Tuesday 2 February 2016

9  “Engineer, W. Winckler was published in the Earth Review regarding the Earth’s supposed curvature, stating, “As an engineer of many years standing, I saw that this absurd allowance is only permitted in school books. No engineer would dream of allowing anything of the kind. I have projected many miles of railways and many more of canals and the allowance has not even been thought of, much less allowed for. This allowance for curvature means this - that it is 8” for the first mile of a canal, and increasing at the ratio by the square of the distance in miles; thus a small navigable canal for boats, say 30 miles long, will have, by the above rule an allowance for curvature of 600 feet. Think of that and then please credit engineers as not being quite such fools. Nothing of the sort is allowed. We no more think of allowing 600 feet for a line of 30 miles of railway or canal, than of wasting our time trying to square the circle."

Nobody can find any record of this man Winckler. Perhaps he hide out of shame at talking such nonsense while claiming to be an engineer?

Edit: Thanks to Tom Harris who has tracked down the source - see his comment below. As he says, the quote just shows an enormous ignorance about engineering .

For many examples showing that engineers did indeed take the curvature into account as a matter of course, in Winckler's time and today, have a look at this:


Where and when was this published and who and where was the supposed “Earth review” published?

 Because nobody can find it. For the substance of the claim, see point 8 above – as so often the “200” “proofs” actually repeat themselves – same claim, in different word, and demonstrably wrong in each case.

“So, let's go back to the surveyors (Point 7). These guys here are the ones that tell you what the distance is. And they.. account for the curvature. Look in the second link, the table; for 60 km you're talking about a 243m correction. 
Who do you think sets out the lines and similar required things for the construction workers? Surveyors, again.
Basically, what is said here in this quote is something like this. I am Mr. Winckler, and I used to design large-distance connections. I never really bothered with checking the data provided by surveyors, and never really figured out that they had already accounted for the curvature. Also, I heard this thing about squaring circles or not doing it, anyway, the point is that it sounds fancy.“


  1. Actually, the link is to Winckler, who appeared to be a CE in Canada, who published several articles in Earth-Not a Globe-Review, including one in the October, 1893, number on the distance to the Sun. However, that doesn't appear to be the source of this quote. And some work does indicate that G.W. Winckler did exist.

    The basis of the quote is from a regular letter writer to the Earth Review, one A. Hottentot, who quotes it, but without the 'square the circle' addition (which Dubay appears to have added himself). Hottentot does not give a citation, merely indicates that Winckler wrote it, perhaps in an earlier number of the Earth Review.

    However, the quote indicates both writers' ignorance about leveling for construction, and poor understanding of the nature of the planet and curved planets, as you have previously discussed.

    1. Thanks, Tom. I have updated the text accordingly and added more links showing that then and now, engineers knew about the curvature and took it into account.

  2. Re: "Earth Review" publication. The correct name of the publication was "Earth Not A Globe Review" Published around the 1890's by the Universal Zetetic Society which was founded by one Lady Blount, a devotee of Samuel Rowbothams ideas.


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