Various and Ingenious Machines (2 vols.)

Volume One: Power Generation and Transport / Volume Two: Manufacturing and Weapons Technology


This two-volume work describes the early history of mechanical engineering from prehistory, when mining and agriculture first appear, to the beginnings of industrialisation. The old definition that if it moves it’s mechanical is used and consequently the books are divided into four major sections: power generation and transport in the first volume; manufacturing technology and weapons technology in the second volume.
Background chapters to each section broadens the text and depth is added by analytical appendices describing the principles of operation, optimum operating conditions, and the limits of performance of historically important machinery; all presented in easily understood graphical format. The text is profusely illustrated by over 800 figures and should be of value to historians, industrial archaeologists, and engineers. All volumes of the print edition will become available in individual e-books: 9789004531680 (volume 1) - 9789004531697 (volume 2).

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Bryan Lawton, Ph.D. (1970), Salford University, currently Reader in Thermal Power at Cranfield University. His research fields include engines, guns, rockets, skin burns and computer tomography. He has co-authored books on transient temperatures, ballistics, and trauma.
'...a most readable book, copiously illustrated and referenced with an extensive bibliography, showing a considerable depth of scholarship with much new analytical material.'
John Anning, Transactions of the Newcomen Society, 2005.
'Lawton nicely traces the history of mechanical engineering development along with its interesting and ingenious machines...This set, with its good illustrations and indexes, well presents an interesting, informative early history of mechanical engineering. Highly recommended '
M.G. Prasad, Choice, 2005.
Volume 1
Chapter 1 Machine Elements
Chapter 2 Power Transmission

Power generation
Chapter 3 Power, Food, and Slavery
Chapter 4 Muscular Work and Power
Chapter 5 Muscle technology
Chapter 6 Waterpower
Chapter 7 Wind and Other Sources of Power

Chapter 8 Characteristics of Transport
Chapter 9 Land Transport - Prehistory and the Ancient Civilisations - Persia, Greece and Rome - Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern
Chapter 10 Land Transport technology
Chapter 11 Water Transport
Chapter 12 Ship Technology
Chapter 13 Undersea and Aerial Transport

Volume 2
Chapter 14 Attitudes to Manufacture
Chapter 15 Agriculture - Introduction
Chapter 16 Ancient and Medieval Mining
Chapter 17 Renaissance and Early Modern Mining
Chapter 18 Ancient and Medieval Metalworking
Chapter 19 Renaissance and Early Modern Metalworking
Chapter 20 Textile Manufacture
Chapter 21 Warfare
Chapter 22 Ancient and Classical Weapons
Chapter 23 Medieval and Early Modern Weapons
Chapter 24 Weapons Technology
Historians, archaeologists, engineers, and students of the history of technology who wish to gain a deeper understanding of pre-industrial engineering technology, and in particular those working on reconstructive or industrial archaeology.
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