistons, Piston-rods, Connecting-rods, Cross-heads,
    Motion-blocks, Eccentrics, Simple, Expansion, Balanced, and
    Equilibrium Slide-valves, and Valve-gearing will be minutely dealt
    with. In this connection will be found articles upon the Velocity
    of Reciprocating Parts and the Mode of Applying the Indicator, Heat
    and Expansion of Steam Governors, and the like. It is the writer's
    desire to draw illustrations from every possible source, and give
    only those rules that present practice deems correct.

_A Practical Treatise on the Science of Land and Engineering Surveying,
Levelling, Estimating Quantities, etc._, with a general description of
the several Instruments required for Surveying, Levelling, Plotting,
etc. By H. S. MERRETT. Fourth edition, revised by G. W. USILL, Assoc.
Mem. Inst. C.E. _41 plates, with illustrations and tables_, royal 8vo,
cloth, 12_s._ 6_d._


    Part 1. Introduction and the Principles of Geometry. Part 2. Land
    Surveying; comprising General Observations--The Chain--Offsets
    Surveying by the Chain only--Surveying Hilly Ground--To Survey an
    Estate or Parish by the Chain only--Surveying with the Theodolite
    --Mining and Town Surveying--Railroad Surveying--Mapping--
    Division and Laying out of Land--Observations on Enclosures--
    Plane Trigonometry. Part 3. Levelling--Simple and Compound
    Levelling--The Level Book--Parliamentary Plan and Section--
    Levelling with a Theodolite--Gradients--Wooden Curves--To Lay
    out a Railway Curve--Setting out Widths. Part 4. Calculating
    Quantities generally for Estimates--Cuttings and Embankments--
    Tunnels--Brickwork--Ironwork--Timber Measuring. Part 5.
    Description and Use of Instruments in Surveying and Plotting--
    The Improved Dumpy Level--Troughton's Level--The Prismatic
    Compass--Proportional Compass--Box Sextant--Vernier--Pantagraph--
    Merrett's Improved Quadrant--Improved Computation Scale--The
    Diagonal Scale--Straight Edge and Sector. Part 6. Logarithms of
    Numbers--Logarithmic Sines and Co-Sines, Tangents and Co-Tangents
    --Natural Sines and Co-Sines--Tables for Earthwork, for Setting
    out Curves, and for various Calculations, etc., etc., etc.

_Mechanical Graphics._ A Second Course of Mechanical Drawing. With
Preface by Prof. PERRY, B.Sc., F.R.S. Arranged for use in Technical and
Science and Art Institutes, Schools and Colleges, by GEORGE HALLIDAY,
Whitworth Scholar. 8vo, cloth, 6_s._

_The Assayers Manual_: an Abridged Treatise on the Docimastic
Examination of Ores and Furnace and other Artificial Products. By BRUNO
KERL. Translated by W. T. BRANNT. _With 65 illustrations_, 8vo, cloth,
12_s._ 6_d._

_Dynamo-Electric Machinery_: a Text-Book for Students of
Electro-Technology. By SILVANUS P. THOMPSON, B.A., D.Sc., M.S.T.E.
[_New edition in the press._

_The Practice of Hand Turning in Wood, Ivory, Shell, etc._, with
Instructions for Turning such Work in Metal as may be required in the
Practice of Turning in Wood, Ivory, etc.; also an Appendix on
Ornamental Turning. (A book for beginners.) By FRANCIS CAMPIN. Third
edition, _with wood engravings_, crown 8vo, cloth, 6_s._


    On Lathes--Turning Tools--Turning Wood--Drilling--Screw Cutting--
    Miscellaneous Apparatus and Processes--Turning Particular Forms--
    Staining--Polishing--Spinning Metals--Materials--Ornamental
    Turning, etc.

