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Dragon-Beams

term, builders, godfrey and richards

DRAGON-BEAMS, according to Neve, are said to be " two strong braces or struts, that stand under a bressummer, meeting in an angle under the shoulder of a king piece." óNeve's Builder's Dictionary. The writers of the present work have never heard the term applied to story-posts and bressummers, nor have they been able to learn any such application of it ; the word beam is improper for any piece of timber, that stands slanting as a brace or strut. Neve's Builder's Dictionary was an original work ; and it is proba ble that the author, who subscribes himself " Philomath," (a lover of learning) instead of architect, carpenter, joiner, mason, &c., might have been misinformed by the workmen, among whom lie made his inquiries. The Builder's Dic tionary, ill two volumes, was copied from Neve, as was the Dictionary of' the first volume of the Builder's Afagazine ; and we may farther add, most of the Cyclopmdias and Ency elopxdias have applied the term in the same way as Neve, and have used the same words in describing it. But with regard to the application of the term dragon-piece, as it is defined above, we can refer the reader to the oldest books that are published ; see page 230, in the Rules framing roofs, at the end of Godfrey Richards' Palladio, where that author says, " 3. Dragon-beams for the hip to stand on," and

immediately following, he says, "4. Beam or summer, where in the dragon-beams are framed ;" referring at the same time to Figure c, or Plate c ; see also our review of carpentry, at the end of Godfrey Richards' Palladio. The sense it which Godfrey Richards uses the term, is the same as that now in use. It is true, that Noxon explains dragon-beam in the same way as Neve, but he refers to no figure. The second edition of Godfrey Richards' Palladio is dated 1676, and the first edition must be much more early. The first edition of Neve's Builder's Dictionary is dated 1703; we have also the corroboration of Batty Langley, see Plate II. of the Addenda, consisting of fourteen plates of roofs. at the end of his designs, where he says, "a e, b e, c e, d e, dragon pieces to receive the feet of the hip-rafters " so that Godfrey Richards and Batty Langley apply the same meaning to the term. We have been thus particular, because a proper ex planation of the word, as it is used, has not been given, and to show that it is an injury to a work, to describe a term which has no existence, or, if' it has, must be confined to some remote corner.