New York: Holley & Colburn; Privately Published, 1858. Hardcover. Item #42055
This book was published just twenty-nine years after the first common carrier railroad in America became operational. Most new railroad mechanical and operational designs and methods were still coming from Europe. "In comparing our [United States] railways in these respects [Roadbed and Superstructure and Locomotives], with those of Europe, we find that while the first cost of roadbed and superstructure of those of the latter is but little greater, [however] their expenses per mile run, for Maintenance of Way, is but two-fifths that in this country, while their consumption of fuel for equal mileage, is less than 60 percent, of the quantity burned in our locomotives." Clearly, improvements in American railroading needed to be made. 168 pages with chapters on "Comparative Working of European and American Lines," "Earthwork and Drainage," "Ballast," "Sleepers," "Rails," "Rail Joints," "Coal-Burning Boilers; English and American Coal," "Combustion of Coal," "Coal-Burning Boiler of London and South Western Railroad," "McConnell's Boiler," and "Coal-Burning Boilers With Inclined Grate." All fifty-one engraved plates by J. Bien, plus two maps are present. Plates feature engravings of standard sections of roadbed, drainage, earthwork, creosoting sleepers, standard rail sections, rail joints, combustion, coal-burning locomotive boilers, etc.. Bound in original brown cloth with design and border on the covers stamped in blind, and lettering on the spine stamped in gilt. Professionally rebacked with original cloth spine pressed on. Gilt lettering dulled. Occasional, seldom, small spots of foxing throughout. A handsome, very good copy.