_Treatise on Watchwork, Past and Present._ By the Rev. H. L. NELTHROPP,
M.A., F.S.A. _With 32 illustrations_, crown 8vo, cloth, 6_s._ 6_d._


    Definitions of Words and Terms used in Watchwork--Tools--Time--
    Historical Summary--On Calculations of the Numbers for Wheels
    and Pinions; their Proportional Sizes, Trains, etc.--Of Dial Wheels,
    or Motion Work--Length of Time of Going without Winding up--The
    Verge--The Horizontal--The Duplex--The Lever--The Chronometer--
    Repeating Watches--Keyless Watches--The Pendulum, or Spiral Spring--
    Compensation--Jewelling of Pivot Holes--Clerkenwell--Fallacies of
    the Trade--Incapacity of Workmen--How to Choose and Use a Watch,

_Algebra Self-Taught._ By W. P. HIGGS, M.A., D.Sc., LL.D., Assoc.
Inst C.E., Author of 'A Handbook of the Differential Calculus,' etc.
Second edition, crown 8vo, cloth, 2_s._ 6_d._


    Symbols and the Signs of Operation--The Equation and the Unknown
    Quantity--Positive and Negative Quantities--Multiplication--
    Involution--Exponents--Negative Exponents--Roots, and the Use of
    Exponents as Logarithms--Logarithms--Tables of Logarithms and
    Proportionate Parts--Transformation of System of Logarithms--
    Common Uses of Common Logarithms--Compound Multiplication and
    the Binomial Theorem--Division, Fractions, and Ratio--Continued
    Proportion--The Series and the Summation of the Series--Limit
    of Series--Square and Cube Roots--Equations--List of Formulæ, etc.

_Spons' Dictionary of Engineering, Civil, Mechanical, Military, and
Naval_; with technical terms in French, German, Italian, and Spanish,
3100 pp., and _nearly 8000 engravings_, in super-royal 8vo, in 8
divisions, 5_l._ 8_s._ Complete in 3 vols., cloth, 5_l._ 5_s._ Bound in
a superior manner, half-morocco, top edge gilt, 3 vols., 6_l._ 12_s._

_Notes in Mechanical Engineering._ Compiled principally for the use of
the Students attending the Classes on this subject at the City of
London College. By HENRY ADAMS, Mem. Inst. M.E., Mem. Inst. C.E., Mem.
Soc. of Engineers. Crown 8vo, cloth, 2_s._ 6_d._

_Canoe and Boat Building_: a complete Manual for Amateurs, containing
plain and comprehensive directions for the construction of Canoes,
Rowing and Sailing Boats, and Hunting Craft. By W. P. STEPHENS. _With
numerous illustrations and 24 plates of Working Drawings._ Crown 8vo,
cloth, 9_s._

_Proceedings of the National Conference of Electricians, Philadelphia_,
October 8th to 13th, 1884. 18mo, cloth, 3_s._

_Dynamo-Electricity_, its Generation, Application, Transmission,
Storage, and Measurement. By G. B. PRESCOTT. _With 545 illustrations._
8vo, cloth, 1_l._ 1_s._

_Domestic Electricity for Amateurs._ Translated from the French of E.
HOSPITALIER, Editor of "L'Electricien," by C. J. WHARTON, Assoc. Soc.
Tel. Eng. _Numerous illustrations._ Demy 8vo, cloth, 6_s._


    1. Production of the Electric Current--2. Electric Bells--3.
    Automatic Alarms--4. Domestic Telephones--5. Electric Clocks--6.
    Electric Lighters--7. Domestic Electric Lighting--8. Domestic
    Application of the Electric Light--9. Electric Motors--10. Electrical
    Locomotion--11. Electrotyping, Plating, and Gilding--12. Electric
    Recreations--13. Various applications--Workshop of the Electrician.

