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How Do Current ASHRAE Members Measure Against Engineers From 1894?

How Do Current ASHRAE Members Measure Against Engineers From 1894?

From eSociety, September 2017

By Mary Kate McGowan, Associate Editor, News

The same year ASHRAE was founded, the “Young Engineer’s Guide” was published in 1894.

ASHRAE has changed over the past 123 years, but some bits of guidance in the guide written by J.V. Rohan of Racine, Wis., hold true.

“The duties of an engineer are of much more importance and require a better knowledge of the operating of machinery than is generally understood,” Rohan wrote in the book.

Robert Hoadley, P.Eng., Member ASHRAE, the president of the ASHRAE New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Chapter, referenced the book during a presentation at ASHRAE Region II’s CRC meeting in Montreal, Canada, from Aug. 25 to 27. 

The book also outlines the “duties of an engineer” and lists several characteristics young engineers should strive to be:

“An engineer:

  • Should be sober.
  • Should be industrious.
  • Should be careful.
  • Should be faithful to his charge.
  • Should keep his engine and its surroundings neat and clean.
  • Should keep his engineering running smoothly without knocks or pounds.
  • Should learn to let ‘well enough’ alone.
  • Should never attempt experiments unless he knows what he is about.
  • Should have a place for everything and keep everything in its place.
  • Should show by the quietness and running and appearance of the engine in his charge that it is properly cared for.
  • Should constantly endeavor to expand his mind as to the management,construction and care of boilers, engines and their appliances.
  • Should carry this book in his pocket for reference as it contains much valuable information and in a time of need may save much time and expense, or even prevent a catastrophe.”

How well do current ASHRAE members fit the bill for the ideal engineer?

The “Young Engineer’s Guide” also addresses systems such as injectors and steam pumps—as they knew them in 1894.

If it were still 1894, the 242-page book would cost $1 for the cloth-bound edition or $1.25 for a leather-bound copy.