English pleasure carriages; their origin, history, varieties, materials, construction, defects, improvements, and capabilities; with an analysis of the construction of common roads and railroad and public vehicles used on them together with descriptions of new inventions.

London, Charles Knight, 1837.

Large 8vo, pp. xviii, [2], 315, [1], with sixteen leaves of plates, and 9 black and white illustrations in the text; offsetting to endpapers, a few small marks, a very good copy in the original embossed buckram, title and two carriage designs gilt to spine; ownership inscription of Wm. Robertson to the free endpaper, armorial bookplate WR to the front pastedown.


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First edition, a work of general utility, aiming to impart ‘the principles on which carriages ought to be constructed’. In nineteen chapters, the work covers the whole spectrum of carriage use and construction, addressing both the component parts (i.e. spring, axles), principles of propulsion (including steam), and tastes in décor inter alia. The last chapter examines the development of the railways. William Bridges Adams (1797-1872) was a renowned locomotive engineer, and the text includes mention of several of his inventions, including equirotal carriages, deep-cranked axles, rear-driven cabriolets, a railroad of wood and iron, and a method for enabling an engine to pass around a curve.

One possible William Robertson was a Manufacturer of Carriages, Wagons, Trucks and Carts in Newhaven, USA, from 1891.

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