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"American Locomotives" was a major disappointment. There are a number of books with better pictures and books with significantly more statistical details of the depicted steam engines. Each steam train presented occupies two pages. The first page is a brief description followed by statistical data such as the locomotive builder, cylinders, weight, steam pressure, fuel quantity, water quantity, diameter of the drivers, tractive effort and railroad class. Some of the locomotives presented have some of these statistical categories omitted. On the second page, a photograph of the engine and an engineering blueprint is presented. The engineering blueprint shows some of the dimensions of the various components of the locomotive. These blueprints are superficial and devoid of detailed information. Truly the most irritating part of this book is the fact that the picture and blueprint are oriented towards the spine instead of having the spine at the top of the locomotive photograph. This page orientation makes viewing the pictures awkward. A significantly better alternative to this book is "American Locomotives in Historic Photographs: 1858 To 1949 (Trains)" by Ron Ziel.
This is the kind of book that contains a lot of illustrations and no much text or history so it makes a really good item for those who want start learning about american steam locomotives. I think it can be a good book for kids because it has so many illustrations and the captions are rather brief and concise.
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