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Author Topic: Smoke ash and steam, Marine steam engines of Canada, US and UK 1836-1950  (Read 2014 times)


  • Guest
Good book: "Smoke, Ash, and Steam -  Marine Steam Engines" by Robin Sheret, 2nd Ed. 2005.  ISBN 0-921107-13-7. Published by Western Isles Cruise & Dive Company Ltd. 2962 Leigh Rd, Victoria B.C. Canada V9B 4G3. I got my copy thru Abebooks.

Mine is the revised 2nd edition, some sellers are offering the 1st edition.

The author worked on steamboats and coastal vessels for 40 yrs.  He was master on tugs, hobby marine photography and history.

The book has diagrams, photos, good text explanations.  He covers paddlewheel and propeller engines. I like it enough that I am ordering  a copy for a fellow steamer.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 01:39:48 PM by Brooks »


  • Guest
Re: Smoke ash and steam, Marine steam engines of Canada, US and UK 1836-1950
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2009, 03:00:29 PM »
The first edition was just about N.American steamers, mostly West Coast US and Canada. The preface to the 2nd edition says it has been expanded to other areas.  I have not read the whole book, but I'd say it is still primarily N. American oriented. Not being an expert on European or British steam practices, I can't comment on whether or not the author's claim to cover other areas is valid. I imagine the boilers and appurtenances sections would be valid anywhere, as are the compound engine diagrams.

The writing is not clear in some places, and I have had to go over sentences several times to see what the author is getting at. Better punctuation would have helped. He was a sailor, not an English major :-). He did start his career on steam, so I trust his writing.

In spite of the occasional turbid nature of the writing, I still feel the book is worth the $ (Amazon sells it also). The diagrams are helpful, and there are lots of photos. It's the first clear explanation of the lever-style paddlewheel engines, as used in the US riverboats, I have read. I'd rate the book at intermediate level - not as detailed as engineering textbooks, but more detailed than beginner steam books..


  • Guest
Re: Smoke ash and steam, Marine steam engines of Canada, US and UK 1836-1950
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 02:29:30 PM »
Agree about the writing.  It will take a couple of read throughs to fully appreciate (the missing info may be in a later chapter). The text, illustrations, and captions are a bit disconnected/non sequenced but book is a great primer for newbies to gain an understanding how a lot of the bits and pieces went together as well as some of the terminology.   


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