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I ran across this book today and could not find it had been mentioned on the forum.  Originally published in 1913, it provides very interesting insights into the civil engineering side of railroads

Here is a snip on the chapters, @melgar and others might find the easement part interesting

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That's a very cool book!

My dad was a mechanical engineer, and lived by his slide rule. I remember him working at home every Saturday on the Expand-A-Way, poring over his blueprints, drawings and plans, slide rule in hand. I still have my high school K&E slide rule and instruction booklet. Haven't really looked at them in over half a century.

Last edited by jay jay

When I was a junior and senior in college, calculators were just coming out and a few had one. However because at that time they were pretty expensive the professors made us use a slide rule on tests. When my son was in high school he had to have a graphing calculator. Now having a computer is a requirement in both HS and college. We've come a long way!

Ken

I used a slide rule (Dietzgen) all through high-school and college - indeed it was an early birthday present from my parents when I started 9th grade.

   In college a lot of the engineering and science majors (myself included) would wear the slide rule case strapped to our belt.  It gave the  appearance of "packing" (and, in a sense we were ).  I still have mine and I've never forgotten how to use one although it has been decades since I last used it for anything.

  As for the comment on significant figures - how true and even more so today.  It is quite common to see an analysis performed with data good to just a single significant digit reported out to 3 or even 4 "significant" digits - or as my professors used to say - "empty precision."

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