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The Traction Engine in Scotland by Alexander Hayward


The Traction Engine in Scotland by Alexander Hayward

Steam traction engines were most widespread in Scotland from the 1880s until the 1940s - mainly for road haulage, powering threshing mills, ploughing and,in steam roller form, in road making. The book describes the use of steam power on Scotland road and field, and places National Museum Scotland's 1907 traction engine in its historical context with details of its construction, acquisition and restoration.


' ... this is an enthusiast's book. Those who love working steam, whether stationary engines or moving, will seize upon this publication about traction engines. Those who do not will turn away, but actually this has much for both constituencies. All can rejoice in the clarity of the writing. Even the technical bits - bores and strokes - are understandable, and the photographs lavish and helpful.'
History Scotland

... well designed and attractively produced. The illustrations are fascinating and well repay detailed study ... There is a lot of information but no jargon ... for anyone interested in the history of transport and farming in Scotland, for for traction engine enthusiasts everywhere.

Folk Life

'What a wonderful change to receive a book dedicated to engines in this country commissioned and produced by National Museums Scotland - and all credit to it for doing so. - As well as being aimed presumably at the curious museum shop purchaser, the detail is still enough to satisfy the steam enthusiast, engineer and historian - At this price it's worth anyone's money -

Old Glory

' - The book is generously illustrated with well-produced photographs, engravings and facsimiles of documents, all suitably captioned. Many of the photographs are published for the first time - The chapter end references are to academic standard, and the index is extensive. Design and production of the book is excellent -

Steaming (mag of the National Traction Engine Trust)

' - this well-illustrated study of the traction engine and its various applications on Scotland's roads and fields is an important and fascinating contribution to history.

Scottish Field

' - Perhaps the most important point to make about this book is that you don't have to be a Scottish enthusiast to enjoy it. The fact that the traction engine story is presented in a slightly different social, cultural and geographical backdrop is what made it so compelling to me. As well as being well-written and superbly illustrated, it's likely to appeal to both newcomers and seasoned enthusiasts.

Vintage Spirit (the Magazine for Steam
& Industrial Heritage)

' - wonderfully illustrated throughout, and adding to the value of the illustrations is their detailed captions. The book itself is far more than a collection of illustrations, however fascinating they are. The final part of this excellent book looks at the preservation of Scottish traction engines and at examples in museums, bringing the story bang up to date.

Undiscovered Scotland

' ... Hayward has provided a firm foundation on which to develop further research and interest on the subject. He should be congratulated for writing such an important and much-needed book.

Review of Scottish Culture

About the Author

Alexander Hayward is Keeper of Science and Technology at National Museums Scotland,and heads a department responsible for outstanding objects ranging from a 1786 Boulton and Watt steam engine to Concorde.

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Book Info

Publication date

8th June 2011


Alexander Hayward

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NMSE - Publishing Ltd


64 pages


Industrialisation & industrial history



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