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The International Library of Technology is the outgrowth of a large and increasing demand that has arisen for the Reference Libraries of the International Correspondence Schools on the part of those who are not students of the Schools. As the volumes composing this Library are all printed from the same plates used in printing the Reference Libraries above mentioned, a few words are necessary regarding the scope and purpose of the instruction imparted to the students of — and the class of students taught by — these Schools, in order to afford a clear understanding of their salient and unique features.
The only requirement for admission to any of the courses offered by the International Correspondence Schools is that the applicant shall be able to read the English language and to write it sufficiently well to make his written answers to the questions asked him intelligible. Each course is complete in itself, and no textbooks are required other than those prepared by the Schools for the particular course selected. The students themselves are from every class, trade, and profession and from every country; they are, almost without exception, busily engaged in some vocation, and can spare but little time for study, and that usually outside of their regular working hours. The information desired is such as can be immediately applied in practice, so that the student may be enabled to exchange his present vocation for a more congenial one or to rise to a higher level in the one he now pursues. Furthermore, they wish to obtain a good working knowledge of the subjects treated, in the shortest time and in the most direct manner possible.
In meeting these requirements we have produced a set of books that in many respects, and particularly in the general
plan followed, are absolutely unique. In the majority of subjects treated the knowledge of mathematics required is limited to the simplest principles of arithmetic and mensuration, and in no case is any greater knowledge of mathematics needed than the simplest elementary principles of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, with a thorough, practical acquaintance with the use of the logarithmic table. To effect this result, derivations of rules and formulas are omitted, but thorough and complete instructions are given regarding how, when, and under what circumstances any particular rule, formula, or process should be applied; and whenever possible one or more examples, such as would be likely to arise in actual practice — together with their solutions—are given to illustrate and explain its application. In preparing these textbooks, it has been our constant endeavor to view the matter from the student's standpoint, and to try and anticipate everything that would cause him trouble. The utmost pains have been taken to avoid and correct any and all ambiguous expressions—both those due to faulty rhetoric and those due to insufficiency of statement or explanation. As the best way to make a statement, explanation, or description clear is to give a picture or a diagram in connection with it, illustrations have been used almost without limit. The illustrations have in all cases been adapted to the requirements of the text, and projections, and sections or outline, partially shaded, or full-shaded perspectives, have been used, according to which will best produce the desired results. Half-tones have been used rather sparingly, except in those cases where the general effect is desired rather than the actual details. It is obvious that books prepared along the lines mentioned must not only be clear and concise beyond anything heretofore attempted, but they must also possess unequalled value for reference purposes. They not only give the maximum of information in a minimum space, but this information is so ingeniously arranged and correlated, and the indexes are so full and complete, that it can at once be made available to the reader. The numerous examples and explanatory remarks, together with the absence of long demonstrations and abstruse mathematical calculations, are of great assistance in helping one to select the proper formula, method, or process and in teaching him how and when it should be used. The present volume is devoted to those subjects of Nautical Science known as navigation by dead reckoning, ocean meteorology, and rules governing the movements of ships at sea. All methods of determining a ship's position at sea without the aid of astronomical observations are treated with a clearness and wealth of details hitherto unparalleled in nautical literature. Special attention has been devoted to the compensation, determination, and tabulation of the compass error, this subject being treated graphically and stripped of its usual complicated technique. In the section on meteorology, the subjects of winds, tides, and currents are treated in an able and instructive manner. The Nautical Tables contain all tables necessary in the navigation of a vessel. This volume should prove a valuable work of reference to all persons interested in navigation, or in any enterprise in which ships, commerce, or maritime law are involved. The method of numbering the pages, cuts, articles, etc. is such that each subject or part, when the subject is divided into two or more parts, is complete in itself; hence, in order to make the index intelligible, it was necessary to give each subject or part a number. This number is placed at the top of each page, on the headline, opposite the page number; and to distinguish it from the page number it is preceded by the printer's section mark ($). Consequently, a reference such as $16, page 26, will be readily found by looking along the inside edges of the headlines until $16 is found, and then through $16 until page 26 is found.