I just finished adding the Firearms-texts Category. I spent a good bit more time looking through these books and it turns out that it’s a better collection of information than I originally thought.

Several of these particularly Gunnery In 1858-A Treatise on Rifles Cannon and Sporting Arms 1858 and The Science of Gunnery as Applied to the Use and Construction of Fire-Arms 1846 actually have a good bit of detailed information on the firearms manufacturing process. There is fairly detail information on how to smelt the proper iron, how to weld barrels and so on. It appears to be enough information that with some judicial experimentation and some experience a craftsman could successfully produce firearms such as were common in the mid 1800s.

Why would you WANT to know how to produce Civil War era firearms?

The difference between Civil War era firearms and the firearms of the 20th century is only a matter of degree. By the end of the Civil War most of the technology of modern weapons existed. Brass cartridges, primers, rifled barrels. It was only a small step to go from breech loading brass cartridge rifles to bolt action rifles. We tend to think of Civil War firearms as a primitive generation and the modern firearms as a totally different kind of technology. Yet what would be considered “modern” firearms are not as distant from the weapons of the Civil War as most people think. The primary military firearms used by both sides in the Civil War were actually considered somewhat old fashioned by many people of the period. They had one striking advantage over the more advanced weapons that already existed. They were much cheaper and easier to produce especially in the Southern States which had little in the way of an armaments industry.

The German Gewahr 98 began production in 1898 only about 30 years after the Civil War. It was only a couple minor improvements to the Kar 98 which was used from the early 1900s through fairly recent times. It was the primary firearm of the German military in two world wars and remained in service until fairly recently in some countries. It is still commonly available today and has an effective range of almost 1000 yards.

The Russian Mosin-Nagant went into production in 1891 and like the German Kar 98 is still commonly available today and still popular as is the American Springfield and the British Lee Enfield. All of the major industrialized nation developed bolt actions rifles in the late 1800s and many of them remain in service today at least in civilian hands. You will occasionally see models of all of these rifles in the hands of military and police forces in some countries. The larger caliber bullets of the old bolt action rifles actually have more range and muzzle energy than the bullets fired by most modern standard military assault rifles. You can walk into most any gun store in the U.S. today and find a case or two of unused Mosin Nagants manufactured in the mid 1900s for not much over $100. They still make excellent hunting rifles as do the Kar 98s, Lee Enfields and Springfields.

The mechanisms that are used in most firearms are described in great detail by some of these books. A machinist could undoubtedly reproduce most of the mechanisms with even basic machine tools. By the mid to late 1800s the steel available for manufacturing firearms was suitable for producing many modern firearms. What was lacking was the design of the mechanisms for repeated firing such as Bolt Actions and handgun designs such as the venerable 1911.

Between the books that cover the production of appropriate steel, the techniques for barrel welding and other barrel production techniques as well as the books describing and providing detailed images of the loading mechanisms of various types of bolt action and semi-automatic handgun designs there is enough information in the Category to provide a good solid foundation for someone who want to rebuild firearms production from scratch.

Folks who are firearms hobbyists will also find it a fascinating glimpse into the history of the industry.

The Librarian

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I'm managed to find a couple dozen older books on firearms that deal more with the older style of firearms that were manufactured either in small lots or by hand. It's odd that there are so many books on manufacturing so many items but a dearth of books on the hand manufacturing of firearms.

I remember years ago spending a lot of time in Williamsburg where the folks kept many Early American skills alive. One of the shops there was a gunsmith who manufactured gun from the late 1700s by hand. He was always backordered for over a year. There was a strong demand but few people skilled in the trade. You would think that there would have been a demand for books on the skills and techniques.

There may very well have been and there may have been a significant number of them printed but I have not had much luck tracking them down. Perhaps the knowledge was held tightly and not distributed. Perhaps the organizations which provided support for the scanning projects all over the world simply chose to pass over the firearms books. I have no clue what the reason is. Bottom line is that I have found very few books that cover the manufacture of guns of any sort.

The two dozen books in the category on which I am working are not directly books on manufacturing firearms but they do make a lot of references to the subject and probably provide enough information to at least get someone started on the right track.

If any of you know of any older books on manufacturing guns that are not in copyright and can be legally distributed please let me know so I can add them to the Library.

I should have these posted by the end of the week.