_Wrinkles in Electric Lighting._ By VINCENT STEPHEN. _With
illustrations._ 18mo, cloth, 2_s._ 6_d._


    1. The Electric Current and its production by Chemical means--2.
    Production of Electric Currents by Mechanical means--3.
    Dynamo-Electric Machines--4. Electric Lamps--5. Lead--6. Ship

_Foundations and Foundation Walls for all classes of Buildings_, Pile
Driving, Building Stones and Bricks, Pier and Wall construction,
Mortars, Limes, Cements, Concretes, Stuccos, &c. _64 illustrations._ By
G. T. POWELL and F. BAUMAN. 8vo, cloth, 10_s._ 6_d._

_Manual for Gas Engineering Students._ By D. LEE. 18mo, cloth, 1_s._

_Telephones, their Construction and Management._ By F. C. ALLSOP. Crown
8vo, cloth, 5_s._

_Hydraulic Machinery, Past and Present._ A Lecture delivered to the
London and Suburban Railway Officials' Association. By H. ADAMS, Mem.
Inst. C.E. _Folding plate._ 8vo, sewed, 1_s._

_Twenty Years with the Indicator._ By THOMAS PRAY, Jun., C.E., M.E.,
Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. 2 vols., royal 8vo,
cloth, 12_s._ 6_d._

_Annual Statistical Report of the Secretary to the Members of the Iron
and Steel Association on the Home and Foreign Iron and Steel Industries
in 1889._ Issued June 1890. 8vo, sewed, 5_s._

_Bad Drains, and How to Test them_; with Notes on the Ventilation of
Sewers, Drains, and Sanitary Fittings, and the Origin and Transmission
of Zymotic Disease. By R. HARRIS REEVES. Crown 8vo, cloth, 3_s._ 6_d._

_Well Sinking._ The modern practice of Sinking and Boring Wells, with
geological considerations and examples of Wells. By ERNEST SPON, Assoc.
Mem. Inst. C.E., Mem. Soc. Eng., and of the Franklin Inst., etc. Second
edition, revised and enlarged. Crown 8vo, cloth, 10_s._ 6_d._

_The Voltaic Accumulator_: an Elementary Treatise. By ÉMILE REYNIER.
Translated by J. A. BERLY, Assoc. Inst. E.E. _With 62 illustrations_,
8vo, cloth, 9_s._

_Ten Years' Experience in Works of Intermittent Downward Filtration._
By J. BAILEY DENTON, Mem. Inst. C.E. Second edition, with additions.
Royal 8vo, cloth, 5_s._

_Land Surveying on the Meridian and Perpendicular System._ By WILLIAM
PENMAN, C.E. 8vo, cloth, 8_s._ 6_d._

_The Electromagnet and Electromagnetic Mechanism._ By SILVANUS P.
THOMPSON, D.Sc., F.R.S. 8vo, cloth, 15_s._

_Incandescent Wiring Hand-Book._ By F. B. BADT, late 1st Lieut. Royal
Prussian Artillery. _With 41 illustrations and 5 tables._ 18mo, cloth,
4_s._ 6_d._

_A Pocket-book for Pharmacists, Medical Practitioners, Students, etc.,
etc. (British, Colonial, and American)._ By THOMAS BAYLEY, Assoc. R.
Coll. of Science, Consulting Chemist, Analyst, and Assayer, Author of a
'Pocket-book for Chemists,' 'The Assay and Analysis of Iron and Steel,
Iron Ores, and Fuel,' etc., etc. Royal 32mo, boards, gilt edges, 6_s._

_The Fireman's Guide_; a Handbook on the Care of Boilers. By TEKNOLOG,
föreningen T. I. Stockholm. Translated from the third edition, and
revised by KARL P. DAHLSTROM, M.E. Second edition. Fcap. 8vo, cloth,

_A Treatise on Modern Steam Engines and Boilers_, including Land
Locomotive, and Marine Engines and Boilers, for the use of Students. By
FREDERICK COLYER, M. Inst. C.E., Mem. Inst. M.E. _With 36 plates._ 4to,
cloth, 12_s._ 6_d._


    1. Introduction--2. Original Engines--3. Boilers--4. High-Pressure
    Beam Engines--5. Cornish Beam Engines--6. Horizontal Engines--7.
    Oscillating Engines--8. Vertical High-Pressure Engines--9. Special
    Engines--10. Portable Engines--11. Locomotive Engines--12. Marine

