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The chief object which I have had in view, and which has not hitherto, that I am aware of, been attempted in the English Language, is to give to the Philosopher, and scientific Artist, an account of the Art, from the earliest period to the present enlightened age, and to endeavour to abridge the labour, and accelerate the dexterity of the practical and operative artizan.
I have the distinguished honour to be,
Your Royal Highness's
And obliged humble Servant,
27th January, 1826.
THE Article HOROLOGY, which I contributed to the Edinburgh Encyclopædia, abridged and imperfect as it is, from the limits to which I was necessarily confined, attracted the attention, and met the approbation of several scientific and practical Clock and Watchmakers; and a separate publication, in a more extended form, was called for by some, whose opinions I am bound to respect.
Retired from the active pursuit of a profession, to which my whole life has been devoted, I have endeavoured to combine my own observations with those of the best practical writers, and to give the operative Clock and Watchmaker a condensed view of the Art in Great Britain and on the Continent of Europe. I am sensible the work still labours under many defects, and that I require the indulgence of the Critical Reader; yet I am unconscious of omitting, or slightly passing over any subject of essential importance.
At the advanced age of Fourscore, I have now completed a work, which will, with all its imperfections, I am willing to believe, prove a useful vade mecum to the Mechanic, for whose use chiefly it was written, and who, I doubt not, will consider the solid information it may contain, of more value to him than the blandishments of a fine style; at the same time, it illustrates, by historical and biographical details, subjects which might otherwise prove dry and uninteresting to the young Artist. I am not without hope also, that my labours may meet that candid reception from the Professors and Lecturers on Mechanical Philosophy, at our Universities, Provincial Academies, and Mechanics' Institutions, to which such attempts for the advancement of useful knowledge are justly entitled.
My not having complied with the wish of the late lamented Professor Robison of this city, may perhaps be received as an apology for the absence of those theoretical and philosophical discussions which might otherwise have formed a prominent feature in the Work now submitted to the public. That learned gentleman, so early as 1793, had projected a work on the Theory and practice of Horology,* a subject which he had studied with particular attention; and, in a letter addressed to me, requested my assistance and participation in the composition and publication of the proposed work. The active duties of an extensive business forbade my acceptance of so very flattering and apparently profitable proposition: I have, however, endeavoured, to the best of my abilities, to sup
• See Robison's Mechanical Philosophy, edited by Dr. Brewster, vol. iv. page 609, under the head "WATCHWORK."
ply the want of such a publication, unaccompanied indeed with those spirited and scientific views of Mechanical Philosophy, which it would have derived from the aid of Professor Robison, yet, I flatter myself, not the less calculated for the practical Clock and Watchmaker, nor for the student and amateur in those branches of minute mechanism,-the wonderful results of which are every day unfolding themselves to the world.
I have entrusted the publication and future revision of this Work to my friend and late partner, Mr. WILLIAM AULD, a gentleman who is practically acquainted with the Art; and I have no doubt the subsequent editions, should the publication ever acquire that circulation, will be found to keep pace with the march of general improvement.
Page 106, bottom line, for “see top of page 105," read “see 2d Table, page 105.” 266, beginning of last paragraph, for "Lodi," read "Locle."
274, 5th line of end of Chap. for “ Tome," read “Dome."
292, line 28, for " Plate IV." read " Plate XIV."
348, line 11 from bottom, for " Muschenbroeck's," read "Musschenbroeck's." 368, line 6 from bottom, for "view of section," read" view, or section."
401, line 5 from top, for "a strong tight collet," read "a strong spring tight
407, line 10 from bottom, for "7.436," read " .7436”
407, line 10 from bottom, for "1.322,” read " 1.522"