The Engineer's Sketch-book of Mechanical Movements, Devices, Appliances, Contrivances and Details Employed in the Design and Construction of Machinery for Every Purpose; Classified & Arranged for Reference for the Use of Engineers, Mechanical Draughtsmen, Managers, Mechanics, Inventors, Patent Agents, and All Engaged in the Mechanical Arts
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My father owned this lovely book of mechanical devices dating from the 1800s.
He gave to me in 1961. I have "read" it cover to cover several times and like
to dip into it. It is a 19th century "pattern language" for mechanical devices. It has drawings and descriptions of 1,937 designs, each matched to a brief description. These are organized into 106 categories according to the type of device and/or problem solved. There is an alphabetical contents list of the categories so that it is fairly easy to find your problem. For example: "Levelling and Plumbing" is on page 122 in section 52 and shows 4 devices -- a gravitational level, a plumb line and square, a water tube level, and the classic spirit level.
I agree with the author "A sketch, properly executed, is -- to a practical man -- worth a folio of description...".