Gas Engine Magazine

New Full Color Book Focuses on Engines

By Staff

The first-ever ‘coffee-table’ book on development of the
internal combustion engine will debut this fall from Devereux
Books. Beautiful Engines, Treasures of the Internal Combustion
presents about 21 stationary and nine marine engines
in full color.

‘We felt the hobby and the field in general deserved a book
with this level of quality,’ said author Stan Grayson. ‘The
book presents the internal combustion engine as an important,
collectible work of art just as automobiles and other antiques have
been recognized.’

According to the author, the challenges posed by the project
were significant. Chief among them was locating specific engines of
the necessary quality in far-off locations. The book includes rare
Lenoir, Daimler, and diesel engines from European museums and
U.S.-built engines in private collections and from the Coolspring
Power Museum and the Rough & Tumble Engineers Museum.

‘We not only had to find the engines we wanted, but they
also had to be accessible for the demanding level of photographs
that were planned. Each engine had to be properly lit and presented
in a professional manner. It required the efforts of a dozen
capable photographers to accomplish all this!’

The color images of the engines are supported by carefully
researched material describing the men and company behind each one.
Much of the research involved original 19th and early 20th century
books and magazine articles. In some cases, descendants of the
inventors were located and provided additional information. ‘We
wanted to show the dramatic, nationwide scope of internal
combustion and how the engines affected so many aspects of
life,’ said Grayson. Included are farm engines by International
Harvester, Gray and others; stationary engines by Fairbanks-Morse,
New Era, Foos, Witte, and others; a Reid oilfield engine; and
marine engines as diverse as a rare, three-cylinder Hicks from
California and a Speedway from New York. A chapter entitled
‘The German Immigrants’ Engine’ tells the story of

According to the author, another objective for Beautiful
was to describe how the machines worked in terms that
would be understandable to a general audience. ‘When you’re
dealing with engines from the period 1861 to 1928, it’s
reasonable to expect that even the mechanically astute modern
reader may need some help,’ said Grayson. In most cases,
important engine components are labeled for easy reference and many
engines include material that explains the operating principle.
Black and white drawings are included to assist understanding in
many cases.

Beautiful Engines is hardbound with a full-color dust
jacket that pictures a rare Springfield on the front and Samson on
the rear. The book is 112 pages long and is printed on high-quality
coated paper. There are approximately 156 color and black and white
pictures. The book is expected to be available in November with an
anticipated price of $49.95 plus $5.50 shipping and handling. Order
direct (Devereux Books, PO Box 503, Marblehead, MA 01945,
781-631-3055), at, or from bookstores or

  • Published on Nov 1, 2000
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