Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam.

Printed: 2003

Publisher: BBC Worldwide.

Dimensions 17 × 24 × 2.5 cm

Language: Not stated

Size (cminches): 17 x 24 x 2.5

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Item information


In the original dustsheet. Black cloth binding with silver title on the spine.

F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

A true collector’s book: just fantastic for the steam enthusiast

Britain’s favourite steeplejack and industrial enthusiastic, the late Fred Dibnah, takes us back to the 18th century when the invention of the steam engine gave an enormous impetus to the development of machinery of all types. He reveals how the steam engine provided the first practical means of generating power from heat to augment the old sources of power (from muscle, wind, and water) and provided the main source of power for the Industrial Revolution. In Fred Dibnahs Age of Steam Fred shares his passion for steam and meets some of the characters who devote their lives to finding, preserving, and restoring steam locomotives, traction engines and stationary engines, mill workings and pumps. Combined with this will be the stories of central figures of the time, including James Watts – inventor of the steam engine – and Richard Trevithick who played a key role in the expansion of industrial Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Review: In “Age of Steam” Fred Dibnah and David Hall give us a very readable, personal, and surprisingly thorough history of the development of steam power in Great Britain. The style is chatty and personable, and full of Fred’s little anecdotes (I love the account of him crashing a steam roller). What I really love about the book though is that it doesn’t take the familiar path through steam history that many popular histories lazily take – Newcomen – Watt – Stevenson – Brunel. Actually, this isn’t the real path at all: James Watt had virtually nothing to do with the development of steam locomotion. In the book the authors explain the difference between low pressure steam used in static engines (as developed by Watt and Boulton) and the high-pressure steam of locomotives which had a very different development route. In addition, the authors take the time to include other figures important in the development of steam whose names are less familiar to us now; and they devote considerable space to the steam turbine which still plays an important role in all our lives. All in all this is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. Fred is sadly missed.

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