Penn State

Marcus Shaffer - Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Appleton's Dictionary of Machines, Mechanics, Engine-Work and Engineering

Author: D. Appleton and Company

Book Description:

I realize that Penn State has copies of this book - but I would like to make a special case for having copy of this book (two volumes) in the stacks at the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library.

My work focuses on machines - specifically the Machine in an architectural context - and finding this book as an undergrad in a used bookstore in Providence, Rhode Island, absolutely set the course for my studies and my research. While there are many references to machines in books of architecture, and many architectural works claim relation to machines and mechanization, the Appleton's books offer the reader an unparalleled look at a world already 'totally mechanized' at the time of the Great Exhibition of 1851. What I think is amazing about the book - beyond its encyclopedic scope/thoroughness - is the invention on display. You can find all of the machines/methods of architectural production, like cranes and sawmills, but one can also find machines related to the making of wallpapers - or see plan, section, elevation of recently mechanized brick kilns. For any student of architecture interested in the long and wondrous relations between Architecture and machinery, this is an essential book.


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