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The raison d'etre of the following Chapters is the direct result of the experience of the Author at the time of his first purchase of a Planimeter.

Having received the Instrument in response to an order and having read the “Directions for Use” furnished by the maker with the Planimeter, he was compelled to write the firm who supplied the instrument asking them to kindly advise him as to the best treatise on the subject that could be procured which would give him the information necessary to make an intelligent use of the instrument.

The reply made to this request was that, although their firm had acted as Agents for the sale of the Planimeter for twenty years, they knew nothing of either its capacity or method of use, and that although diligent inquiry had been made by them, they had been unable to find anything in the nature of a treatise on the subject and did not believe that anything of the kind existed— at least in this country.

This lead at once to a study by the Author, first of the theory of the Planimeter, and then of the Engineering problems to the solution of which that theory could be applied, and the following Chapters are the result of that study.

The result of the investigations thus made has been to make the author a very firm believer in the value of Mechanical Aids in Engineering Calculations, and to cause him to feel that it requires but a knowledge of the invaluable assistance these aids are capable of rendering in almost every form of Mathematical and Engineering Computations to give these instruments the prominence and importance to which their capacities so eminently entitle them.

J. Y. Wheatley.
Cold Spring, N. Y.
January, 1903.

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