Buchanan, Robertson.


Glasgow : Printed for the Author by James Hedderwick … 1st ed., 1816. Xii + 192 pp., guarded frontis + 16 other engrvd. & guarded plates (1 fldg.). Original boards ; paper title-piece to spine ; edges uncut. 23 x 15cm. Very neatly re-backed preserving original label ; corners of boards bumped & rear board stained ; foxing to plates as usual o/w V.G. Bookplate of Mario Max Witt (1925-1994) ; his copy. Also, Ex.Lib. Brent Maxfield, 1960. [See also Item No. 6 ] The author, Robertson Buchanan (1770-1816) was a Scottish civil engineer, the son of a Glasgow merchant. In the early 1790s he worked at Rothesay for David Dale and later at Cranstonhill for Henry Houldsworth, before setting up business at Port Dundas. Although best remembered for his engineering skills in mills and in bridge construction, here the author turns his attention to the propulsion of early steam ships. The Clyde witnessed the greatest innovations in steam navigation in Europe and in the first part of his book he describes the peculiarities of the Clyde navigation and the various steam vessels employed on that river. The second part examines the various mode over different periods that have been tried to propel vessels. The third part gives account of steam navigation on other rivers of Great Britain and Ireland. The fourth part provides a short account of American steam boats, the fifth looks at machinery driven by cattle in America. The sixth part examines the theory and practice of Naval Architecture and its connection to steam navigation. Part Seven contains miscellaneous observations and finally Part Eight contains additional information obtained after Part Three was written. In addition, there are five appendices and the book is illustrated with an engraved frontispiece plus a further 16 engravings at the rear of the book. An important treatise on early steam navigation, especially on the waters of the Clyde. (Witt 421 ; Scott 522). SCARCE, especially in original boards.

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