This section is from "Scientific American Supplement". Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.

The following is a copy of the last examination paper given to candidates who are desirous of employment in the constructive departments of the municipality of New York:

N.B. - In case candidate does not remember formula or method of solving any problem submitted to him, let him name any work upon the subject where such formula or method may be found.

- What is civil engineering?
- Have you ever pursued a course of study in any educational institution, or with any civil engineer, which would fit you for the position of assistant engineer? If so, state when and with whom; state also, in detail, what experience you have had.
- Have you ever had responsible charge of any public work? If so, state particulars.
- Solve the following according to the algebraic signs:
/ (6-2/7 - 4-5/9) × 8-7/16 × 67873.367 , \/ 4-4/12

and show your work. - The population of a certain town in 1880 was 7,095; it having increased 25 per cent. in ten years, what was it in 1870? Show your work.
- How many feet, board measure, in the flooring of a room 20 feet by 30 feet and 2½ inches thick?
- Find value of x and y in the following equations:
- 2 x + 3 y = 33
- 4 x - y = 17.

- Find value of x in equation x² - x - 40 = 170.
- Find value of x in equation
a + / a² - x² = x b \/ x² b

- Explain the meaning of the expression a½ × b¾.
- What is a logarithm?
- What is the base of the common system?
- In making what calculations are logarithms useful?
- How do you find the logarithm of a number in a table of logarithms?
- What are similar triangles?
- How are similar triangles proportioned to each other?
- The sides of a polygon being prolonged, what is the sum of all the exterior angles equal to?
- How do you pass the circumference of a circle through three given points not in the same straight line?
- How do you describe a square in a circle?
- In the triangle, b being a right angle, what proportion does d b bear to a d and d c?
- How do you inscribe a regular hexagon in a circle?
- What proportion do circumference and areas of circles bear to their radii?
- How do you find the area of a regular polygon?
- Of an irregular polygon?
- Of a circle?
- How do you find the solid contents of a cylinder?
- Of a wedge?
- Of a pyramid?
- Find the contents of the wedge, base 20 feet by 30 feet, height 10 feet, edge 15 feet.
- State the prismoidal formula; would you use it in calculating earthwork?
- Is a simple question in calculating areas. - Ed. Eng. News.
- How many and what parts of a plane triangle must be given to find the rest?
- Define the terms sine, co-sine, tangent, and co-tangent.
- What are natural sines, co-sines, etc.?
- What is a table of logarithmic sines, co-sines, etc.?
- Two sides and two angles of a plane triangle being given, how do you find the other parts?
- When two sides of a plane triangle and their included angles are given, how do you find the other parts?
- In the right-angled triangle, A B H express algebraically the value of the sine, co-sine, tangent, and co-tangent of angle A in terms of a, b, and h, they being the altitude, base, and hypothenuse of the triangle.
- What is the law of gravitation?
- Do you understand that there is any difference in the meaning of the terms gravitation and gravity?
- What is the law of falling bodies?
- Express algebraically this law, taking v = velocity of falling body; g = acceleration of gravity; and h = height.
- What is the center of gravity of a body?
- How is it found?
- Where is the center of gravity of a homogeneous body whose sides are all rectangles?
- What is the specific gravity of a body?
- What is the standard for solids and liquids?
- What for gases?
- What laws govern the pressure of liquids at rest?
- How do you find the number of gallons of water to the cubic foot?
- What is the weight of a gallon of water?
- What is the pressure per square inch on the side of a vessel at the depth of 10 feet below the surface of the water?
- What will be the theoretical volume of discharge per second from a reservoir through a pipe 1 foot in diameter, discharging at a depth of 100 feet below the surface of the water?
- How many gallons of water will be discharged through a pipe 1 foot in diameter, 328 feet long, head 13½ feet, coefficient of flow = 0.007?
- State how many men are needed to make up a full party for a survey of a preliminary line or location of a public work, such as a railroad or aqueduct.
- State also their several duties.
