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Historical Technology Books - 38 in a series - Railways. Papers on the mechanical and engineering operations and structure combined in the making of a railway (1846) by G. Drysdale Dempsey

Technology isn't just computers, networks and phones. Technology has always been part of the human experience. All of our ancestors have looked for ways to help them survive and do less work for more gain. has a host of old technology books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. Many of the technologies discussed within these books are being put to use again these days in the back to the land" and homesteading movements. You might even find something that could address one of your own garden or farm issues but has been lost to time and history. Enjoy! --Douglas
Historical Technology Books - 38 in a series - Railways. Papers on the mechanical and engineering operations and structure combined in the making of a railway (1846) by G. Drysdale Dempsey

Seeing contemporary writing about a new technology can be quite enlightening. What problems did they face? How did they solve them? Could they solve them with current technology? How did this affect the technology that we know today? This book was published only 19 years after the first commercial rail line was open. I am sure they learned much in the time, but imagine what innovations were yet to come. — Douglas

Available in PDF, Text, JPG formats, and more


In the series of Papers of which this is the first, it is proposed to offer a condensed account of the engineering and mechanical operations and structures which are combined in the making and equipment of a railway.

To do this as efficiently as the limits of the allotted space will allow, it is proposed to select examples from works already executed, presenting a useful collection of materials and facts, arranged so as to be adapted for ready appli- cation by Royal Engineers and others on whom may devolve the conduct of similar works at home and abroad.

Without any pretensions to a complete history of any individual railway, the work will aspire to the character of such a record as will assist an engineer in applying his professional knowledge, with readiness and certainty, in the design and execution of the works required for any line committed to him.

It will be evident that the subject comprises two main and consecutive divisions, viz. : first, the formation of the railway as a road or track ; and secondly, the furnishing of this road with all the fittings and appurtenances by which it is adapted to the purposes of traffic.



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