In 1710 an obscure Devon ironmonger Thomas Newcomen invented a machine with a pump driven by coal, used to extract water from mines. Over the next two hundred years the steam engine would be at the heart of the industrial revolution that changed the fortunes of nations.Passionately written and insightful, A Brief History of the Age of Steam reveals not just the lives of the greatinventors such as Watts, Stephenson and Brunel but also tells a narrative that reaches from the US to the expansion of China, India and South America and shows how the steam engine changed the world.
Thomas Crump, successful author of A Brief History of Science, recently underwent a hip operation and brings to this book an understanding of the needs and concerns of the patient. His passionate interest in science and its history has given rise to a number of books, most recently Solar Eclipse and The Anthropology of Numbers. A mathematician and anthropologist, until his retirement in 1994, he taught anthropology at the University of Amsterdam.