Respected transport author Julian Holland delves into the intriguing world of steam in his latest book, which is full of absorbing facts and figures on subjects ranging from Cornish beam engines, steam railway locomotives, road vehicles and ships through to traction engines, steam rollers and electricity generating stations and the people who designed and built them. Helped along the way by the inventive minds of James Watt, Richard Trevithick and George Stephenson, steam became the powerhouse that drove the Industrial Revolution in Britain in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The combination of abundant coal reserves, inventive minds, cheap labour and entrepreneurial spirit made Britain the world leader in steam technology. Britain also led the way with the evolution of steamships - from William Symington's Charlotte Dundas of 1803 (the world's first successful steam-powered boat) and SS Archimedes (the world's first screw-driven steamship) to HMS Rattler (the world's first steam screw-driven warship) and Isambard Kingdom Brunel's giant transatlantic steam-driven liners of which the Great Eastern was by far the largest.
While steam in the factories and on the railways and roads is now a fading memory, it should be worth noting that much of our electricity is, thanks to inventors such as Charles Parsons, still generated by steam turbines in our coal, gas and nuclear power stations. Even modern nuclear powered submarines use steam turbines to drive their propulsion units. In Britain there is the most amazing steam preservation movement. Restored steam engines can still be seen at work on our waterways, roads and railways and at hundreds of steam events around the country. Julian Holland provides you with a full list of where to see historic steam locomotives and steam miniatures. Britain's world-beating steam heritage is still very much alive! Discover which steam locomotive holds the world speed record, find out how the operators of horse-drawn buses sabotaged London's first steam buses, and learn why Charles Parsons' revolutionary steam turbine embarrassed the royal family. Discover the answers to these and many other intriguing aspects of the steam age in this absorbing collection of stories and trivia.
Brief, accessible and entertaining pieces on a wide variety of subjects makes it the perfect book to dip in to. The "Amazing and Extraordinary Facts" series presents interesting, surprising and little-known facts and stories about a wide range of topics which are guaranteed to inform, absorb and entertain in equal measure.
Publisher: David & Charles