Saturday, January 31, 2015

Steam-Engine Theory and Practice

William Ripper - Steam-Engine Theory and Practice (1899)

Open Library direct link
Open Library main page

This one is really about the pictures - since I'm not an engineer I can't read it and since I don't want a working steam engine I have no interest in doing so.  However it does serve as a sometimes useful reminder that technologies we dismiss now as simplistic and outdated were in fact fully formed and still beyond the reach of most of us today.  Anybody who's read Patrick O'Brian or Alexander Kent knows that "simple" sailing ships were actually some of the most complex machines ever built and the general idea is true of everything from saddles to printing presses.