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A wide, general editorial experience obtained through careful consideration of the needs of the average automobilist by the writer while technical editor for one of the leading motor-car journals, has shown that the modern motorist is always seeking for information that will enable him to run his car more intelligently. A number of primers, catechisms, handbooks and other literature of this nature have been prepared for educating the prospective or present, owner or driver of an automobile, but all of these have been criticised because of various shortcomings, though some have been of great value.
They are seldom arranged in a logical manner and for the most part assume that those they try to teach are technically informed. One passes from a chapter on running gear parts directly to one on ignition and from that to one on car oiling or some other subject foreign to that previously considered. This arrangement makes it difficult for the average reader to get the utmost value from his reading. For the most part the illustrations are crude representations, often of imaginary mechanism, and it is seldom that the various essential points the author wishes to call attention to are indicated in any intelligible manner on the illustration.
The splendid reception accorded the writer's previous work “The Modern Gasoline Automobile” has been very gratifying. This work was written as a general treatise and no attempt was made to make it a primer or elementary work. So many motorists have written to the publishers commending the logical arrangement of the text and the clear accurate illustrations and so many suggestions have been received by the writer that he prepare a more simple and cheaper book arranged as a primer or textbook, that after considerable thought regarding the best method of presentation of fact in simple language, this treatise has been prepared. This is complete in itself but can be supplemented to advantage by a general course of reading of the writer's previous work.
The arrangement of the subject matter in the form of lessons consisting of questions and answers has been followed to make the book suitable either as a home educator or as a textbook for use in schools. Every endeavor has been made to arrange the contents logically and the reader is brought progressively from one element of the car to the next relative part rather than in the spasmodic manner usually found in a work of this nature.
A number of the lessons were specially written for instructing classes by the writer when he was associated with one of the first automobile schools established in the United States. They were very successfully applied in teaching the mixed classes and intellects found in schools of this nature. These lessons have been simplified and brought up-to-date and have a much greater value to the student than when first prepared.
Entirely new illustrations have been made and there is no conflict in contents between this and the writer's other work. Either is a complete exposition of the subject, and this can be used to advantage in connection with that first published as a series of questions for review, or the other and more complete work may be used to supplement this after the reader has grasped the rudiments of automobile construction and management by studying the lessons · in this treatise. The arrangement by lessons will be found of value to those teaching automobile classes and the work should prove as desirable as a textbook as it is as a self educator for those that cannot get their knowledge except by home study.
Attention is directed to the completeness of this work, which includes all late developments in automobile engineering. The exclusion of matter of purely academic value or of interest only from a historical point of view means that the space usually devoted to this easiły obtained class of matter, which has long been public property, is devoted to a consideration of driving, maintenance and repair of automobiles, which is obviously of more value to the reader.
The illustrations have been selected with well defined objects in view and while simplified somewhat in instances in order to make
them more easily understood by the non-mechanical reader, they are as accurate as relates to proportion of parts as the best engineering drawings and all represent existing mechanisms which are in daily use. The important elements to which attention is directed in the text are clearly designated by arrows and named in the illustration, so the main object of making them intelligible has been attained without sacrificing correct proportion. Any suggestions from readers for improving this work and calling attention to errors, either of commission or omission, will be welcomed by the publisher and the author.
This treatise has been entirely revised and all new improvements in automobile engine and chassis design have been included. Attention is directed to the new lesson on electric starting and lighting systems.
VICTOR W. PAGÉ. JANUARY, 1918.
SYNOPSIS OF LESSONS