The Librarian

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I’ve gotten the Cotton Category added and it is accessible.

Cotton is, of course one of the most common materials for clothing and cloth of all kinds. It’s widely grown throughout the world and its use for cloth goes back hundreds of years. Not sure how I missed already adding that other than the so common blindness to things we just take for granted in our daily life. It’s frightening sometimes how things that are so ubiquitous become invisible until the day they are suddenly unavailable. Fortunately one of you pointed out that blindspot and I’ve done some work to fill it in.

There are two aspects to Cotton as a source of cloth, growing it and harvesting it. (Well actually 3 when include Weaving but we have a separate category covering Weaving)

The books in this group cover both. Some of the books are specifically on growing cotton dealing with planting, cultivation, diseases, pests and soil conditions. Others deal with harvesting, ginning and seed preservation. Some of them deal with both. Others are books related to the cotton spinning industry and skills and yet others are books related to the hardware used in spinning and ginning. Two of them are catalogs of equipment used in the cotton industry and, as I often do, I’ve included them because they provide some excellent images of the equipment itself and many detailed images of the internal mechanisms and operational details. There appear to be enough detailed images in the two catalogs and the other books that a craftsman should be able to recreate these machines without undue difficulty.

While in college back in the 70s I spent a summer working in a cotton mill where cotton was turned into thread, cloth was woven and a wide variety of cotton products were produced. I can tell you from experience that the machines used in that place, with the exception that they were powered by electric motors instead of overhead belts, would have looked right in place in a mill from the 1800s. Many of the buildings in that particular mill did, in fact, date back to the 1800s and I would not be surprised to learn that some of the machines were themselves products of the 1800s that had simply been converted to electrical power. They were simply large mechanical devices that clattered and rattled their way through the day. One of the most prized and highly paid jobs in the mill were the “fixers” who walked around with their tools boxes and “fixed” the mechanical monstrosities when they broke, which they did with amazingly frequency and regularity.

The Librarian

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I'm currently working on a new Category on Cotton. Someone pointed out that while there was a Weaving category there wasn't one on Cotton.

You would think that after living in the South for the last 30+ years that it would occur to me to cover that but somehow I missed it. Probably comes from the fact that for the FIRST 30 years of my life I pretty much lived in the North and cotton was something I saw by the roadsides occasionally on trips to the South to visit kinfolk.

It covers both the growing of Cotton as well as the harvesting and working of cotton. From that point on the subject should be fairly well covered by the books in the Weaving Category.

Probably won't have it up until sometime next week since this is the busiest time of year at my workplace but it's coming along... surely if slowly.

The Librarian

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What a wonderful site that you have. I found you through the Survivalist Prepper article that you commented on. Looking forward to spending alot of time reading and researching on your site. Thanks. ...

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Sending discs tomorrow let me know when you get them. ...

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I’ve just added a new category on Musical instruments. It’s about 3 dozen books on various musical instruments from modern ones back through archaic and foreign types.

Some of the books are specifically on construction and contain some pretty specific information. Other are more general survey books with plenty of illustrations. Most practiced woodworkers have at least tinkered with making some type of musical instruments. The biggest problem in doing so (from personal experience) is having a good idea of the structure of what you’re making. The rest is simply good woodworking though as with any skill there are subtleties that only true Masters of a craft develop with time.

While music might not seem a “survival” skill in the strictest sense and probably isn’t there is one thing to remember. The books in the Library are not intended to provide the emergency survival skills on getting through the first few days, weeks of months of a collapse. They are intended to help rebuild AFTER surviving the immediate aftermath of a collapse. At that point you are settling down for the long term recovery effort of rebuilding. That means years, decades, perhaps generations of long, hard, seemingly never ending work. In order to survive that both physically AND mentally you need time away from the work, time to relax to enjoy and quite frankly… to Play (no pun intended).

One of the oldest forms of play, entertainment and community activity is music. Music in a world where there is likely no electricity or radio/TV stations will fall back to traditional methods of individuals playing music on their own instruments. Hopefully a significant number of musical instruments would survive a collapse and serve as a foundation for a community and as a reference for woodworkers attempting to make new instruments. But eventually people will want new instruments made as older one wear out or are damaged or simply as demand increases. Even something as simple as a few percussion instruments can add a bit of color to an otherwise drab evening after a day of hard work. Years ago many an Irish evening was livened up with a simple tin whistle and a bodhran. Add a harp and you have a major part of the Celtic music tradition in your hands. It doesn’t require an orchestra or a band. Two or three people with simple instruments can accomplish amazing things.