_Steam Engine Management_; a Treatise on the Working and Management of
Steam Boilers. By F. COLYER, M. Inst. C.E., Mem. Inst. M.E. 18mo,
cloth, 2_s._

_A Text-Book of Tanning_, embracing the Preparation of all kinds of
Leather. By HARRY R. PROCTOR, F.C.S., of Low Lights Tanneries. _With
illustrations._ Crown 8vo, cloth, 10_s._ 6_d._

_Aid Book to Engineering Enterprise._ By EWING MATHESON, M. Inst. C.E.
The Inception of Public Works, Parliamentary Procedure for Railways,
Concessions for Foreign Works, and means of Providing Money, the Points
which determine Success or Failure, Contract and Purchase, Commerce in
Coal, Iron, and Steel, &c. Second edition, revised and enlarged, 8vo,
cloth, 21_s._

_Pumps, Historically, Theoretically, and Practically Considered._ By P.
R. BJÖRLING. _With 156 illustrations._ Crown 8vo, cloth, 7_s._ 6_d._

_The Marine Transport of Petroleum._ A Book for the use of Shipowners,
Shipbuilders, Underwriters, Merchants, Captains and Officers of
Petroleum-carrying Vessels. By G. H. LITTLE, Editor of the 'Liverpool
Journal of Commerce.' Crown 8vo, cloth, 10_s._ 6_d._

_Liquid Fuel for Mechanical and Industrial Purposes._ Compiled by E. A.
BRAYLEY HODGETTS. _With wood engravings._ 8vo, cloth, 7_s._ 6_d._

_Tropical Agriculture_: A Treatise on the Culture, Preparation,
Commerce and Consumption of the principal Products of the Vegetable
Kingdom. By P. L. SIMMONDS, F.L.S., F.R.C.I. New edition, revised and
enlarged, 8vo, cloth, 21_s._

_Health and Comfort in House Building_; or, Ventilation with Warm Air
by Self-acting Suction Power. With Review of the Mode of Calculating
the Draught in Hot-air Flues, and with some Actual Experiments by J.
DRYSDALE, M.D., and J. W. HAYWARD, M.D. _With plates and woodcuts._
Third edition, with some New Sections, and the whole carefully Revised,
8vo, cloth, 7_s._ 6_d._

_Losses in Gold Amalgamation._ With Notes on the Concentration of Gold
and Silver Ores. _With six plates._ By W. MCDERMOTT and P. W. DUFFIELD.
8vo, cloth, 5_s._

_A Guide for the Electric Testing of Telegraph Cables._ By COL. V.
HOSKIOER, Royal Danish Engineers. Third edition, crown 8vo, cloth,
4_s._ 6_d._

_The Hydraulic Gold Miners' Manual._ By T. S. G. KIRKPATRICK, M.A.
Oxon. _With 6 plates._ Crown 8vo, cloth, 6_s._

    "We venture to think that this work will become a text-book on the
    important subject of which it treats. Until comparatively recently
    hydraulic mines were neglected. This was scarcely to be surprised
    at, seeing that their working in California was brought to an
    abrupt termination by the action of the farmers on the débris
    question, whilst their working in other parts of the world had not
    been attended with the anticipated success."--_The Mining World and
    Engineering Record._

_The Arithmetic of Electricity._ By T. O'CONOR SLOANE. Crown 8vo,
cloth, 4_s._ 6_d._

_The Turkish Bath_: Its Design and Construction for Public and
Commercial Purposes. By R. O. ALLSOP, Architect. _With plans and
sections._ 8vo, cloth, 6_s._

_Earthwork Slips and Subsidences upon Public Works_: Their Causes,
Prevention and Reparation. Especially written to assist those engaged
in the Construction or Maintenance of Railways, Docks, Canals,
Waterworks, River Banks, Reclamation Embankments, Drainage Works, &c.,
&c. By JOHN NEWMAN, Assoc. Mem. Inst. C.E., Author of 'Notes on
Concrete,' &c. Crown 8vo, cloth, 7_s._ 6_d._

