A number of well known methods of column analysis and their underlying reasoning are examined. A method of analysis is proposed which takes into account the reviewed literature. The method is based on analysis of elastic equilibrium, and provides for including the effects of load eccentricity and straightness imperfections, which are present in all real columns. The resultant explicit formula for the allowable column load is valid over the entire range of slenderness ratios and is extendable to the analysis of beam columns.

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