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507 Mechanical Movements Mechancial Reference Book

There is a small, scared part of me that doesn't want to tell you about this book. You see, I fear that you will buy it, read it, and use it so quickly, and for so little money that whatever head start I have as an automata artist will be lost!

But that's being paranoid, isn't it? You aren't all automata makers out there. And even if you are, you will find a different use for mechanisms in this book than I will.

Copyright 1868...and I love it!

This book is unchanged from the date is was published over 130 years ago. The title is so long that amazon's listing can't fit it all. Just so you don't miss out on the charm of it, here it is as written on the title page:

Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements, Embracing All Those Which Are Most Important In Dynamics, Hydraulics, Hydrostatics, Pneumatics, Steam Engines, Mill and other Gearing, Presses, Horology, and Miscellaneous Machinery: and including Many Movements Never Before Published and Several Which Have only Recently Come into Use

A Mechanism Gold Mine

One review of this book on's site, complained that book is "just a collection of line drawings". Right! That's why I love it.I think it's a great little book, certainly of great value to automata makers.

Of a similar vintage to Ingenious Mechanisms for Designers and Inventors, this book deals with only individual mechanisms, rather than complex multi-stage machines. With about 9 mechanisms on every other page, this little book is a dense gold mine compared to text-heavy Ingenious Mechanisms -- a four volume set.

The left hand page of each spread shows 6 to 9 mechanisms (or "Contrivances" as they were called). The Right hand page gives a short description of the mechanisms. Almost all of the mechanisms shown in this book are very practical and straightforward. I have no doubt that they represent tried-and-true solutions to real-world problems.

For me, this book serves as mechanical inspiration, similar to the way I use Mechanisms and Mechanical Devices Sourcebook. I can browse through the pages to solve a specific problem. Or, I can start with a neat mechanism and design around it. At the time of this writing, Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements costs less than a quarter of Mechanisms and Mechanical Devices Sourcebook.

The Bottom Line

Yes, the pictures are black and white line drawings. Yes, the language is a tad archaic.

Listen, if you are considering buying Ingenious Mechanisms or the Mechanical Devices Sourcebook but are not sure that you will find a way to use them...why not start with this book? Then, if this book works for you, you can decide whether to invest in the more costly books of this sort.

If you are looking for mechanical inspiration and are short on shelf space, cash, or attention span, this book is a really good choice.

Here it is: Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements: Embracing All Those Which Are Most Important in Dynamics, Hydraulics, Hydrostatics, Pneumatics, Steam Engines...

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