BOOK Review

Content Tools

A British book, Stationary Engines for the Enthusiast, contains a wealth of information which travels with ease across the Atlantic, and can prove an asset to any American or Canadian collector.

David Edgington and Charles Hudson are the compilers and editors. David is editor of 'Stationary Engine' magazine, published in England and avidly read by 4,000 subscribers and friends. Charles has many years of experience with engines and motors.

Charles L. Cawood, in the foreword, pays tribute to the two for their accomplishments in the engine field, and says something about engine enthusiasts which is as true on this side of the ocean as on his'they are all as nutty as a fruitcake, including me, and they are some of the nicest people I have ever met'.

Nobody else that we know of, within the many publications we see each year, has devoted an entire book to British stationary gas engines. There are quite a few books on tractors, and some treat stationary engines as part of the total picture, but none concentrates on these engines.

More than 200 photographs illustrate the book, and most show engines in their oldtime locations or service positions. Some of the engines are small; others are huge. Diagrams help present the facts in relation to history.

The book credits the Otto Silent engine for reversing the balance between steam and gas, and bringing an economical source of power to those who earlier could not afford to 'buy or run an expensive steam engine.'

Separate chapters are devoted to great names in British stationary engine history. The first of these is Lister; the next is Petter. Next comes Ruston & Hornsby, followed by Crossley, and the the National Gas &. Oil Engine Co. Ltd.

Ensuing chapters discuss Gardner, Tangyes Limited, Wolsely, and the 'four best-known B'sBradford, Blackstone, Bentall and Bamford.' Small-Power Engines is a chapter devoted to 'possibly the most interesting type of engine in the 'heyday' period of the stationary engine.' Large Power Engines also rate a separate chapter, and along with all these are discussions of numerous topics of interest to collectors.

Any person who seriously wishes to learn more about engines will want this book.