_Gas and Petroleum Engines_: A Practical Treatise on the Internal
Combustion Engine. By WM. ROBINSON, M.E., Senior Demonstrator and
Lecturer on Applied Mechanics, Physics, &c., City and Guilds of London
College, Finsbury, Assoc. Mem. Inst. C.E., &c. _Numerous
illustrations._ 8vo, cloth, 14_s._

_Waterways and Water Transport in Different Countries._ With a
description of the Panama, Suez, Manchester, Nicaraguan, and other
Canals. By J. STEPHEN JEANS, Author of 'England's Supremacy,' 'Railway
Problems,' &c. _Numerous illustrations._ 8vo, cloth, 14_s._

_A Treatise on the Richards Steam-Engine Indicator and the Development
and Application of Force in the Steam-Engine._ By CHARLES T. PORTER.
Fourth Edition, revised and enlarged, 8vo, cloth, 9_s._


    The Nature and Use of the Indicator:
      The several lines on the Diagram.
      Examination of Diagram No. 1.
    Of Truth in the Diagram.
    Description of the Richards Indicator.
    Practical Directions for Applying and Taking Care of the Indicator.
    Introductory Remarks.
    Directions for ascertaining from the Diagram the Power exerted by
      the Engine.
    To Measure from the Diagram the Quantity of Steam Consumed.
    To Measure from the Diagram the Quantity of Heat Expended.
    Of the Real Diagram, and how to Construct it.
    Of the Conversion of Heat into Work in the Steam-engine.
    Observations on the several Lines of the Diagram.
    Of the Loss attending the Employment of Slow-piston Speed, and the
      Extent to which this is Shown by the Indicator.
    Of other Applications of the Indicator.
    Of the use of the Tables of the Properties of Steam in Calculating
      the Duty of Boilers.
    Of the Pressure on the Crank when the Connecting-rod is conceived
      to be of Infinite Length.
    The Modification of the Acceleration and Retardation that is
      occasioned by the Angular Vibration of the Connecting-rod.
    Method of representing the actual pressure on the crank at every
      point of its revolution.
    The Rotative Effect of the Pressure exerted on the Crank.
    The Transmitting Parts of an Engine, considered as an Equaliser
      of Motion.
    A Ride on a Buffer-beam (Appendix).

In demy 4to, handsomely bound in cloth, _illustrated with 220 full
page plates_, Price 15_s._





Containing 220 Plates, with numerous Drawings selected from the
Architecture of Former and Present Times.

_The Details and Designs are Drawn to Scale, 1/8", 1/4", 1/2", and Full
size being chiefly used._

The Plates are arranged in Two Parts. The First Part contains Details
of Work in the four principal Building materials, the following being a
few of the subjects in this Part:--Various forms of Doors and Windows,
Wood and Iron Roofs, Half Timber Work, Porches, Towers, Spires,
Belfries, Flying Buttresses, Groining, Carving, Church Fittings,
Constructive and Ornamental Iron Work, Classic and Gothic Molds and
Ornament, Foliation Natural and Conventional, Stained Glass, Coloured
Decoration, a Section to Scale of the Great Pyramid, Grecian and Roman
Work, Continental and English Gothic, Pile Foundations, Chimney Shafts
according to the regulations of the London County Council, Board
Schools. The Second Part consists of Drawings of Plans and Elevations
of Buildings, arranged under the following heads:--Workmen's Cottages
and Dwellings, Cottage Residences and Dwelling Houses, Shops, Factories,
Warehouses, Schools, Churches and Chapels, Public Buildings, Hotels and
Taverns, and Buildings of a general character.

All the Plates are accompanied with particulars of the Work, with
Explanatory Notes and Dimensions of the various parts.

