Mansfield Merriman (March 27, 1848 – June 7, 1925) was an American civil engineer, born at Southington, Conn. He graduated at Yale's Sheffield Scientific School in 1871, was assistant in the United States Corps of Engineers in 1872-73, and instructor in civil engineering at Sheffield from 1875 to 1878. He was professor of civil engineering in Lehigh University from 1878 to 1907 and thereafter a consulting civil and hydraulic engineer. From 1880 to 1885 he was also assistant on the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. His researches in hydraulics, bridges, strength of materials, and pure mathematics are important. His chief publications, many of them widely used as textbooks, are:
- Method of Least Squares (1884; eighth edition, 1901)
- Mechanics of Materials (1885; tenth edition, 1912)
- with Jacoby, A Text-Book on Roofs and Bridges (four volumes, 1888–98; fifth edition, 1912)
- Treatise on Hydraulics (1889; ninth edition, 1914)
- Handbook for Surveyors (1895; third edition, 1903)
- Strength of Materials (1897; sixth edition, 1913)
- Precise Sanitary Engineering (1898; third edition, 1906)
- The solution of equations (1906)
- Elements of Hydraulics (1912)
- "American Civil Engineers' Handbook", Mansfield Merriman, Editor-In-Chief (fourth edition, 1920)
- Recreations in Mathematics (1917), under the pseudonym of H. E. Licks
In addition, he was editor in chief of the American Civil Engineers' Pocket Book (1911).
He published Recreations in Mathematics in 1917 under the pseudonym H. E. Licks, which included a story, "The Diaphote Hoax", a republication of a detailed newspaper report from February 10, 1880 which purported to describe the scientific demonstration of a device that transmitted images by electricity. The report is peppered throughout with scientific jokes including mentions of "Dr. H. E. Licks" ('helix'), "Prof. M. E. Kannick" ('mechanic'), "Col. A. D. A. Biatic" ('adiabatic'), and "Prof. L. M. Niscate" ('lemniscate').
- "Mansfield Merriman". Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University Deceased During the Year Ending July 1, 1925: 1467–9. 1925.
- Merriman, Mansfield at Lehigh University.
- A web page (in French) about Merriman and the Diaphote Hoax, with much biographical information.
- The text of the Diaphote Hoax.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "article name needed". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
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