READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 14 Mar 2018, 06:36

I finished Crowthers of Bankdam and have moved on to his 'Adam Brunskill'. I have had it for years but never read it. I am not quite sure about it yet......
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 16 Mar 2018, 07:44

My hardback copy of 'Sybil' arrived yesterday and I was a bit dismayed when I saw that it was 32mo (3.5" X5.5") and the type was very small. It's one of the OU Classic series. However, all this changed when I gave it a go and found that with my new glasses I have no trouble reading it. That's encouraging! [Perhaps Tiz can tell us what the origin of the name '32mo' for the book size is......]
Adam Brunskill has gone back on the shelf, I'm afraid Armstrong wasn't engaging me. I've started on Sybil and am amazed by the fact that so much of what he says is apposite to today. I have had to restrain myself from snowing you under with quotations.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 20 Mar 2018, 07:01

Sybil is going down very well. Going back to it after 50 years is very rewarding because I have more understanding of the era. For instance, Disraeli's mention of 'Godfrey's Cordial' went over my head then but now I know the story behind it. It was a Laudanum mixture used to quieten babies to make it easier to care for them. (See my articles 'Drugged to Death'.) Likewise, the opinions that Disraeli puts in the mouth of his radical character Stephen Morley are a precursor to Karl Marx and 'Das Kapital' published twenty years later. There is no doubt that he knew of what he spoke.... he understood the Two Nations of rich and poor.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 22 Mar 2018, 06:40

A quite for you from p.273 of Sybil..... "Power has only one duty. To secure the social welfare of the PEOPLE"
Pity that isn't the political view of the Tory party today.... (Disraeli was of course a Tory.....)
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 27 Mar 2018, 09:22

I've finished reading Sybil, I have two quotes for you from the last page where Disraeli is signing himself off. The first is the PM (Wellington I think) giving his deputy instructions on how to deal with two opposing delegations expected at Downing Street:-
"Be 'frank and straight', that is the right line to take when you wish to conceal your mind and confuse the minds of others".
The last lines of all:-
We live in a time when to be young and to be indifferent are no longer synonymous. The youth of the nation are the trustees of posterity.
He was in front of the curve......
I'm expecting my new book on the geological map at any time......
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 30 Mar 2018, 08:59

My map book is a long time coming so I have started a re-read of Frederick Taylor's book on Dresden. That'll keep me occupied......
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 01 Apr 2018, 05:57

'The Map that changed the World' arrived yesterday but will have to wait as I read Taylor on Dresden which is a better book than I remember on first reading. That's nice..... I am enjoying it.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 03 Apr 2018, 04:07

Dresden gets better... See my post in 'What Attracted.....' I'm in the middle of a detailed description of the actual bombing at the moment. One thing that becomes clear is that loading all the blame on 'Bomber' Harris is grossly unfair. All right he thought bombing could 'win the war' but he was acting under orders when Dresden was targeted. It also become clear that tactical area bombing had become a fine art by the end of the war, the mix of types of ordnance and the order in which they were dropped was calculated to cause the maximum damage and hence, death toll amongst civilians.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 04 Apr 2018, 03:58

I finished Dresden and started on 'The Map that Changed the World'. This one is right up your street Tiz, the birth of the science of Geology. Trouble is it will only last another couple of days. I have ordered the same man's 'The Surgeon of Crowthorne' to follow this one..... Very good reports of it.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Tizer » 04 Apr 2018, 09:21

Winchester has written one on Krakatoa too. There's a S/H copy on Gerald Lucy's Rock Gallery web site for £4 plus £2.50 postage:
Krakatoa
When I want to buy from him I send an email asking him to reserve the book and saying I'll put a cheque in the post. All the necessary details are on his contact page. Alternatively you can buy it online through the web site but I think you have to sign something agreeing to Paypal's terms & conditions.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 05 Apr 2018, 02:45

I'll give it some thought Tiz.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 07 Apr 2018, 06:16

I finished 'The map that changed the world' yesterday. A wonderful story and one of the things I learned was that John Farey was heavily involved in William Smith's life. He was the father of John Farey Jr. who wrote the two volume Treatise on the Steam Engine the first volume of which was published in 1827 (LINK). The second volume was never published and the proofs lost but later it was reconstructed from his hand-written manuscript, it was later published (together with the first volume) by David and Charles and I am pleased to say I have both volumes.
I've just looked the books up and if you want the David and Charles editions you will have to fork out £200 for the two. There are many more hardbacks but they are all print on demand and will be scanned copies. My experience is that these are trash, so many uncorrected spelling mistakes from the OCR process. This is worse of course when archaic technical terms are scanned. Don't bother with them, pay the £200 and smile!
I might read volume two again while waiting for 'The Surgeon of Crowthorne'.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 08 Apr 2018, 03:19

Funny how things pop up..... I posted this in Steam engines yesterday....

