Book reviews - December 1999
'The Early East London Gas Industry and Its Waste Products', by Mary Mills
Available from M Wright, 24 Humber Road, London SE3 7LT. Tel: 020 8858 9482. £15 incl p&p
This book analyses the attempts of the gas industry before 1850 to use and sell the by-products of coal gas manufacture - and to relate this to the industries developing in east London at the same time. In doing so it offers challenging new insights both into the gas industry in its first years and also its relationship with other industries.
'Burning to Serve: Selling Gas in Competitive Markets', by Francis Goodall
Available from BtS, 33a Belle Vue Road, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1AT. £20 incl p&p (cheques payable to Burning to Serve)
This book, written for the non-technical reader, explores how the gas industry responded to the competition in one market after another, particularly from electricity. It describes the entrepreneurs, appliance makers, as well as engineers. It considers the ownership of the industry, whether private, municipal or nationalised, and how this affected the response to market challenges.
'Dangerous Energy', by Wayne Cocroft
The book (ISBN 1 85074 718 0), published by English Heritage in July 1999, costs £45 (hardback)
The subtitle of this book is The Archaeology of Gunpowder and Military Explosives Manufacture. It provides, for the first time, an overview of the sites and monuments associated with the manufacture of gunpowder, propellants and high explosives for military purposes in Britain. Generously illustrated it draws on surviving remains and archive sources and documents site layouts, building types, power sources and communication networks of the industry. There is a gazetteer of 385 relevant sites.
'A Manual of Archaeological Field Recording'; 'A Manual of Archaeological Field Drawing'
Available from Manual Offer, 31 Gayfield Square, Edinburgh EH1 3PA. £5.95 plus 80p p&p (cheques payable to JM Hawker)
The fliers for these two complementary publications suggest they are aimed at dirt archaeologists. However keen IA recorders or drawers may find something of interest in them.
'The Story of Time', by Kristen Lippincott
The 304-page book (ISBN 1-85894-072-9), published in October 1999 in association with the National Maritime Museum, costs £25 (hardback)
An internationally acclaimed group of 27 contributors from the fields of science, art, history, philosophy and cultural studies - including Umberto Eco and Sir Ernst Gombrich - discuss time. This wide-ranging book is divided into five main sections: the Creation of Time; the Measurement of Time; the Depiction of Time, the Experience of Time; and the End of Time. Among subjects covered is the effect of accurate time-keeping on the Industrial Revolution and how the industrialised world was a spur to new forms of horology.
© GLIAS, 1999