So for your reading (and eventual listening) pleasure here is the Musical Instruments Category.

The Librarian

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I’ve just added a new category named Heating to the Library.

A good number of the books are actually catalogs from various companies of the time period who manufactured cooking and heating stoves and other heating equipment. I normally don’t include simple product catalogs unless they have some other specific value. In this case there are two factors involved.

First these are almost exclusively cast iron products which is what dominated the heating appliance industry until well into the 20th century. In the world trying to restore an industrial infrastructure cast iron will likely be a major material since it is one of the easiest iron products to produce and has such a wide range of uses in industrial production. Even today the body of large machine tools is often simple cast iron regardless of how sophisticated the actual operating mechanism might be.

Second, because cast iron cook and heating stoves will undoubtedly be a major item of manufacture in a society rebuilding from scratch, these catalogs provide patterns from which such products can be made and almost all of them have at least some exploded views of internal components or diagrams of how specific designs work. They are a cookbook for anyone trying to design and manufacture a cast iron cooing or heating stove.

Existing heating and cooking systems of modern manufacture are unlikely to survive something like an EMP event and materials/supplies to maintain them will run out fairly quickly. Cooking will undoubtedly be done on wood or coal burning stoves until an electrical grid can be rebuilt and even then it will probably be some time before the available electrical power is used for cooking instead of utility and industrial applications.

A few of the books are related to passive solar heating. Some are related to water or space heating and some to passive solar designs. An interesting side note is that several of the books on solar heating date form the early 1900s. One of them is a report by the War Production Board of 1946 on the use of Solar Heating in U.S. Homes. I’m fairly familiar with most passive solar design principles and it’s amusing to find that the houses in Nepal (Passive Solar Design Basic Principals 1978) have traditionally been built using what many tout as modern passive solar heating and cooling designs. It’s just as amusing to find that the U.S. was very familiar with solar heating and cooling principles a hundred years ago. I suspect that the growing availability of electricity and the Rural Electrification Program to bring electrical power to the rural areas of the country accounts for it not being adopted as basic design principles in U.S. housing. Since electricity was so inexpensive at that time it was much more economical to install electrical heating systems than to build a house to take advantage of solar heating.

You won’t find anything new or unusual in the early 20th century solar heating books. The sun and the way it works hasn’t changed in the last hundred years and the ways to take advantage of it haven’t changed much either.

The Librarian

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The Airships Category is online and available including Archives of the Books.

I added the category because someone pointed out that Balloons and simple Airships were probably a lot easier to build with simple technology than functioning airplanes.

Building and aircraft requires relatively advanced woodworking skills for the structure and the propeller as well as the mechanical skills to mount and rig and engine, either a salvaged one or a manufactured one. Even more of a problem is that the only way to test it ultimately is to fly it and if you made a mistake the results of testing could… really ruin your day.

Balloons and non-rigid airships on the other hand are simpler requiring predominantly sewing skills since you are dealing primarily with various types of fabrics. Testing a balloon is a lot safer and simpler than testing an airplane and failure produces a lot fewer casualties.

If engines are to be mounted again the failure modes are a lot more forgiving during testing and overall the technology is probably simpler and easier to develop than that required for heavier than air aircraft.

Eventually a society rebuilding their infrastructure would naturally evolve into heavier than air aircraft since their utility is without question and is the only viable solution to many problems a technologically advancing society would face.

At the earlier stages however lighter than air craft provide some of the utility of airplanes with a less demanding level of technology and greater safety. Even a simple tethered balloon would provide observation capability that could not be matched short of an airplane. During the U.S. Civil War and even as late as WWI tethered balloons provided observation platforms that allowed visibility for tens of miles. While balloons are vulnerable to gunfire and when using hydrogen are critically vulnerable to fire they proved remarkably resilient on the battlefields of France. Incendiary machine gun bullets were, in fact, developed specifically for use against enemy hydrogen filled balloons by aircraft since they proved relatively resistant to plain bullets. When punctured, even by dozens or hundreds of machine gun bullets they simply descended to the ground where they could be patched rapidly and put back into the air. It took incendiary bullets to ignite the hydrogen and actually destroy the balloon preventing its further use.

