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AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY: A FIELD GUIDE Paperback – July 31, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 391 pages
  • Publisher: Left Coast Press (July 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598740997
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598740998
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"McVarish covers a broad array of industrial site types within the expansive categories of transportation, extraction, production, and power generation. He breaks each industry into their assorted components, elucidating the functions and processes of each element so that they can be understood separately and as parts of a connected whole. He describes the functional and technical changes of each industry through time, providing physical and temporal contexts of the separate pieces and the composite industry. McVarish provides concise descriptions of the actions and processes in each industry and creates an authoritative vocabulary for working with and understanding the sites in the field. The straightforward compilation and presentation of the historical background and technical aspects of so many industries will meet the varied needs of archaeologists, architectural historians, historians, landscape planners, and others interested in the industrial past. This book will make it easier to identify and interpret industrial sites." —From the Foreword by Carolyn White

From the Inside Flap

This comprehensive guide provides the reader with basic information of the most common types of structures, sites, and objects encountered in North American industrial archaeology, including bridges, railroads, factories, water and power generating facilities, and others.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Bone Lady on December 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I own this book and use it as a reference for architectural inventories and assessments. Field guides are in numerous abundance for residential architecture, but are severely lacking for industrial architecture. This book gets four stars from me as it is well written, easy to understand, contains great historical background of structure type, and such. However, it is lacking in the industrial building context. I was hoping to find some additional information pertaining to mid 19th Century to early 20th Century warehouse style architecture. That being said, I was not expecting the fantastic bridge, mining, and railroad structural information! This is a bonus and welcomed one, as I do many projects involving both. I think the illustrations are great too. I would like to see McVarish write a few more that work their way from the east coast to the west and demonstrate some of the regional modifications and adaptations of design and application.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I write a lot of science fiction set in the Victorian and often have questions about period technology or architecture. This book provides some really excellent basic information on industrial technology and architecture from before the Victorian to the end of the Twentieth Century. I understand the negative comments the other reviewers have made but I think the positives of this volume far outweigh its shortcomings. If you have an interest in 19th and 20th century technology and the structures that were needed to support it, or arose because of it I highly recommend this book. If you are writing any historical fiction set during these periods this volume will be of immense help to you. I actually had bought this book for my wife, because she has an interest in industrial archaeology but she nearly didn't get it and we finally agreed to share it, since we both found it so useful.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John L. Trowill on August 31, 2008
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While I haven't thoroughly reviewed this book, I am disappointed in a couple of areas. First, I was expecting coverage on mining and logging operations, which are what one would most likely encounter on trips into the wilds. Also, regarding railroading, the book does cover some modern signaling systems, which seem out of place, while ignoring the 19th, and also early 20th century, block systems that required block stations and train order signals, with accompanying foundations along the rights-of-way. Also, while exploring railroad yards, the one outstanding feature to look for and document would be the turntable pit. This should have received more coverage than a simple mention because it is the one foundation that would be unique. There were engine facilities without roundhouses, but the turntable would always be there.
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AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY: A FIELD GUIDE
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