This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
These are classed together because, either jointly or separately, they serve to carry to the foundations the portion of the loads not carried by the wall columns and exterior walls. When a partition takes these loads, it is invariably of brick. When partitions are of other materials, they are never designed to carry loads, but, on the contrary, form part of the load carried by the floors.*
Columns are the more common, and in general the exclusive, element of the framework that carries the loads within the walls to the foundations. There are two features to be considered in connection with them: (1) the load-bearing or metal shaft, and (2) its covering or casing. There are a variety of sections of columns, some of which are illustrated by Plate I. As in the case of forms of spandrel beams, no definite rule can be given for the use of any particular section to the exclusion of others. These will be described in detail under the heading "Columns."
Plate 1. Column Sections.