Essentials on Industrial Technology


Kao gong ji yao (Essentials on industrial technology) has no title page. The heading at the front of Juan 1 reads: “Kao gong ji yao, written by Matisheng of England; translated by Fu Lanya of England and Zhong Tianwei of Huating; edited by Wang Zhensheng of Liuhe.” At the beginning is a preface written by the author in London, on June 1, 1881, which was the seventh year of the Guangxu reign of Qing emperor Dezong. The script at the end of each juan reads: “illustrated by Zhao Hong of Yanghu; proofread by Shen Shanzheng of Tongxiang.” “Matisheng” is Ewing Matheson (1840−1917), a British civil engineer. “Fu Lanya” is John Fryer (1839−1928), who was born in England and, after graduating from university in 1861, taught English in China and was the editor of Chinese newspapers. In 1868 he became a translator at the Translation Department of Jiangnan Manufacturing Bureau in Shanghai and worked there for 28 years. In 1896 he was appointed a professor at the Department of Eastern Languages and Literatures, University of California, and later became an American citizen. Fryer’s collaborator, Zhong Tianwei (1840−1900), was a renowned translator during the Qing dynasty. He was appointed a translator in 1881 at the Jiangnan Manufacturing Bureau. The work has 17 juan in eight stitch-bound volumes, each with illustrations. At the end are photographic plates, for a total of 195 illustrations. This work is a second volume of the author’s 1878 work, Gong cheng zhi fu lun lue (Aid book to engineering enterprise), originally published in London and New York, which focused on essential issues relating to public works and engineering projects, including cost estimates. This volume was intended to complement the earlier one. The book discusses the equipment and materials necessary for various engineering projects, methods of writing contracts and agreements, and specifications on format, size and color of machines, and materials to be acquired. The preface, table of contents, and Juan 1−2 are presented here.

Last updated: October 29, 2015