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Early Railway Chemistry and its Legacy: RSC

ISBN-13: 978-1849733267
ISBN-10: 1849733260
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

One of the most important parts of British heavy industry today is our railway system. Its constant appearances in news bulletins, its enormous appeal to fans or “enthusiasts”, its permanent role in the lives of most of us, and its economic significance today, all underline its importance. What has never been clear till now has been the crucial role that chemistry has played in its development. This unique book is aimed at chemists, some of whom may already have an additional interest in railways, and will be delighted to learn of any close connection between their two interests. The book is also a serious and scholarly revelation of an aspect of the history of railways in Britain that has only recently come to light: the critical part played by chemistry in their growth and development.

From the Back Cover

One of the most important parts of British heavy industry today is our railway system. Its constant appearances in news bulletins, its enormous appeal to fans or "enthusiasts", its permanent role in the lives of most of us, and its economic significance today, all underline its importance. This book describes the vital relationship between chemistry and the railway industry, all very recently discovered. It shows that the railway system would simply have not been possible without chemical inputs. This discovery about a huge revenue-earning industry in Britain came from rare documents recently unearthed and other archival material and the book contains many rare illustrations and vast amounts of previously unpublished material. A great many engineers contributed to the enormous technological development which occurred in the railway industry between 1830 and 1923, but working alongside the engineers were the chemists, and in certain critical areas their contribution to this development was vital. It is a contribution which up until now has not been adequately recognised, and this book puts the record straight.

The book has an unusually wide appeal, being of interest to practising chemists, those interested in the history of chemistry and its role in society, historians of science and technology, mechanical engineers, and not least railway enthusiasts and railway historians. The chemist will be justly proud of the extreme importance of the subject for industry and the railway enthusiast will gain a wholly new picture of the development of the industry in Britain.

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Early Railway Chemistry and its Legacy: RSC
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