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Book reviews — December 1985

ART DECO by Dan Klein
(first published 1974) republished 1984 by Treasure Press, 108 colour photographs by Angelo Hornak. £3.99 ISBN- 0 907812 94 5
Basically a colour picture book, this attractive collection of superb photographs goes a Iong way in answering the question "What is Art Deco?" Here you will find characteristic examples of fashion, furniture, ornaments, interior design, advertising, printing and architecture from the twenties and thirties. Much might be dismissed as ephemeral (or at least not IA notwithstanding the members who collect small Art Deco objects), but there are good studies of Broadcasting House the Hoover Factory (Perivale), The Daily Express building (Fleet Street) and American skyscrapers. 'Some of the interior are amazing. This book would make a first class stocking-filler for many members. Already good, value it can be found remaindered despite the recent date of publication. BOB CARR

Shire, 32pp incl. 50 illustrations Price £1.25
This new booklet, in the usual well produced 'Shire' format, gives a good introduction to its subject. The text is wide ranging covering many different applications of hydraulic power, though the emphasis is on port services. One application new to me was the valve operating machinery at the Vyrnwy reservoir, in its delightful Gothic valve house. The author is Keeper of Social and Industrial History at Merseyside County Museums and, not surprisingly, many of the illustrations and examples are from the North West. London examples are mainly confined to Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast and the Thames Barrier. Public supplies, including LHP, are adequately dealt with, including a description of the hydraulic vacuum cleaner.

Some of the drawings, especially the explanatory diagram of the weight-loaded accumulator, are disappointing and there is no illustration of hydraulic crane, despite the emphasis of its importance in the text. Nevertheless, despite these minor points, with a dearth of material on hydraulic power, this booklet fills a gap and is a useful addition to the Shire Album series.

Shire. 32pp. incl. 45 photographs Price £1.25
Another well-illustrated Shire Album by the Director of Amberley Chalk Jits Museum, with chapters on the History of the Narrow Gauge, Motive Rolling Stock, The Track, and the Narrow Gauge Today, it will find a place on many railway enthusiasts' bookshelves. Curiously, the author finds it necessary to explain the difference between a tank engine and a tender engine, has this already been forgotten? The expert will find much of the volume rather shallow, but as an introduction to its subject it is fine. TIM SMITH

© GLIAS, 1985