The want of a comprehensive collection of illustrations and descriptions of Mechanical Movements has long been seriously felt by artisans, inventors, and students of the mechanic arts. It was the knowledge of this want which induced the compilation of the collection here presented. The movements which it contains have been already illustrated and described in occasional installments scattered through five volumes of the AMERICAN ARTISAN, by the readers of which their publication was received with so much favor as was believed to warrant the expense of their reproduction with some revision in a separate volume.

The selection of the movements embraced in this collection has been made from many and various sources. The English works of Johnson, Willcock, Wylson, and Denison have been drawn upon to a considerable extent, and many other works—American and foreign—have been laid under contribution; but more than one-fourth of the movements—many of purely American origin—have never previously appeared in any published collection. Although the collection embraces about three times as many movements as have ever been contained in any previous American publication, and a considerably larger number than has ever been contained in any foreign one, it has not been the object of the compiler to merely swell the number, but he has endeavored to select only such as may be of really practical value; and with this end in view, he has rejected many which are found in nearly all the previously published collections, but which he has considered only applicable to some exceptional want.

Owing to the selection of these movements at such intervals as could be snatched from professional duties, which admitted of no postponement, and to the engravings having been made from time to time for immediate publication, the classification of the movements is not as perfect as the compiler could have desired; yet it is believed that this deficiency is more than compensated for by the copiousness of the Index and the entirely novel arrangement of the illustrations and the descriptive letterpress on opposite pages, which make the collection—large and comprehensive as it is—more convenient for reference than any previous one.