While hydrogen seems like a dangerous choice for a manned balloon keep in mind that they only options for lighter than air craft as hot air, hydrogen and helium. Helium is difficult and expensive to produce. Most U.S. helium is produced in the Texas panhandle and is a byproduct of natural gas. It requires cryogenic levels of cooling which would not likely be available to a society rebuilding their technological infrastructure. Helium is rare enough and expensive enough to produce that the U.S. maintains a Strategic Helium Reserve though in more recent time the federal Government has been selling it off since cash counts more than long term issues with an increasing proportion of politicians.

Hot Air is commonly used in recreational ballooning but requires realistically requires reserves of natural gas or propane or some other flammable gas and the equipment to produce the flames and hot air. While it is a perfectly good option for open canopy ballooning I’m not convinced it is a viable alternative for airships though I’ve been known to be wrong about many things.

Hydrogen is very easy to produce. Some sea water and some electricity and you have all the chlorine and hydrogen gas you could wish. While it is extremely flammable it was used for decades in balloons and both military and commercial airships. The famous Hindenburg disaster of 1937 is the best known case of hydrogen ignition destroying a lighter than air craft and brought about the end of commercial airship development in the 20th century. It did continue in use in military applications for some time afterwards.

So there are pros and cons to each of the common methods. It’s difficult to apply our current standards of safety and cost to an unknown future where survivors of a collapse are rebuilding and find a need for light then air craft. Most likely the rules by which we operate will be quite different for them. What those rules might be I can’t guess. Perhaps safety will be the paramount priority. Perhaps cost, Perhaps utility.

We can’t realistically put ourselves into the minds of people who would have endured something as unimaginably catastrophic as a Solar EMP that destroys the entire world’s industrial and technological infrastructure. The psychological trauma of surviving an event of that magnitude is, I suspect, simply beyond our ability to comprehend. They would be very different people from us and what they consider important and unimportant, high priority and low priority will be quite different from those values today.

All we can do is try to keep the knowledge and technological information intact for them to use as they wish. This is just one more small contribution to the Library.

The Librarian

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Time to get back to work on updates and additions.

I should have Airships-Zeppelin-Dirigible posted by mid-week. Perhaps not the most practical category but then who knows what may be "practical" in a post-collapse world.

Balloons used for observation go back to the Civil War and were often used for observation and artillery spotting. Might not be much need for artillery spotting but observation is still the best way to keep a community/town safe from attack.

Someone in an observation tower can see a mile or two depending on the terrain. Someone in an observation balloon can see perhaps tens of miles depending on altitude.

Considering that balloon were not uncommon as far back as the early to mid 1800s it's not a stretch to imagine a group of people rebuilding after a collapse being able to fairly easily put together a basic captive balloon. With some ingenuity and some work simple airships and dirigibles could be built. That would probably be simpler and less of a challenge than building aircraft before a full industrial infrastructure if rebuilt.

If it doesn't interest you don't bother downloading it. But if it does, it will be online in a few days.

The Librarian

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Botany E zip fail also cant do total site mirror says need authorization ...

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I have several more categories in the works but I'm going to take break over the Christmas holiday. Have a new Christmas welder in the project room and need to spend some time getting used to it. I've had a lot of experience arc welding (i.e. stick welding) but this is a flux-core wire welder and will take a bit of practice.

Also have some gunsmithing projects to do and several hundred trees to plant which just arrived from the Forestry Service and some more blueberry bushes to transplant if the woods dry up enough.

So the cleanup and cataloging work will resume next week.

The categories currently in the queue being worked on are:
Medical-Military (Part of the new collection)
Music and Instruments

Have about a dozen more I'm searching and collecting.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. (I'm old enough I still use the word "Christmas")

The Librarian

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I will be making my own library available to the Librarian which includes almost 200 GB of data mostly in PDF format. I will also be asking for permission to help order and post additional information not only 1800's but modern homesteading and surviving other doomsday scenarios. I have been collecting information for about 16 years in the hopes that one day I will be able to start my own homestead in northern Ontario. Currently 43 years old and living in Southern Ontario, I have worked as a computer specialist from repair to programming and automotive from body to mechanics, well versed in woodworking and residential construction. I try to learn a little about everything. Please help support the Librarians database and come join us on the forums whether you believe the world is ending or not, we all have points of view that can help each other survive either homesteading, living healthier or rebuilding after the collapse of the civilized world. ...

