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ELECTRIC WIRING.

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION.- INSULATION.- ANALOGIES.- THE

ELECTRICAL UNITS.

ONE hears very often that this is an age of specialists. We are told time and again that all our thought and endeavour must be given to one branch of work, if there is to be any advancement. Yet it seems quite as true that there has never been a time when one must have so broad a knowledge. The development on all lines has been so great, and, in all branches of engineering, at least, these lines have become so interwoven, that one must greatly broaden interests and knowledge if the most is to be made of the special work. We may know only one thing, but we have to know about a great many.

Electrical engineering and architecture are certainly distinct, yet electrical matters are every year brought more to the architect's attention. Electric-lighting, the increasing application of the motor to elevators,

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pumps, ventilating-fans, etc., and the innumerable bells, burglar-alarms, gas-lighting arrangements and similar conveniences, have a rather important place in the equipment of buildings, and the electrical item is one of too much consequence to be turned over carte blanche to contractors or arranged for without due consideration. It is becoming important that the architect should know a little about the nature of electricity, the uses it can be put to, and what safe, economical, and durable electrical work is. Electrical power can be so cheaply and so conveniently brought into buildings of any size that there is no limit to its possible use. Already it is being seriously considered in connection with heating and cooking, and if the hopes of inventors are realized, the need for providing for the use of electricity and for looking most carefully into all electrical arrangements will grow into a necessity.

There seems to be an inclination to look upon all electrical matters as quite out of the range of ordinary work and interests, perhaps as something too mysterious to comprehend without that thorough study for which there is not time. But every architect knows something about plumbing, steam-heating, and gas, and the necessary knowledge about electrical matters is scarcely more occult. It would all be simpler if we but had an “electrical sense,” so that we might be impressed directly by electrical phenomena. As it is,

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