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.
This subject, called Statics, is a branch of Mechanics. It deals with principles relating especially to forces which act upon bodies at rest, and with their useful applications.
There are two quite different methods of carrying on the discussions and computations. In one, the quantities under consideration are represented by lines and the discussion is wholly by means of geometrical figures, and computations are carried out by means of figures drawn to scale; this is called the graphical method. In the other, the quantities under consideration are represented by symbols as in ordinary Algebra and Arithmetic, and the discussions and computations are carried on by the methods of those branches and Trigonometry; this is called the algebraic method. In this paper, both methods are employed, and generally, in a given case, the more suitable of the two.