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Refrigeration Category Being Cataloged

I’ve collected over 50 books on Refrigeration from a number of sources.

It goes without saying (so I’ll say it anyway) that refrigeration and heat engines able to pump heat from one location to another are fundamental in modern industry not to mention food storage, transport and handling. Rebuilding the food distribution in a post collapse world will be one of the most important factors in building a complex infrastructure. Without a sophisticated food distribution network everything remains on a small town/community level and cannot progress beyond that level.

Refrigeration was a category one of you suggested and it seemed like a good one. I was actually a bit surprised to find as much as I did on the subject and going back earlier than I expected.

I was aware through my WWII studies that one of the significant advantages U.S. submarines had was that they were air conditioned unlike Japanese and German submarines (at least until the German Type XXI U-Boat which came too late in the war to matter strategically). While it might seem a luxury at first blush, air conditioning greatly improved the livability of the subs (allowing much longer patrols) and dramatically reduced fatigue especially during combat conditions where stress is at its highest.  Reduced fatigue = fewer mistakes, better judgment, faster reactions, etc. There were reports from Japanese submarine crew survivors of temperatures reaching well over 100 degrees in combat conditions with extremely high humidity and remaining at those levels for hours and occasionally for days. It’s difficult to imagine functioning under those conditions at all much less effectively.

So while I was aware that air conditioning was in at least limited use in the 1940s and that ice deliveries to homes was not uncommon in the 1920′s and 1930′s I hadn’t really been aware of how much earlier (i.e. latter half of the 1800s) there were books on industrial scale refrigeration.

Almost all of the books are based on ammonia refrigeration technology. Fortunately ammonia is a compound that can be produced with relatively low technology unlike most modern refrigerants. While it has drawbacks it is a technology eminently reproducible with relatively unsophisticated technology.

It is a given that any attempt to rebuild an industrial infrastructure will necessarily start with the production of ammonia and sulfuric acid since those two compounds are the foundations of a significant majority of chemical and manufacturing processes. (Look in the Formulas Category for more detailed information on the production of Ammonia.)

Several people have asked me why I often include books like manufacturer catalogs from various periods and there are several in this category. The simple explanation is that if you are trying to build something like an early 1900s era refrigeration compressor from scratch and have never seen one, much less built one, it’s useful to have pictures, images and diagrams of ones that really existed. Manufacturers catalogs often include cutaway drawings and diagrams of various pieces of machinery which would be useful to someone trying to recreate that technology.

If nothing else pictures of actual machines from the period in question can give a general idea of the size, dimensions and configuration which can save a lot of time in design and development. It’s a lot easier to build something you’ve never built before if you have at least a general idea of what it will probably look like when finished. (Imagine trying to build a steam locomotive without ever having seen even a picture of one.) Existing machines from a given period will display design considerations which were the result of a lot of trial and error. Being able to examine actual designs, even a simple external view, can keep you from having to duplicate much of that trial and error.

With luck I should have them added to the Library late this week or early next week.

The Librarian





2014-12-09 SLIDERULE Category Expanded

I’ve added about 3 dozen books to the Slide Rule category. Most of them are instructional book on how to use slide rules of various types and for various specific areas of Math and Science.

I’ve also added Archives (RAR and ZIP) of the Images and the Books in the categeory.

We’ve discussed the Sliderule issue before but it’s been a year or so and bears repeating.

One of the items that will disappear immediately in an EMP event are calculators and in a non-EMP event calculators will be low priority items for most people until the day comes when they are needed and everyone realizes they didn’t include them in their emergency supplies and there aren’t any salvageable batteries or calculators left.

Since many schools no longer teach long division and multiplication much less more advanced math the survivors of a collapse or EMP are going to be frustrated when they have to do more advanced calculations to start rebuilding.

Thus the lowly sliderule. A simple device usually made out of wood or metal which was the primary calculating device used to develop and build nuclear energy, nuclear weapons and to build rockets to take man to the Moon and back.

The NASA scientists and engineers who built the Saturn 5 and Apollo systems and developed orbital mechanics to fly to the Moon, land there and then fly back didn’t have the computers that we take for granted today. They had paper and sliderules.