[Illustration: _Specimen Pages, reduced from the originals._]

Crown 8vo, cloth, with illustrations, 5_s._





    Bronzes and Bronzing.
    Dipping Acids.
    Drawing Office Details.
    Drying Oils.
    Electro-Metallurgy--(Cleaning, Dipping, Scratch-brushing, Batteries,
      Baths, and Deposits of every description).
    Engraving on Wood, Copper, Gold, Silver, Steel, and Stone.
    Etching and Aqua Tint.
    Firework Making--(Rockets, Stars, Rains, Gerbes, Jets, Tour-billons,
      Candles, Fires, Lances, Lights, Wheels, Fire-balloons, and minor
    Foundry Mixtures.
    Furniture Creams, Oils, Polishes, Lacquers, and Pastes.
    Glass Cutting, Cleaning, Frosting, Drilling, Darkening, Bending,
      Staining, and Painting.
    Glass Making.
    Gun Cotton.
    Horn Working.
    Japans, Japanning, and kindred processes.
    Marble Working.
    Paper Hanging.
    Painting in Oils, in Water Colours, as well as Fresco, House,
      Transparency, Sign, and Carriage Painting.
    Pottery--(Clays, Bodies, Glazes, Colours, Oils, Stains, Fluxes,
      Enamels, and Lustres).
    Tempering Metals.
    Treating Horn, Mother-o'-Pearl, and like substances.
    Varnishes, Manufacture and Use of.

Crown 8vo, cloth, 485 pages, with illustrations, 5_s._





    Acidimetry and Alkalimetry.
    Boiler Incrustations.
    Cements and Lutes.
    Dyeing, Staining, and Colouring.
    Gelatine, Glue, and Size.
    Hydrogen peroxide.
    Ivory substitutes.
    Luminous bodies.
    Perchloric acid.
    Potassium oxalate.

Pigments, Paint, and Painting: embracing the preparation of
_Pigments_, including alumina lakes, blacks (animal, bone, Frankfort,
ivory, lamp, sight, soot), blues (antimony, Antwerp, cobalt, cæruleum,
Egyptian, manganate, Paris, Péligot, Prussian, smalt, ultramarine),
browns (bistre, hinau, sepia, sienna, umber, Vandyke), greens (baryta,
Brighton, Brunswick, chrome, cobalt, Douglas, emerald, manganese,
mitis, mountain, Prussian, sap, Scheele's, Schweinfurth, titanium,
verdigris, zinc), reds (Brazilwood lake, carminated lake, carmine,
Cassius purple, cobalt pink, cochineal lake, colcothar, Indian red,
madder lake, red chalk, red lead, vermilion), whites (alum, baryta,
Chinese, lead sulphate, white lead--by American, Dutch, French, German,
Kremnitz, and Pattinson processes, precautions in making, and
composition of commercial samples--whiting, Wilkinson's white, zinc
white), yellows (chrome, gamboge, Naples, orpiment, realgar, yellow
lakes); _Paint_ (vehicles, testing oils, driers, grinding, storing,
applying, priming, drying, filling, coats, brushes, surface,
water-colours, removing smell, discoloration; miscellaneous
paints--cement paint for carton-pierre, copper paint, gold paint, iron
paint, lime paints, silicated paints, steatite paint, transparent
paints, tungsten paints, window paint, zinc paints); _Painting_
(general instructions, proportions of ingredients, measuring paint
work; carriage painting--priming paint, best putty, finishing colour,
cause of cracking, mixing the paints, oils, driers, and colours,
varnishing, importance of washing vehicles, re-varnishing, how to dry
paint; woodwork painting).

Crown 8vo, cloth, 480 pages, with 183 illustrations, 5_s._




Uniform with the First and Second Series.


    Enamels and Glazes.
    Iron and Steel.
    Lacquers and Lacquering.





250 Illustrations, with Complete Index, and a General Index to the
Four Series, 5_s._

Waterproofing--rubber goods, cuprammonium processes, miscellaneous

Packing and Storing articles of delicate odour or colour, of a
deliquescent character, liable to ignition, apt to suffer from insects
or damp, or easily broken.

Embalming and Preserving anatomical specimens.

Leather Polishes.

