Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Minus WD40 equation


Long before Lego, and at the age of 14, I proved the structural potential of Meccano by building a 600mm span Warren truss bridge, that could bear my own weight.

Also, I demonstrated its analogue computing applications by making a machine comprising two gearboxes, dials, handles, etc to solve linear equations in one unknown - though this could more quickly be done on paper.

A later machine - to solve equations in two unknowns - with four gearboxes and a differential, failed after many attempts to operate due to gear and bearing friction in the days before WD40. Had things run smoothly, a little matrix algebra might have been avoided.

Richard Harvey, 6 Folkestone Road, Salisbury, Wilts, SP2 6JP

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.