Book reviews, June 1960, June 1960

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“Traction Engines,”

by Philip Wright. 89 pp., 9-2/5 in. x 6-1/5 in.

(Adams and Charles Black, 4-6, Soho Square, London, W.1. 21s.)

This summer traction engine rallies seem likely to be more popular than ever and it behoves those who enjoy them to know something of the history, construction and capabilities of these steam engines in order to derive the greatest possible benefit from a visit to such rallies, apart from which an occasional change from reading about motor cars is a useful break.

Consequently, we strongly recommend “Traction Engines,” by the Rev. Philip Wright, who, in this nicely-printed and well-illustrated book covers the history of these engines from 1850 to the present day, devoting his opening chapter to the even earlier era prior to 1850. He deals separately with the ever-fascinating steam wagon, has another chapter on roads and steam-rollers, and generally covers the whole field of traction engines and how to operate them extremely thoroughly.

Mr. Wright refers, when opportune, to engines that are run in the rallies of 1960, which renders a pleasing degree of topicality to text and picture. Mr. Wright seems to have culled some of his facts about steam wagons from an article this reviewer wrote some years ago for The Model Engineer, so perhaps he may be excused for suggesting that much of the present interest in steam traction engine rallies stemmed from an earlier photographic sorté which he carried out just after the last war for that magazine. – W. B.