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Book reviews — October 1990

The British Library has recently announced the first two titles in the British Library History of Technology Series:
No. 1 — The Indefatigable Mr. Woodcroft: the Legacy of Invention. By J. Hewish. Paperback £3.50.
No, 2 — James Watt and the Patent System. By A. N Davenport. Paperback £7.50.

This book has been produced to mark the 10th anniversary of the Ghent Museum of Textiles, a new edition of the book that Luc Cocquyt used, on our visit to Belgium last year. The book lists 2,500 sites, has 440 pages and 15 maps. The price is 1680 Belgian francs (approx. £28.50). If you are interested please get in touch with Danny Hayton, 31 The High Street, Farnborough, Kent. BR6 7BQ. DANNY HAYTON

THE BREWING INDUSTRY — A Guide to Historical Records. Edited by Lesley Richmond and Alison Turton
ISBN 0. 7190.3032.3. Brewing and its products have long played an important role in Britain's economic and social life. This book facilitates study of the industry's history and features brief histories of nearly 650 breweries, including companies still brewing today. Entries have been arranged alphabetically with a short description of each brewery and its records, in the book's 485 pages. This is an excellent reference guide to the brewing industry over the last 250 years. Should those interested in brewing wish to find out information on a deserted brewhouse, or about a brewery and its tied houses, then this book would be very useful. It is published by Manchester University Press, Oxford Road, Manchester Ml3 9PL and is priced at £45. EDITOR

This is now available from the Docklands Forum, 192 Hanbury Street, London E1 5H, tel: 071 247-5637. The Forum is also publishing a Newsletter free to those who would like to receive one. MARY MILLS

CHANGE AT KING'S CROSS. Edited by Michael Hunter and Robert Thorns
ISBN 0 948667 06 0. Big changes are afoot, at King's Cross. A scheme to build on the derelict acres, possibly allied with a Channel Tunnel rail terminus, is proposed, which will transform for better or for worse a run-down part of central London. This book comments on that scheme, but also by way of essays by experts in their fields, deals with the history of the site — the stations, hotels, the canal, gasworks, goods yard and the area itself. It is the first major survey of its kind and it comes at a time when what is left of the industrial and commercial heyday of King's Cross must be incorporated into new development. The book includes, too, a comprehensive inventory of the industrial archaeology of the site. The last chapter is the English Heritage Inventory of the King's Cross site. 160 pages with photographs and line drawings. Published by Historical Publications Ltd, 54 Station Road, New Barnet, Herts. Price £13.95. Enquiries to John Richardson, Historical Pubns. Ltd. (071 607-1628) EDITOR

Video reviews

In the technological and televisual age in which we live, many people now possess video recorders and IA enthusiasts will welcome an opportunity to add some IA videos to their video libraries.

This video is sure to appeal to steam enthusiasts everywhere. The power of the steam engine was first harnessed for ploughing back in 1850 when John Fowler invented the ploughing machine. The whole process of ploughing by steam is shown vividly, using a pair of steam traction engines. For a day's ploughing each engine used a ton of coal and 1000 gallons of water I Similar engines are also depicted being used for dredging and mole drainage. There are not many working engines left and those that do remain have been restored to working order by members of the various steam engine clubs. This video recaptures the IA of a bygone age and it seems unlikely to be able to be filmed again. This video is about 20 minutes' duration and is available on VHS or Betamax from J. Billard, Old Station House, Twyford, Reading, Berks. RG10 9NA. Price £19.95.

This is an interesting and very informative video which clearly shows the various means by which the water drives the wheels, from undershot to backshot designs. As well as grinding our corn, waterwheels have powered machines for spinning and weaving, forging and ore-crushing . A number of waterwheels are now being restored from dereliction and some are being put to practical use, employing their environmentally friendly power. This is a film of general interest as well as for waterwheel enthusiasts. This 20 minute video is available in VHS format from J. Rogers, 23, Rothamsted Avenue, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2DN. Price £20 post paid. EDITOR

© GLIAS, 1990