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American Locomotives in Historic Photographs: 1858 to 1949 (Dover Transportation) [Paperback]

Ron Ziel

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Price: 12.83 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 Mar 2003 Dover Transportation
A rare collection of 126 meticulously detailed official photographs, called "builder portraits," of American locomotives that majestically chronicle the rise of steam locomotive power in America. Railroading expert Ziel's introduction and captions provide readers with a brief history of railroading in America, the art of the builder portrait and key details on each locomotive depicted.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great locomotive photo collection. 12 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on
If you want to acquire a collection of photographs tracing the entire history of American steam locomotive development, this is the book. It is limited to builders' portraits, and has no photos of locomotives "in action". The book is chronologically organized, and photos are chosen to illustrate the different types of engines produced, with many pictures of rare and one-of-a-kind designs, like the 2-8-8-8-4T. Some engines built for foreign railroads are included, as are elevated-railway locomotives. A great picture book.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American Locomotives in Historic Photographs: 1858 To 1949 24 Mar 2007
By Robert P. Hart - Published on
In the early development of locomotives, few photographs exist prior to the 1860s. Ravages of time and the fragile nature of glass negatives eliminated many photographs and some only exist today as third generation copy negatives, devoid of most details. However, through the collection of Mr. William A. Rogers' builder photographs, we can witness the details of the original locomotives as they rolled of the production line. Historically, builder photographs are important because the photos documents the locomotive "as built" by the locomotive manufacturer. Because almost all locomotives were altered during their lifetimes with the addition of equipment or the repair of equipment with parts from other locomotives, these builder photos represent a snapshot of the original configuration of the manufacturer.

The Rogers collection illustrated in "American Locomotives" are "builder portraits." Customarily, one engine from an order was selected as the "official portrait" and was usually a side view or a partial view of the front showing the driving rods in a lowered position and no escaping stream or smoke. According to the author, almost all official portraits were taken in low light or on cloudy days. "American Locomotives" presents both old and rare locomotive builder portraits from the Rogers collection as well as later versions of locomotives that ran in the 1940s and 1950s. The author has managed to research the locomotives illustrated in the book and add a short note describing each locomotive. The one short coming of this book is that the reader is often left begging for additional information about particular locomotives, but that is what the reference section of libraries are for. Overall, the book "American Locomotives" is an outstanding addition to any train buff's collection.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, good service 18 Jan 2014
By Angela Demetriades - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was exactly what I wanted. It arrived quickly and in good condition. It was the perfect gift for my train enthusiast husband.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting photos. 4 April 2013
By Marvin R. Doering - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There are a lot of interesting photos shot by the builders. Some of them are real oddities and worth seeing. I prefer real engines in operation as a number of these were modified when put into use and never used as portrayed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful photos 5 Sep 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
I really like this book when I consider that this is an illustrated book that does not go very deep about the technology and engineering about steam locomotives. The photos are great and many of them are from the first half of the 20th century so they are of very good quality. The photos of the last steam locomotives are beautiful, those iron monsters were really impressive.
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