The Golden Thread
How Fabric Changed History
From the fibres our ancient ancestors wove from plants to the invention of the synthetic material that enabled humans to venture into space, fabric has played many roles throughout history, far beyond offering warmth and protection, demarcating status and providing an outlet for self-expression. This collection of essays considers topics such as the linen used by the ancient Egyptians to wrap their dead, the craft that inspired Vermeer to paint The Lacemaker and recent innovations in sports textiles.
The East Coast Main Line
This study of one of Britain’s principal railways and the glamorous route of the Flying Scotsman and Mallard focuses on the transitional period from the last years of the LNER, through the challenges of wartime to the first decade of the nationalized network. Changes and developments during the period and assessments of passenger and freight services are enhanced by archive photographs and detailed appendices.
From early post mills to shuttered sails and crown wheels, this is a well-illustrated survey of the machinery used by windmills across Britain to grind grain, pump water and generate power. Martin Watts, a traditional millwright and historian, explores the local materials and craftsmen that shaped their story.
First Contact, Cult of Progress
David Olusoga explores the role of art in the moments of first contact, interaction and conflict between different civilizations, first in the Age of Discovery when Europe’s early imperialists encountered the indigenous peoples and art of other continents: contacts that resulted in mutual curiosity as well as conquest. In Part Two, The Cult of Progress, Olusoga looks at artistic reaction to post-industrial modernization in the 19th and early 20th centuries, ending with Otto Dix’s great triptych, The War (1932).
Henry Ford, George Selden, and the Race to Invent the Auto Age
George Selden’s American patent for an ‘improved road engine’, granted in 1895, earned him royalties from the fledgling automobile industry, but Henry Ford’s legal challenge set the industry free of copyright restriction after 1911. This account of the era-defining invention explores its origins in Germany and France and development in America, and profiles the business tycoons, courtroom wranglers, maverick inventors and daredevil racers who played a part in establishing the car industry in its early days. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Steam Engine Pilgrimage
The broadcaster Antony Burton shares an account of his experience of travelling around Britain on a variety of different modes of steam-powered transport, framing each of his journeys within its historical context. Among other adventures, he shovels coal into the boiler of an old Clyde Puffer, takes a trip across Windermere on an Edwardian-era launch and hitches a ride in a replica of Richard Trevithick’s ‘Puffing Devil’ with one of the famed engineer's direct descendants.
Baggage of Empire
Reporting Politics and Industry in the Shadow of Imperial Decline
The former BBC industrial editor Martin Adeney blends memoir and history as he surveys the ruins of great industries and the rise of Thatcherism to reveal how the long decline of the British Empire has shaped the nation.
The Thames Ironworks
A History of East London Industrial and Sporting Heritage
Located in the heart of London’s Docklands, the Thames Iron Works pioneered metal-hulled ships in the mid 19th century, providing employment for much of the East End. Though it closed in 1912, its spirit lives on through the company's football team, which became West Ham United.
Ten Entrepreneurs Who Built Britain
Britain’s wealth and power was built not by kings and queens, soldiers and politicians, but by its entrepreneurs. Beginning with the Tudor merchants who created the first companies, this history charts the rise of British business through the careers of men such as Thomas Pitt, the saviour of the East India Company, the financier Nathan Rothschild, the Quaker-capitalist George Cadbury, the imperial buccaneer Cecil Rhodes, and William Lever, the philanthropist and creator of Britain’s first multinational.
Wool and War in Wiltshire
Situated in the lush Wylie Valley, Codford is the site of a very ancient settlement; it has a prehistoric monument (an early Iron Age hillstop enclosure); it stood on an important royal route in medieval times; and in the 20th century, the wartime army camps on Salisbury Plain had a great impact on the parish. This illustrated local history, part of the England’s Past for Everyone series, tells Codford’s story from its origins to the present day.
Louder Than Words
Ways of Seeing Women Workers in Eighteenth-Century France
This study explores women at work during the 18th century using images from two major collections of engravings: plates from Diderot’s Encyclopédie (1762–72) and from the less well-known Descriptions de arts et métiers (1761–88) by the Académie Royale des Sciences. Beginning with traditional roles in agriculture, mining and fishing, Sheridan explores women’s work in crafts, textiles and manufacturing, and commercial activities from oyster-selling on the street to managing fashion houses.
World Railway Journeys
Across five continents, Julian Holland travelled on some of the world’s most remote and rugged railways, such as the Ferrocarril del Sur, climbing from Peru’s Pacific coast into the high Andes, but he also sought out less well-known railways kept alive by enthusiasts, tourists and heritage-minded governments. Here, he describes 50 journeys – under steam, diesel or electric power – along lines as varied as Le Petit Train Jaune in the French Pyrenees and ‘The Ghan’, crossing Australia from Adelaide to Darwin.
Exploring Britain's Lost Railways
Thousands of miles of Britain's railways were closed during the 20th century, many following the infamous 'Beeching Report' in the 1960s and early 1970s. Since then, some of the old trackbeds have been converted to footpaths and cycleways – hidden byways through beautiful, tranquil countryside. Richly illustrated with maps and photographs, old and new, this book explores 50 of these routes, outlining their history and describing what they have to offer today's walkers, cyclists and railway enthusiasts.
The Workers' War
British Industry and the First World War
Despite early optimism that the First World War would be swiftly concluded and cause little disruption to British life, the long struggle in fact turned British industry on its head, encouraging technological and organizational advances and a rethinking of traditional gender roles as women took the place of men in the factories. This book examines how different industries coped with the demands of the war and the heroic efforts made by ordinary men and women to keep industry moving.
Early Japanese Railways, 1853–1914
Engineering Triumphs that Transformed Meiji-era Japan
Illustrated with a remarkable collection of maps, old photographs, paintings and woodblock prints, this history of the early railways in Japan also illuminates the country's social and cultural history during the 19th and early 20th centuries. After describing Japan in its isolation from the West before 1853, Dan Free traces in detail the introduction of railway technology and the growth of the network up to nationalization in 1912–14. Finally the appendices list railway companies, their locomotives, liveries and crests (shamon).
A History of the Liverpool Waterfront 1850–1890
The Struggle for Organisation
In an age before steam had ousted the clippers and Liverpool’s quays were still a forest of masts, the city’s 18,000 dock workers – many of them of Irish descent – began to organize themselves into trades unions. Extensively illustrated with historic prints and photographs, this groundbreaking study charts the struggles of these workers to improve their conditions and build self-reliance in the face of increasing mechanization, and vividly recreates the hustle and bustle of the Victorian waterfront.
A Brief History of the Age of Steam
The Power that Drove the Industrial Revolution
For over two centuries from its first development in 1710, steam technology was behind a revolution which swept the world. Exploring the contribution of such figures as Stephenson and Brunel, this book traces the development of steam locomotion from the first Mississippi steamboats to the Titanic, and from the first London terminus at Euston to the Trans-Siberian Railway.