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FRENCH, James Weir (ed.)

Modern Power Generators, Steam, Electric, and Internal Combustion,

and their Application to Present-day Requirements. With many Diagrams and Pictorial Illustrations and a Series of Composite Sectional Models.

London : 1908 Stock Code: 140380
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First edition of this spectacularly illustrated work relating to the industrial developments of the late 19th to early 20th centuries, focusing on the production of steam, electric, and gas power. Includes sections on steam generators, steam engines, steam locomotives, which include overlay "models" of a Babcock & Wilcox Water-tube boiler, Steam Engine, Steam Turbine, Locomotive, and Westinghouse Quick-Acting Compressed-Air Brake; as well as covering electrical motors, and gas engines, accompanied by plates of a Continuous Current motor, Squirrel Cage Three-phase Induction motor, Otto gas engine, Priestman Oil Engine, Diesel engine, and an Automobile, the final section being concerned with steam and electric cars. The editor, later Sir James Weir French, was a graduate of the University of Glasgow, and specialised in scientific instrumentation. A director from foundation of the engineering company Stroud & Barr, he made important contributions in the field of range-finding instruments and gun-sights, and between the wars was highly influential in the advancement of submarine and aviation technology. French's expert knowledge of specialist glass manufacture, essential to his work on instruments, led to "a deep interest in the artistic as well as in the technical aspect of glass. He was a Fellow of the Society of Glass Technologists and was also the lay president of the Glasgow Art Club" (obituary from The Engineer, 1953). Gresham Publishing was established in 1898 by the Glasgow firm of Blackie & Son to take over their subscription and part-work publications, specialising in scientific and technical works, many of them aimed at the aspirational industrial working classes with ambitions to set up small shops and workshops. Blackie's art director, Talwin Morris - a close friend of Rennie Mackintosh, and widely recognised for his Glasgow Style furniture, metalwork, and book designs such as these - ensured that the publisher's output had strong contemporary designs in keeping with their forward-looking content.

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2 volumes, quarto. Original dark green cloth, title gilt to the spines, and in black to the front boards, with art nouveau panelling in gilt and black to both, design by Talwin Morris, dun surface paper endpapers. With original card slipcase and packaging.


11 chromolithographic plates with multiple over-lays - the "Composite Sectional Models" - 500 illustrations to the text, line-drawn and from photographs, title pages printed in red and black.


Vol. I with a few slight indentations to front cover, back cover discoloured where once damped, vol. II front free endpaper and half-title creased and soiled at fore-edge, title page similarly affected but less so, slipcase rather battered and with portion of front torn away, yet this remains an attractive copy in the striking original cloth bindings.


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