There is no trade or calling that a working man is more handicapped in than that of a Steam Boiler Stoker; there are no books on stoking; the man leaving his situation is not anxious to communicate with the man who is taking his place anything that might help or instruct him; and the new man will be shy of asking for information for fear of being thought incapable for the post he is seeking; and the transfer takes place almost in silence, and the new man has to find out all the ways and means at his own risk, sometimes at his employer's expense.
My object is to instruct that man in his business without his knowing it, or hurting his very sensitive opinion on stoking and other matters; for I am well aware that it is only the least experienced who are the hardest to convince, or instruct—against their will. I have therefore ventured to devise this simple method of question and answer, which I have named "The Stoker's Catechism," which I hope may instruct and interest him.
I will not encumber this preface with my personal qualifications for this little work—the answers to the questions might suffice.
W. J. C.
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