Slide rules are simple, yet supremely elegant visual devices using logarithmic and other scales to allow a person to do complex calculations rapidly and accurately. While not as simple to use as a calculator and requiring some skill to make full use of them they are not not that difficult to learn or (most importantly) to manufacture.

The images in the section labelled as Sliderule Images can be printed out and used to make several different types of sliderules either by gluing them to wood or even cutting them out and sliding the pieces of paper besides one another.

Used sliderules can be bought inexpensively on Ebay and several other online sources. Do a search for “slide rules for sale” and you’ll find a number of sites selling both new and used sliderules ranging from simple inexpensive models up through rare collectors items.

You should be able to pick up a good quality, general purpose sliderule in the $25-$75 range.

Alternately if you have a decent printer then print out several copies of each of the sliderule image files, put them in a stiff folder and store them away with your emergency supplies. The cost is nothing more than the price of the paper it’s printed on and a smidgen of toner or ink.

Considering that they were sufficient to build nuclear reactors and take us to the Moon and back it’s safe to say that they will be capable of meeting the needs of anyone trying to rebuild an industrial and technological infrastructure in the wake of a collapse which takes the existing infrastructures down.

The Librarian

2014-12-04 Optometry Category Added

I’ve just added a new Optometry Category.

This is one of the new categories someone suggested and was one of the first of them I’ve completed. A lot of others are being worked on and still being searched and books collected.

Obviously holidays slow things down as well as some very busy times at work. A lot of days I have time to work on Library projects when I get home and other days… either not so much or I am too tired.

The optometry is a good addition since for those people who don’t wear glasses it’s not something they would even think about normally. For those of us who do wear glasses we often just take them for granted and aren’t even conscious much of the time that wear them. That’s especially so for folks who have to wear them all the time and not take them on and off like people who use reading glasses.

A lot of people who Prep and prepare for emergencies have spare glasses or spare lenses or a few pairs of adjustable lens glasses like those from or similar companies.

But that only gets us through the short term. Eventually glasses break and/or wear out. For younger people their prescription changes. As people get older they often need reading glasses and so on.
Optometry equipment is not likely among the preps and emergency equipment most people stockpile, though who knows.. maybe there are Opticians of the Apocalypse out there ferreting away lens blanks and building manually powered lends grinding machines. If there are… chances are they live some place other than where we do.

It also does not provide any help for the long term. Communities rebuilding after a bad collapse will not likely have a friendly neighborhood Optician handy. Doctors, blacksmiths, farmers and other nominal skills certainly. But in a n early post-collapse community optometry is probably not high on the list of desirable skills about which to quiz people seeking to join the community. I’ve read a number of post-apocalypse novels where town folk question refugees and people seeking sanctuary looking for people with useful skills. It’s always doctors, dentists, blacksmiths, engineers, farmers and so on… the obvious survival skill categories. I have yet to read one where everyone gets excited because they’ve finally found the much needed… Optometrist.

Nonetheless it is a skill that will be needed as children grow and old glasses wear out and break. We take for granted today that people who have useful skills and knowledge but bad vision problems can simply dismiss their vision problems by wearing glasses.

Only a few generations ago poor vision was a disability for many people. It hit especially hard at the young who could not read without glasses. Without the ability to read (and therefore to write) the ability to acquire new knowledge is crippled and the ability to perform anything other than manual labor is problematic. Someone who cannot read or write due to the inability to overcome a vision problem is nto only a liability on a community but a waste of human potential.

Imagine the skilled but farsighted blacksmith who breaks their last pair of glasses. The farsighted dentist with drill in hand who suddenly can’t see his patient’s teeth. The telegraph operator who suddenly can’t read the telegraphs he/she is supposed to transmit.

While this collection of books is not a cure all it at least contain the basic knowledge of how to identify vision problem, diagnose what those problems are and provide the knowledge to correct those problems.

The Librarian

More Category File Archives Added – Through Clockmaking

I’ve gotten a few more Category File Archives added. They are complete up through Clockmaking.

New Categories added since I began including the Archives:

  • Forging
  • Medical-Surgery 2
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation

already have Archives in them as will any other new Categories added in the future. As I have time I’m going back and adding Archives to the existing Categories. It will take a while since I try to spend what time I have available to work on the Library on adding new books. Eventually though they will be added to all the Categories.

