Concerning The Circle Of The Mechanical Arts, Thomas Martin, 2nd Edition, 1815
The Critical Review: Series The Fifth; Vol. II, No. III; September, 1815
“We have much satisfaction in offering our remarks on the present work, which will recommend itself to general attention by the importance and novelty of the various subjects it treats upon; for although consisting of little more than six hundred quarto pages, we consider it a book of extensive information; abounding in accurate details of manufacturing processes, and in clear descriptions of useful machinery.
Numerous works of the same kind have been published in Germany and France, as well as in England: but those in highest esteem have been executed upon so large a scale, as to deprive artificers in general of the advantages derivable from them: such publications being necessarily confined to the libraries of the rich, or repositories of the learned. Similar has been the fate of the different Cyclopedias: the expense alone has rendered them destitute of any utility to artists, and wholly defeated the purpose which they were designed to accomplish. But this volume, while it will be found to comprehend whatever is practically useful to tradesmen, or amusing to gentlemen, who read only to increase their stock of knowledge, is exempt from the slightest objection on this ground; being of moderate cost, and concise dimensions.”
“Upon the whole, we may recommend “The Circle of the Mechanical Arts” to persons of various classes and ranks of life: to gentlemen who are fond of mechanical pursuits, or who for amusement superintend the works going on upon their estates, or who wish to be informed of the manufacture established in their own neighborhood, or of those which they may meet in their travels. It will, likewise, be found most particularly useful to persons engaged in trade; to youths apprenticed to learn the arts described; as well as to practical men in general. The whole is written with candour, and very well expressed; and the author is highly deserving the countenance of the public.”
Whilst assembling the introduction, I chanced upon this most descriptive description of Mr. Martin's Opus.
Till next, Gary