Bookshelf: Book Reviews

Big Engines, Scale Engines and Fairbanks-Morse History - There's a book on it!

Large gas engine design

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Large Gas Engines
Recent Developments in Large Gas-Engine Design is a selection of 1909 articles from England's Cassier's Magazine. Although short, (64 pages) it's none the less packed full of fascinating information about large, early gas engines.

And we do mean large. These are engines with four-digit horsepower ratings, and their sheer size is incredible - many larger than the homes we live in. An example is a 3,000 HP twin-tandem engine manufactured by the Snow Steam Pump Co.

Engine design is discussed thoroughly, from valve actuation techniques to overall operation, with 68 descriptive photos and diagrams explaining particular engines.

This is not for the novice crowd, as the terminology is geared towards the seasoned veteran. Written in England almost 100 years ago, the language used is somewhat archaic. But if you don't mind monetary values expressed in pounds, and have a working knowledge of gas engines, this fascinating book is a great addition to any library.

Recent Developments in Gas-Engine Design, Lindsay Publications Inc., 2004, ISBN 1-55918-309-8, paperback, 64 pages.

Model Engineering
Model Engineering, A Guide to Model Workshop Practice, is an indepth look at steam and gas engines, boilers, locomotives, electric machines and the tools and equipment needed for standard modeling operations.

Written in 1915 by Henry Greenly, this marvelous reproduction takes the reader step-by-step through the basics of model engineering. Informative and entertaining, Greenly explains what works, what doesn't and the right way to treat different projects.

Necessary shop tools and equipment (and efficient shop layout) are graphically detailed, and Greenly also offers suggestions on proper tool usage.

Types of steam engine cylinders, valves, boilers and how they work are discussed, and once the basics of steam are covered, Greenly introduces model making. A chapter on the internal combustion engine is followed by a detailed discussion of the process of building a scale vertical and horizontal gas engine. Subsequent chapters discuss model locomotives and scenic effects, as well as cannons, cranes and steam hammers.

Two points of note: Safety was not one of Greenly's main concerns, and the book was written nearly 100 years ago, so some terminology and concepts are out of date. Even so, there is a plethora of good information in this 400-page book, which includes 85 photos and 724 excellent drawings and diagrams.

Model Engineering, A Guide to Model Workshop Practice, by Henry Greenly, Lindsay Publications, 2004, ISBN 1-55918-312-8, paperback, 400 pages.

Published in 1993, C.H. Wendel's Fairbanks Morse 100 Years of Engine Technology, 1893-1993 is an absolute must in any engine collector's library.

Covering most engine models produced over FM's long career -and with particular attention to early FM engines popular with today's collectors - Wendel's book is an encyclopedic look at the enormous diversity of engines and other equipment designed and manufactured by one of America's most famous engine manufacturers. It also includes a detailed list of important FM patents, plus a page on FM serial numbers.

This is also a history book, detailing the individuals and companies that formed FM. Readers learn about the E&T Fairbanks Co. and the Eclipse Wind Engine Co., whose product line greatly influenced FM's fortunes.

Drawing from a rich archive of factory photographs and documents, Wendel's book is as much a document of history as an homage to a great manufacturer.

For information on ordering these and other books, turn to page 54 in this issue of Gas Engine Magazine.