The next New Category that will be added is Medical-Military. It will be made up of Military publications on a wide variety of Medical subjects. Since they are government publications they can be freely distributed. Many of them are more up to date than the other categories but carry with that a dependence on modern technology. The general knowledge in them however on theory and understanding medical issues is quite good. Should have it online sometime next week.

The Librarian.

New Power Grid Threat

As if the threat of Solar Flares causing EMPs or a rogue nation using crude nuclear weapons to launch and EMP attack on the U.S is not enough we now have the Federal government warning that China is capable of shutting down the United States Power Grid.

I’ve often expressed my concern that we have become increasingly and dangerously dependent on technology and especially electronics technology without taking the time to ensure that the technology is reliable, robust and that it’s failure would not have catastrophic consequences.

So yet another reminder that our entire technological and industrial infrastructure has a Single Point of Failure with no redundancy.

I’m sure that the Federal Government will put just as much effort into shielding our Power Grid from Chinese cyber intrusion as they have taken to shield it form Solar and Nuclear EMPs… i.e. no effort at all.

Makes you feel all warm and fizzy doesn’t it?

Guess I need to add a new Category to the Library… Chinese Language Instruction.

The Librarian

More Archive FIles Being Added

I’m working on getting the Archives built for each category. It’s a bit slow since I’m excluding the EPUB files and have to break the files into groups of about 250mb to keep the archives from being too large for practical downloading.

When I get this batch uploaded to the Site I’ll add them to the indexes and I’m going to mark each Category in the Main Library Index that has Archives files with a (A) after the Category Name.

That way you’ll know which ones have the archives added without having to click through them.

I’m also going ahead and removing the EPUB links from the Index as I add the Archive files.

The Librarian

Navigation Category Added

(Update: There was a pathing error in the Index. It’s fixed now. Sorry about that. Bit rushed when I posted the index and didn’t check it thoroughly enough.))

The Navigation Category is online and ready for use.

I’m glad that one of you pointed out the gap with having a section on how to build lots of different kinds of boats and ships as well as early types of planes (and a new section coming soon on Balloons, Airships and Dirigibles) but nothing about how to Navigate from Point A to Point B.

I think it’s because I grew up using maps and compasses and unconsciously take for granted knowing how to navigate. It’s kind of like walking… you never think about a book on walking because you do it without really even being aware that you are doing it.

But these should help fill the gap. There are really two different types of Navigation books in the group. The majority of them are related to navigation at sea or celestial navigation. Most of that involves using sextants and other angle measuring instruments to measure various celestial objects then using chronometers and tables to computer your location anywhere on the globe.

While celestial navigation is not as precise as GPS a skilled navigator should be able to compute their location within a mile or two and with a theoretical maximum accuracy of 500 yards.

The other type of books in the category are about aerial navigation. In the days that these books were written that amounted to basically two methods… using either dead reckoning or radio beacons.
Celestial navigation actually was used in early aviation especially in the second quarter of the 1900s. That was a time when the performance of aircraft greatly exceeded the ground based navigation systems in existence thus requiring advanced navigation capability on board.

Here is a page with some beautiful pictures of of some of the equipment used in aircraft for celestial navigation in those days:

(The book Air Navigation by Weems which is cited in the section of the above linked page about “The Air Navigation Library” is included in our Navigation Category as “Air Navigation 1943″)

When you look at some of the books and get overwhelmed by what appears to be complex procedures remember that 14 year old Naval Midshipmen in the early 1800s were expected to master these techniques before standing for their Lieutenant’s Exam. In early air celestial navigation the navigators or pilots did what that Midshipman did but while sitting in an open cockpit thousands of feet in the air. If they could master it then you can too. These are the same books they used to do so.

The Librarian

Sunspot AR2192 Back for a Second Pass as AR 2209

The large sunspot that threw out half a dozen X-Class flares a couple weeks ago and caused some communications problems is back for a second pass across the face of the sun this week. This time around its number is AR2209.

Space Weather is reporting that it clearly has the potential and energy levels to throw out more X-Class flares along the way.

Not going to lose any sleep over it or take any particular action but just like events in the Middle East and in D.C…. it bears watching.

The Librarian