In this and the following Sections, which will constitute Part II., there are treated of certain matters which may be considered as elementary. They are all very necessary to be understood and acquired by the builder, and are here compactly presented in a shape which, it is believed, will aid him in his studies, and at the same time prove to be a great convenience as a matter of reference.
The many geometrical forms which enter into the composition of a building suggest a knowledge of Elementary Geometry as essential to an intelligent comprehension of its plan and purpose. One of the prime requisites of a building is stability, a quality which depends upon a proper distribution of the material of which the building is constructed; hence a knowledge of the laws of pressure and the strength of materials is essential; and as these are based upon the laws of proportion and are expressed more concisely in algebraic language, a knowledge of Proportion and of Algebra are likewise indispensable to a comprehensive understanding of the subject. There will be found in this work, however, only so much of these parts of mathematics as have been deemed of the most obvious utility in the Science of Building. For a more exhaustive treatment of the subjects named, the reader is referred to the many able works, readily accessible, which make these subjects their specialties.