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EDGEWORTH, Richard Lovell

An essay on the construction of roads and carriages. The second edition: with a report of experiments tried by order of the Dublin Society.
London, 1817. 2nd end.

Edgeworth was as much concerned with the design of carriages and their springs as he was with the construction of roads and in both aspects he was remarkably forward looking.

This book first appeared in 1813, largely in order to clarify and disseminate the evidence amassed by Sir John Sinclair’s 1806 parliamentary committee on roads. The second edition has been shorn of its parliamentary content but what is left is a comprehensive work, embodying all aspects of road-making based on his own extensive experience.

Interestingly, Edgeworth recommended a method of road construction that was similar to McAdam’s in its use of uniformly-sized small stones but differed in several crucial respects, notably in his system of binding the surface. He also goes in detail into the whole question of vehicle design, particularly the all-important question of the form and size of wheels.

The second edition also contains an account of the beautiful series of experiments carried out in 1816 by Edgeworth for the Dublin Society in which he worked with two- and four-wheeled carriages using different forms of axletree, with and without springs, in order to ascertain draught, speed and the effect on them of various types of road surface.


8vo. iv + 2 + (ii) + 171 + (1)pp, 4 folding engraved plates (browned). Publisher's boards, paper label on spine. Head and foot of spine defective. Contemporary ownership inscription. Skempton No.423.



Catalogue No: 5161