Steam engines, with their hissing pistons, revolving wheels, and smell of oil and coal smoke, have an irresistible attraction for many of us. The realization that steam could be used to power machinery became one of the great Eureka moments of history - comparable to the discovery of iron and the invention of the printing press. It was steam powered engines of all kinds that drove the vast industrial expansion during the nineteenth century. They featured in almost every aspect of life. They made possible the excavation of deep mines, the forward thrust of ships though the oceans, and the propulsion of trains along the tracks of the world's railways. In this book Stan Yorke explains the history of the steam engine and the enormous variety of uses to which it was put. There are over 100 photographs plus detailed diagrams by Trevor Yorke. There is also a list of places where steam engines, restored to working order by the hard work and enthusiasm of endless devotees, can be seen today.