I have a bonus for you..... Remember me banging on about fusible plugs and saying that the concept of a lead plug was so obvious that I thought it would be in use very early in the industry? I have found some reliable evidence. I was reading Vol 2 Of Farey's Treatise on the steam engine, a rare little beast. Writing in 1827 from personal knowledge of Richard Trevithick he says that Trevithick used a lead rivet in the crown of his internal furnaces in the classic single flued boiler. The idea was that if the water level fell to the point where the plates were overheating, the lead rivet melted and the escaping steam into the fire damped it down and alerted the tenter to the fact that something was seriously amiss. We can trust Farey, he is a very accurate and reliable source.

It's been sat on my bookshelf all those years and I missed it. He also says that it was Trevithick who first used the blast pipe up the chimney of his locos to increase the draught on the boiler. Dead simple but still used today and essential.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Tizer » 08 Apr 2018, 09:15

At the carriage museum that I mentioned on the Attention thread we were told about various developments that improved them. One that you'll be familiar with was the dish-shaped wheel where the rim projects out beyond the hub. It had several benefits. It strengthens the wheel and allows for a wider body to be fitted. Also, it helped the coaches cope with the severe camber on many of the roads of the time.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 09 Apr 2018, 06:01

That innovation came in very early Tiz.

Image

Here's a broad wheeled heavy wagon with heavily dished wheels. These were in use in the late 17th century but this long distance service was in the 18th century. One of the reasons for the broad wheels was that the new turnpike trusts set standards for wheel width to protect the water bound macadam surface of their roads. Legally they couldn't prohibit use of the 'King's Highway' but they got round this by a punitive pricing policy for tolls.
Interesting to note that in the earliest motor cars it was soon found that the longevity of tyres was prolonged if the 'artillery' wheels were dished and it wasn't long until improvements were made to the steering geometry introducing more angle on the inside front wheel when turning both vertical and horizontal. Have a look at THIS Wikipedia article on Ackermann steering geometry.

Re. books. My copy of the Surgeon of Crowthorne hasn't arrived so I am re-reading Charles ffoulkes' 'The Gunfounders of England'. Very rare, published originally in 1937 as a limited edition and reprinted again in 1969 in an edition of 400 copies. Not expensive, you can get a good hardback copy for £15 and it is an interesting read.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 10 Apr 2018, 05:44

I'm enjoying 'Gunfounders' and learning as well. See Mystery Objects!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 13 Apr 2018, 04:18

I've finished 'Gunfounders'. It's the best source for information on the subject but ffoulkes is the sort of author who uses Latin and doesn't give a translation. I suppose he's letting us proles know how well educated he is..... It's annoying!
I listened to the 'In Our Time' programme yesterday on the Stephensons and it has reminded me that seeing as how 'The Surgeon of Crowthorne' hasn't arrived yet I could fill in by reading them up again, it's a good story.... Not surprisingly, I have the books on my shelf......
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 14 Apr 2018, 03:56

I got Smiles' Life of George Stephenson down off the shelf and am enjoying it.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 19 Apr 2018, 12:32

I was informed on April 4 that 'The Surgeon of Crowthorne' was dispatched and would be with me by April 9. It never came. One of the good things about Amazon is their complaint resolution. I reported the non appearance of the book and within an hour had a response from the seller, apologising, refunding me my money and cancelling the order. He sent it by Royal Mail and will claim off them.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by PanBiker » 19 Apr 2018, 17:01

Multiple copies of that title on ABE Books from £2.24 with free shipping.

Now owned by Amazon but you can order direct of course.
Ian

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 20 Apr 2018, 03:16

:good:
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 21 Apr 2018, 05:53

I shall finish Smiles on Stephenson today and have decided to read my engineers up again. In many ways they are forgotten men but were the people who laid the foundations of today's technologies. Cheaper as well, I have all the books on the shelf!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 24 Apr 2018, 04:12

I'm reading 'James Watt and the Steam Engine'. by Dickinson and Jenkins. This is the revised 1981 edition which is regarded as the bible on Watt. Well worth re-reading it....... I'm enjoying it.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 24 Apr 2018, 07:06

Tried my hand at reading a book on string theory and its extension 'branes'. Multiple universes and all that. Didn't understand a word of it. Far too much speculation and in my mind science fiction. Glad when I got to the end.
After collapsing into a heap I picked up some of my 'Bill Bryson' books.
Walk in the Woods.
Down Under.
Notes from a Small Island.
Lost Continent.
Nice easy reading, makes you smile if you don't mind some of the expletives. Tizer mentioned them as a good read some time ago. I totally agree with him.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 25 Apr 2018, 03:53

I like Bill Bryson..... Like you P, I find matters like brane theory hard going on the page. I can follow a lecture or a good interview but once its on the page I have a problem. One thing is certain, it isn't science fiction it's a series of hypotheses based on very advanced mathematics and because we obviously have a handicap there we have to trust the people who can use the tools.
I'm enjoying James Watt......
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