Cooling Air and Water, producing low temperatures, making ice,
cooling syrups and solutions, and separating salts from liquors by

Pumps and Siphons, embracing every useful contrivance for raising and
supplying water on a moderate scale, and moving corrosive, tenacious,
and other liquids.

Desiccating--air- and water-ovens, and other appliances for drying
natural and artificial products.

Distilling--water, tinctures, extracts, pharmaceutical preparations,
essences, perfumes, and alcoholic liquids.

Emulsifying as required by pharmacists and photographers.

Evaporating--saline and other solutions, and liquids demanding
special precautions.

Filtering--water, and solutions of various kinds.

Percolating and Macerating.


Stereotyping by both plaster and paper processes.

Bookbinding in all its details.

Straw Plaiting and the fabrication of baskets, matting, etc.

Musical Instruments--the preservation, tuning, and repair of pianos
harmoniums, musical boxes, etc.

Clock and Watch Mending--adapted for intelligent amateurs.

Photography--recent development in rapid processes, handy apparatus,
numerous recipes for sensitizing and developing solutions, and
applications to modern illustrative purposes.


_With nearly 1500 illustrations_, in super-royal 8vo, in 5 Divisions,
cloth. Divisions 1 to 4, 13_s._ 6_d._ each; Division 5, 17_s._ 6_d._;
or 2 vols., cloth, £3 10_s._





Among the more important of the subjects treated of, are the

    Acids, 207 pp. 220 figs.
    Alcohol, 23 pp. 16 figs.
    Alcoholic Liquors, 13 pp.
    Alkalies, 89 pp. 78 figs.
    Alloys. Alum.
    Asphalt. Assaying.
    Beverages, 89 pp. 29 figs.
    Bleaching Powder, 15 pp.
    Bleaching, 51 pp. 48 figs.
    Candles, 18 pp. 9 figs.
    Carbon Bisulphide.
    Celluloid, 9 pp.
    Cements. Clay.
    Coal-tar Products, 44 pp. 14 figs.
    Cocoa, 8 pp.
    Coffee, 32 pp. 13 figs.
    Cork, 8 pp. 17 figs.
    Cotton Manufactures, 62 pp. 57 figs.
    Drugs, 38 pp.
    Dyeing and Calico Printing, 28 pp. 9 figs.
    Dyestuffs, 16 pp.
    Electro-Metallurgy, 13 pp.
    Explosives, 22 pp. 33 figs.
    Fibrous Substances, 92 pp. 79 figs.
    Floor-cloth, 16 pp. 21 figs.
    Food Preservation, 8 pp.
    Fruit, 8 pp.
    Fur, 5 pp.
    Gas, Coal, 8 pp.
    Glass, 45 pp. 77 figs.
    Graphite, 7 pp.
    Hair, 7 pp.
    Hair Manufactures.
    Hats, 26 pp. 26 figs.
    Honey. Hops.
    Ice, 10 pp. 14 figs.
    Indiarubber Manufactures, 23 pp. 17 figs.
    Ink, 17 pp.
    Jute Manufactures, 11 pp. 11 figs.
    Knitted Fabrics--Hosiery, 15 pp. 13 figs.
    Lace, 13 pp. 9 figs.
    Leather, 28 pp. 31 figs.
    Linen Manufactures, 16 pp. 6 figs.
    Manures, 21 pp. 30 figs.
    Matches, 17 pp. 38 figs.
    Mordants, 13 pp.
    Narcotics, 47 pp.
    Nuts, 10 pp.
    Oils and Fatty Substances, 125 pp.
    Paper, 26 pp. 23 figs.
    Paraffin, 8 pp. 6 figs.
    Pearl and Coral, 8 pp.
    Perfumes, 10 pp.
    Photography, 13 pp. 20 figs.
    Pigments, 9 pp. 6 figs.
    Pottery, 46 pp. 57 figs.
    Printing and Engraving, 20 pp. 8 figs.
    Resinous and Gummy Substances, 75 pp. 16 figs.
    Rope, 16 pp. 17 figs.
    Salt, 31 pp. 23 figs.
    Silk, 8 pp.
    Silk Manufactures, 9 pp. 11 figs.
    Skins, 5 pp.
    Small Wares, 4 pp.
    Soap and Glycerine, 39 pp. 45 figs.
    Spices, 16 pp.
    Sponge, 5 pp.
    Starch, 9 pp. 10 figs.
    Sugar, 155 pp. 134 figs.
    Tannin, 18 pp.
    Tea, 12 pp.
    Timber, 13 pp.
    Varnish, 15 pp.
    Vinegar, 5 pp.
    Wax, 5 pp.
    Wool, 2 pp.
    Woollen Manufactures, 58 pp. 39 figs.

