James Nasmyth: Engineer, An Autobiography.
Edited by Samuel Smiles, LL.D.
I have had much pleasure in editing the following Memoir of my friend
Mr. Nasmyth. Some twenty years since (in April 1863), when I applied
to him for information respecting his mechanical inventions, he
replied: "My life presents no striking or remarkable incidents,
and would, I fear, prove but a tame narrative. The sphere to which my
endeavours have been confined has been of a comparatively quiet order;
but, vanity apart, I hope I have been able to leave a few marks of my
existence behind me in the shape of useful contrivances, which are in
many ways helping on great works of industry."
Mr. Nasmyth, nevertheless, kindly furnished me with information
respecting himself, as well as his former master and instructor,
Henry Maudslay, of London, for the purpose of being inserted in
Industrial Biography, or Ironworkers and Toolmakers, which was
published at the end of 1863. He was of opinion that the outline of
his life there presented was sufficiently descriptive of his career as
a mechanic and inventor.
During the years that have elapsed since then, Mr. Nasmyth has been