The Steam Engine: A Practical Guide to the Construction, Operation, and Care of Steam Engines, Steam Turbines, and Their Accessories – Volume One is a work originally published by The American School of Correspondence and co-authored by Walter B. Snow and Walter S. Leland. The intent of the book is to introduce the great advances in steam power to the masses through a detailed but introductory description of a modern technology (at the time of writing) that would impact the lives of many.
The Steam Engine is primarily intended for the enthusiast interested in steam power. The book begins with a detailed description of the steam engine, including the history of its development, a thorough examination of important engine parts, and an overview of the different types of steam engine. From there, the book progresses into a more focused discussion of engine operation and engine room accessories, including a vital section highlighting the importance of lubrication. The thermodynamics of the steam engine are then outlined, in what is probably the densest portion of the book. The text concludes with a look at the steam turbine, primarily focusing on its operation.
The language included throughout is basic. The authors have intentionally excluded complicated mathematical theories in order to make this book approachable for the non-specialist. While some technical knowledge is certainly beneficial to reader's of The Steam Engine, one need not be an engineer in order to understand the principles discussed.
As a practical guide to a complex technology, The Steam Engine is a great success. Enthusiasts will surely delight in the depth of information contained within this book, all of it presented in an easy to digest fashion. If you are at all interested in steam power, Snow and Leland's book is sure to please.