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ALTHOUGH the literature of cement and concrete has expanded enormously during the past few years, it is, nevertheless, the conviction of the Publishers that there is still a place for a semi-popular book of this general type. Many of the technical works are either high in price or contain a great deal of theory, or devote so many pages to academic discussions of points, not yet settled by current practice, as to be imperfectly adapted to the wants of the nontechnical reader.
On the other hand, with few exceptions, the popular books on the subject contain no systematic treatment of the subject of design, and fail to give any conception of the costs of different types of construction.
To compile material, all of which shall possess some definite value; to explain the principles of design and methods of construction in concise and, so far as possible, non-technical language; to describe the variation of costs for different kinds of concrete work; to give the reader a handbook that will prove interesting as well as useful; to bring home the great economic and artistic qualities of concrete as a building material; and finally to help in producing a better, higher grade of concrete work: these are the criteria which have helped to shape the character of this book, criteria difficult to satisfy and impossible of complete attainment. Just how far these purposes have been carried out can only be left to the judgment of the readers to decide.
In the preparation of the text, many sources of information have been consulted, including the standard text books on the subject, the published transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society for Testing Material, and the National Association of Cement Users; also recent files of the Engineering News, Engineering Record, Engineering-Contracting, Cement Era, and other periodical literature. Particular acknowledgment is also due to the publications of the Atlas Portland Cement Co., for many suggestions, tables, and other valuable data. The bulletins of the Universal, American, Vulcanite, and Edison Cement Companies have also been freely drawn upon.
In the preparation of the manuscript many suggestions were also received from individual sources, and particular acknowledgment is due to the following engineers, for valuable contributions and advice:
Mr. Reginald Van Deerlin, C.E., Chief Engineer Hennebique Construction Co.; Mr. James G. Ray, C.E., Consulting Reinforced Concrete Engineer; Messrs. Edmund P. Murray, C.E.; S. B. Balland, C.E.; and L. B. Manheimer.
The authors would also be glad to receive and to acknowledge, in future editions, further suggestions, criticisms, cost data, or examples of recent practice from any of their readers.
They especially solicit cost data in connection with all kinds of concrete work, and will acknowledge and publish same in future editions of this book.
MYRON H. LEWIS, February, 1911.
ALBERT H. CHANDLER.