- For what purpose is the magnetic needle used in surveying land?
- What is a traverse table and for what used?
- How do you set out a circular curved line upon the ground?
- If an obstacle occurs to alignment, state how you would overcome it upon straight lines, also upon curves.
- The radius of a curve being given, and angle of intersection of the two tangents, how do you find the length of the tangent from their intersection to the beginning of the curve?
- Describe an engineer's transit, and name its adjustments.
- Describe a Y level, and name its adjustments.
- How many kinds of leveling rods do you know of?
- State how they are graduated, and how they can be read to the 1/1000 of a foot.
- Show a form of field-book for transit notes used when "running" curves, and place thereon notes of a 5 deg. curve for 1,000, with two intermediate "set-ups."
- Show a form of level-book, and place therein sufficient figures to show your method.
- What are cross-sections?
- How do you set slope stakes for excavation and embankment?
- What is a grade line?
- What proportion of the breaking weight of a beam would you consider a safe load?
- With the load uniformly distributed, what fractional part of the whole weight may be considered, in all calculations, as being carried at the center?
- Suppose a beam supported at both ends, and take w = weight, l = length of beam, b = breadth, d = depth, s = breaking weight. Express algebraically the value of s in terms of the other quantities.
- Sectional area being 36 square inches, which would be the stronger section, 6 by 6 or 4 by 9?
- Make a design for a pair of rafters, connected by a tie-beam, for a roof 30 feet span, showing the dimensions of the several parts and the manner of connecting them. State in detail your method of obtaining the several dimensions.
- How do you apply the principle of the parallelogram of forces in determining the strain on the various members of a structure? Illustrate graphically.
- What should be the thickness at the top and base of a retaining wall 15 feet high, built to retain ordinary earth? Show your method of obtaining the required dimensions, also a sketch of the wall, showing how it should be founded.
- A reservoir is to be built, depth of water 10 feet. If the walls are built of masonry, find the thickness of the same, and state how they should be built. Show your work.
- What is an arch, of how many forms, and of what may it be constructed?
- Can you state how you would find the thickness of an arch of stone, span and rise being given?
- Define the intrados and extrados of an arch.
- Where should the line of resistance to pressure be found in an arch in order to retain its stability?
- Can you find the thickness of the abutments, the rise and span of the arch being given?
- In a semicircular arch, where is the horizontal thrust greatest and where least?
- Name the common kinds of stone used in building.
- Define the terms "quarry-faced," "rough-pointed," "fine-axed," "bush-hammered," as applied to the dressing of stone.
- Describe "rubble" masonry, "ashlar" masonry, and "broken ashlar" masonry.
- What are "headers" and "stretchers"?
- What should be the proportion of "headers" to "stretchers"?
- How would you prepare the foundation for a heavy wall, and how deep should it be excavated?
- How are walls founded on soft or yielding materials?
- Describe a good quality of bricks, and state how you would know a good brick from a poor one.
- In how many ways is brickwork "bonded" to make good work in heavy walls?
- What is hydraulic cement, and how many kinds do you know of?
- Which do you consider the better quality, Rosendale or Portland, and why?
- What is mortar composed of, and how mixed?
- What kind of sand should be used, and how do you test its quality?
- What is the meaning of the term "setting" as applied to cement?
- How would you test cement?
- What is concrete, of what composed, and in what proportion should its ingredients be mixed?
- Name the common kinds of wood used in building.
- What kind of timber resists decay longest under ground?
- How may timber be preserved from decay?
- What do you understand by limit of elasticity as applied to a beam under strain or pressure? What is meant by the neutral axis of a beam?
- What is the tensile strength of a good quality of wrought iron per square inch?
- For what parts of a structure may cast and wrought iron be used in reference to tension and compression?
- Make a sketch of the form of cast-iron beam best adapted to resist a transverse strain.

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