In super-royal 8vo, 1168 pp., _with 2400 illustrations_, in 3
Divisions, cloth, price 13_s._ 6_d._ each; or 1 vol., cloth, 2_l._; or
half-morocco, 2_l._ 8_s._





    Abacus, Counters, Speed Indicators, and Slide Rule.
    Agricultural Implements and Machinery.
    Air Compressors.
    Animal Charcoal Machinery.
    Axles and Axle-boxes.
    Barn Machinery.
    Belts and Belting.
    Blasting. Boilers.
    Brick Machinery.
    Cages for Mines.
    Calculus, Differential and Integral.
    Cast Iron.
    Cement, Concrete, Limes, and Mortar.
    Chimney Shafts.
    Coal Cleansing and Washing.
    Coal Mining.
    Coal Cutting Machines.
    Coke Ovens. Copper.
    Docks. Drainage.
    Dredging Machinery.
    Dynamo-Electric and Magneto-Electric Machines.
    Electrical Engineering, Telegraphy, Electric Lighting and its practical
      details, Telephones.
    Engines, Varieties of.
    Explosives. Fans.
    Founding, Moulding and the practical work of the Foundry.
    Gas, Manufacture of.
    Hammers, Steam and other Power.
    Heat. Horse Power.
    Indicators. Iron.
    Lifts, Hoists, and Elevators.
    Lighthouses, Buoys, and Beacons.
    Machine Tools.
    Materials of Construction.
    Ores, Machinery and Processes employed to Dress.
    Pile Driving.
    Pneumatic Transmission.
    Road Locomotives.
    Rock Drills.
    Rolling Stock.
    Sanitary Engineering.
    Steam Navvy.
    Stone Machinery.
    Well Sinking.


In demy 8vo, cloth, 600 pages, and 1420 Illustrations, 6_s_.





    Mechanical Drawing--Casting and Founding in Iron, Brass, Bronze,
    and other Alloys--Forging and Finishing Iron--Sheetmetal Working--
    Soldering, Brazing, and Burning--Carpentry and Joinery, embracing
    descriptions of some 400 Woods, over 200 Illustrations of Tools
    and their uses, Explanations (with Diagrams) of 116 joints and
    hinges, and Details of Construction of Workshop appliances, rough
    furniture, Garden and Yard Erections, and House Building--
    Cabinet-Making and Veneering--Carving and Fretcutting--Upholstery
    --Painting, Graining, and Marbling--Staining Furniture, Woods,
    Floors, and Fittings--Gilding, dead and bright, on various
    grounds--Polishing Marble, Metals, and Wood--Varnishing--Mechanical
    movements, illustrating contrivances for transmitting motion--
    Turning in Wood and Metals--Masonry, embracing Stonework, Brickwork,
    Terracotta, and Concrete--Roofing with Thatch, Tiles, Slates,
    Felt, Zinc, &c.--Glazing with and without putty, and lead glazing--
    Plastering and Whitewashing--Paper-hanging--Gas-fitting--Bell-hanging,
    ordinary and electric Systems--Lighting--Warming--Ventilating--
    Roads, Pavements, and Bridges--Hedges, Ditches, and Drains--Water
    Supply and Sanitation--Hints on House Construction suited to new

E. & F. N. SPON, 125, Strand, London.

New York: 12, Cortlandt Street.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Scamping Tricks and Odd Knowledge - Occasionally Practised upon Public Works" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.