From the 1770s onwards, John Banks (1740-1805) lectured on natural philosophy across the north-west of England. Much of his work aimed to show engineers, mechanics and artisans how they could benefit from expanding their theoretical knowledge. First published in 1795, and reissued here in its 1815 second edition, this work shows how to calculate the power limits of waterwheels, millstones and other commercially important machines. In the author's words, a key aim is to avoid wasted effort 'in attempting what men of science know to be impossible'. Starting with the mechanics of circular motion, he leads the reader step by step through a series of worked problems, showing the theory's practical applications. He then moves on to his experiments on the flow of water, and uses his results to better analyse the various types of waterwheel. Banks' On the Power of Machines (1803) is also reissued in this series.