During the past decade, there has been a phenomenal increase in the numbers of those lovers of sport who have adopted archery as their favorite. This may be practiced as target or flight shooting, field archery, bow-and-arrow hunting, the craftsmanship of making fine tackle, the collecting of old books and prints, or the scientific study of bows and arrows. Archery offers all of these diversions and more. Small wonder that it captures the enthusiasm and imagination of people from all occupations and professions.
Much can be gained in the enjoyment of using the bow from an understanding of its principles. Many archers with scientific and engineering knowledge will find in it a never-tailing source of interesting material. Studies of many problems to be found in archery have been made and results published in archery journals, mostly during the years immediately preceding the present surge of interest. Some have been published in journals of scientific and engineering organizations. Few if any of the various journals in which such articles have appeared are generally accessible; and few archers indeed, of the present large numbers, have the files of the archery magazines of twelve and fifteen years ago in which much of the material appeared.
This book was conceived for the purpose of making available to the archer of today much of the significant information of a technical nature that was published mostly before World War II; without this publication these articles would be difficult if not impossible for him to locate, much less acquire as a potentially valuable item in his archery collection.
Among the several articles here included there will be found some overlap and occasional duplication. Selections were made with the idea of presenting as fully as possible within a limited number of pages the technical story of archery. Very little editing-other than condensation and elimination-has been done beyond that to which the original manuscript was subjected before initial publication.
We doubt the need for apology for possible lack of uniformity in presentation, or for lack of a central "plot" to carry the story along in a logical manner. The book is frankly a compilation of articles, mostly as they originally appeared, with their original faults or virtues, selected for inclusion because each contributed something to the answers to the questions of the how and why of the bow and arrow. Articles were favored that stressed facts rather than opinions. It is our hope that many archers will find the book a stimulating fare to make their sport more enjoyable through a better understanding of its technical aspects. We hope, too, that it may inspire some readers, endowed with that unquenchable curiosity about the nature of things and how they work, to begin where this book leaves off, and undertake further serious investigations and studies of the problems yet unsolved.
The project which eventuated in this book was initiated and instigated by George Brommers, to whom such credit is due as the present results may warrant. He has been a "behind-the-scenes operator" in matters pertaining to the interests of archery for many years, and the average follower of the sport can never know how much he is indebted to George Brommers for its promotion.