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A Short History of the Steam Engine (Paperback)

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A Short History of the Steam Engine, first published in 1939, remains one of the most readable and clear explanations of the topic for the non-specialist. H. W. Dickinson limits himself to stationary engines and boilers, and only touches on the beginnings of locomotive and marine engines. He puts the stages of development in their context, showing how economic and social factors were involved in the evolution of the steam engine. The illustrations are plentiful and the text, while technical, never becomes impenetrable. The successive improvements to the simple engines of the seventeenth century, as new materials or purposes arose, are developed chapter by chapter to the twentieth century. Each engineer was building on the work of his predecessors, rather than there being any single inventor of genius. Dickinson also wrote biographies of key figures of the Industrial Revolution, which are being reissued in this series.