William John Macquorn Rankine
William J. Macquorn Rankine was born in Edinburgh on July 5th. He trained in the Edinburgh University as an engineer under Sir J. B. Macneill. He spent most of his schooling working on surveys, harbors and railroads. This training paid off, and at the age of 35 Rankine was appointed to the chair of civil engineering in Glasgow. He began to write, usually only subjects directly connected with his chair, but then branching out farther. He contributed weekly to the technical journals, such as The Engineer, and put out a series of textbooks on civil engineering, the steam-engine and other prime movers, etc. He also came to publish elaborate treatise called Shipbuilding, Theoretical and ... more »
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The Three Foot Rule
When I was bound apprentice, and learned to use my hands,
Folk never talked of measures that came from foreign lands:
Now I'm a British Workman, too old to go to school;
So whether the chisel or file I hold, I'll stick to my three-foot rule.
Some talk of millimetres, and some of kilogrammes,
And some of decilitres, to measure beer and drams;
But I'm a British Workman, too old to go to school,
So by pounds I'll eat, and by quarts I'll drink, and I'll work by my three-foot rule.
A party of astronomers went measuring the earth,
And forty million metres they took...