following pages have been prepared with very great care, the
chief aim being to give none but recipes which will not
disappoint those who attempt to use them.
Several of the recipes here given are
original, the formulae having been worked out or improved by
the author after much labor and experiment.
In searching for
really good formulate, we have been astonished at the errors
which have crept into many of our standard books of recipes.
example, in one case the two separate operations of a
well-known process for staining wood are given as distinct,
and, of course useless recipes!
In a seemingly favorite recipe for a washing
fluid, the reader is directed to add vinegar to the ammonia
employed, thus entirely neutralizing it.
In the same way we find a recipe for
transferring printed engravings to wood, in which the alkali
(potash) is neutralized with vitriol! We suppose that in the
last case, the author of this recipe thought that two strong
liquids must be better than one, forgetting or not knowing
the fact that one destroys the effect of the other.
A very slight knowledge of technological
science would have enabled the compilers of these books to
avoid such blunders.
In addition to these defects, however,
most of our large books of recipes contain so much that is
entirely useless to the practical man, and so many mere
repetitions of the same recipe in different language and
terms, that their cost is greatly increased while their
value instead of being enhanced, is actually lessened.
We have, therefore, endeavored to combine in
the following pages all that is really of practical value to
the professional or amateur mechanic, and at the same time
by giving only one or two of the best recipes under each
head, we have not only simplified the work, but we have
brought it to such a size and price that everyone can afford
to buy it.
New York, October, 1879.