Elton Engineering Books logo

From our current stock of books for sale:

TRAILL, Thomas W.

Experiments on steel. Remarks of the engineer surveyor in chief, and his assistants, respecting the mild steel manufactured by the Steel Company of Scotland; also tabular results of tests.
London, HMSO, (1878)

The introduction of mild steel in the 1850s produced much debate within the engineering profession as to its reliability for structural purposes, in particular for boilers and ship-building. Much testing was carried out, notably by David Kirkaldy but equally by the steel firms themselves, anxious for the necessary sanctions by the Board of Trade, the Admiralty or Lloyds Insurance.

The present item concerns the application of the Steel Co. of Scotland to the Board of Trade requesting sanction of their steel for use in the construction of ships, machinery and boilers. They 'were requested to undertake such a series of tests as would enable the advisers of the Board of Trade to judge of its suitability for the above purposes, and also its ability to withstand without undue injury the manipulation to which it would be exposed'.

This resulting report, by Thomas Traill, Engineer Surveyor-in-Chief to the Board, discusses and analyses the extensive tests undertaken by Kirkaldy on behalf of the Company to ascertain elastic and ultimate strength of plates; the effects of drilled, punched or bored holes on the tensile strength of plates; the strength of rivetted joints and the tensile strength of rivets; the bending strength of plates etc. The tables give the results of the tests 'exactly as received' from Kirkaldy by whom they are signed.

The report is of considerable further interest in that it was prepared as an internal memorandum for the information of Board of Trade surveyors, forming a basis by which they might judge other cases.

This is the original privately-printed edition and is Traill’s own copy, bearing his ownership inscription. It was reprinted in 1881 entitled, "Merchant shipping experiments on steel". Both editions are scarce.


8vo. 111 + (1)pp, 9 folding litho plates. Orig. quarter cloth, spine neatly rebacked to match original morocco corners. Traill's own copy with his ownership inscription and a few trifling ms corrections.



Catalogue No: 728