Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #85 begins on 10 Sep 2020

US Auction #3 begins on 13 Aug 2020

Hugo Reid

The Steam Engine 1851

A popular account of its Construction, Action, and History; and a description of its various forms; with a sketch of the laws of heat and pneumatics; and a critique on M. Arago’s “Eloge of Watt.” By Hugo Reid, Member of the College of Preceptors, Author of the “Elements of Astronomy,” “Elements of Physical Geography’” etc.

Published: Groombridge & Sons, London, 1851

Edition: 3rd Edition

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Third edition, revised and improved, 1851 (1838); Groombridge & Sons, 5 Paternoster Row, (Bradbury and Evans, Printers, Whitefriars) London. 18mo., 10.5cm x 16.4cm,269 pp. Full navy leather with elaborate gilt decorative border; 5 decorative panels to spine with gilt motif and borders;   title in gilt lettering on red background. Marbled endpapers and edges. Illustrated by forty wood engravings.

From The Spectator, 11 August 1838: The Steam Engine, by Hugo Reid, is a very admirable little book—scientific, learned, and perfectly lucid, so that with a little attention anybody can understand fully the somewhat complicated matters of which it treats. The volume opens with an introductory description of the chemical laws on which the action of the steam-engine depends; which is not only necessary for a clear comprehension of principles, but curious for the many facts and experiments by which it is illustrated. A brief history follows of the machines constructed or described at various time, in which steam was the moving power; and which is not only singular in itself, as showing how closely different minds have approached the great discovery without making it, but useful as gradually introducing the reader to the subject. The engine of Newcomen, the first that was applied to practical purposes, is next described; then the improvements introduced by Watt; and the whole is wound up by an account of the different engines for different purposes in contemporary action. There are numerous diagrams.

REID, HUGO (1809–1872), an educational writer, was born at Edinburgh on 21 June 1809. He was a good classical scholar, but was best known in the Scottish capital as an able chemist, mechanician, and writer of popular educational handbooks. He was for some years president of the Hunterian Society of Edinburgh, and afterwards lecturer on chemistry and natural philosophy at the High School, Liverpool. In 1858 he went to the United States, migrated thence to Nova Scotia, and for some years held the post of principal of Dalhousie College, Halifax. He died in London on 13 June 1872. (DONB, V. 47)

Condition: Slight wear to corners and board edges. Inscribed in ink on front endpaper: ‘Henwick House - near Worcester – 3d Section - Extra Prize for Arithmetic - John Seymour St John - Midi 1861 - A Phillips D.D.’

  • Binding Condition: Very Good
  • Overall Condition: Very Good
  • Size: 10.5cm x 16.4cm
  • Sold By: The Smokey Owl
  • Contact Person: Carol Hayman
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email:
  • Telephone: +27827793318
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Electronic Transfers, PayPal
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved

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