LOCOMOTIVE by David Weitzman


Building an Eight-Wheeler
Age Range: 8 - 12
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Precise draftsmanship of numbered charts and steps make this book from Weitzman (Old Ironsides, 1997) a bull’s-eye for meeting the desires of both railroad buffs and the mechanically inclined. Shifting his focus from the waterways to the rails, the author places his detailed procedural information in historical perspective, opening with a brief discussion of the birth of the railroads in 1830, when Peter Cooper’s steam locomotive, Tom Thumb, lost a race to a horse; moving on through the ensuing four decades, when the manufacture of locomotives was an exuberant cottage industry; and continuing through the 1870s, when all that activity culminated in America’s becoming the worldwide leader in the industry, and steam engines replaced water wheels. Following that is a description of the orderly and precise assembly of the various parts of an eight-wheel locomotive, an explanation of the drafting and crafting of mechanical metallic parts, and coverage of the somehow humanizing process of building the little wooden cab in which the engineer and fireman lived during their long hauls over the rails. With the black-and-white renderings full of intricate detail, this is a fine addition to historical collections. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-395-69687-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1999