Compressed Air books from a time...
...when textbooks were meant to teach!
The greenback dollar was issued debt-free by President Lincoln
without the permission of any bank. R.I.P. Abe!
A Tale of Lost Resources
Some of these amazing and unique compressed air technical books are still only available from this site, however...
Since the glorious days when I used to spend my grocery money on dusty old tomes moldering in used bookstores
all over the western US, most of the books I had once scanned in black-and-white have been replaced by better (full color) scans
on http://www.archive.org. I didn't realize that black-and-white scanning would not get the full nuance of the page, and
in some cases, all I had to scan were photocopies, or even 2nd or 3rd generation photocopies. Well, enough about me.
the books you need, no longer available at this website because there are now better copies online. However, should you find
these books not so easy to understand, you can get a copy of my book, Compressed Air Power Secrets,
which is the result of my actually having studied those books which are linked below. Good luck, and let me know what you
learn! (PS: Last time I went to purchase a modern compressed air textbook online, most of the copies available cost around $500!!!
When I later found a (partial) copy of the book on Google Books, I learned why the high price: it was written for the learnedly
handicapped...those whose interest in scientific endeavors is merely to sound intelligent while having nothing to say!)
May 2016: All books in the catalog (not just on this page) have been moved to archive.org. Thanks Air Car Project
for a life worth living... now I'm moving on to other interests after 36 years. This site is now being archived in a static form
with few changes likely in the future.
Compressed Air Haulage, 1st edition, by the H K Porter Co
This trade catalog from the early years of the 20th century is extremely
rare and was very hard to find. Many thanks to the librarian who
stepped forward with a photocopy for us to distribute: probably the only
copy we will ever see. This is the only air car catalog that has
ever been published. Porter's air locomotives were used mainly in
coal mines in the Eastern U.S. Technical details and information
on the advantages of compressed air. Also: I've added a
handwritten essay from a rare books library entitled "A Comparison of
Compressed Air and Electricity as Motive Powers for Mine Haulage," by W
F Roberts, 1902. This is a real collector's item.
Compressed Air Haulage, 2nd edition, by the H K Porter Co
This edition covers the two-stage engines based on the patents of
Charles W. Hodges, which increased their range by absorbing ambient heat
from the air surrounding the engine--that's free fuel. This trade
catalog from the early years of the 20th century is extremely rare and
was very hard to find. Many thanks to the great humanitarian who
slaved over a hot scanner to make this full-color facsimile edition
available to the world. This is the only air car catalog that has
ever been published. Porter's air locomotives were used mainly in
coal mines in the Eastern U.S. but this design was taken to Europe where
a few thousand air powered locomotives were being used until World War
II probably destroyed most of them. Technical details and information
on the advantages of compressed air. This is a real collector's
item. A few pages are missing.
Street Railway Motors, by General Herman Haupt, C.E.
Herman Haupt was a prominent civilian personally hired by Lincoln to be the General in charge of the
railroads for the Union army during the civil war, and after his retirement, he was the first
full-time air car advocate. He was instrumental in all the air
trolley projects that were tested on the streets of New York City.
This book compares the relative advantages of air cars to steam,
electric, and others. Little-known properties of compressed air
are exposed for consideration like they haven't been done before or
Compressed Air, by Theodore Simons
From the introduction: "The author's chief aim
was to provide the student, who is interested in...compressors and air engines, with a background of understanding
that will enable him...to make independent research into the seemingly unlimited possibilities of compressed air.
The territory still unexplored is vast and full of promises to the intrepid explorer...the author has endeavored
to bring the work well within the comprehension of the average technical student..." This book provides detailed
mathematical proof that all compression work is lost as heat.
Compressed Air, by Gardner D Hiscox
The biggest compressed air textbook ever, written
by someone who definitely knew what a slide rule is for.
A Practical Treatise on Compressed Air and Pneumatic Machinery,
by Edward A Rix and A E Chodzko
Rix obtained many patents on
compressed air equipment and founded a company that still makes
high-tech pneumatic machinery. He has been known to add the title
"He of the Compressed Wind" to his signature, and designed pneumatic
locomotives that were once used at the Empire Gold Mine in Grass Valley,
California. The sections on air engines and the theory of
compression, expansion and internal (intrinsic) energy are detailed and
understandable. Charts not found in other books give data for air
consumption, power output, and temperature changes of single- and
two-stage air engines with various cut-off ratios.
Compressed Air Plant, by Robert Peele
Peele was a mining engineer, and it was the coal mining industry that preferred the
compressed air locomotive till World War II.
This book came out during the compound air engine boom
when it looked like compressed air could provide us all with a cheap, clean form of energy storage for
moving vehicles. This 5th edition (1930) is not available elsewhere. It is the last textbook ever published
that gives detailed information about efficient air engines and air cars. After WWII,
this sort of thing was no longer discussed.
Compressed Air Practice, by Frank Richards
I had a copy of this book that the author had
autographed and presented to W R Grace, a big industrialist of the
olden days, whose company in a later reincarnation was featured in John Travolta's
excellent muckraking movie A Civil Action. The book cost me $110, and I didn't even know
who Grace was at the time, but it was the only copy I could find.
A few weeks after I bought it, I found the same book in a store for $10.
I bought it too.
Air Compression and Transmission, by H J Thorkelson
Contains a description of rotary lobe (Roots) blowers,
which are rotary piston compressors as called for in the Leibow patent.
Roots blowers have no rubbing parts, so they're the most efficient way
to positively displace air with a solid wall of force; though they can't
produce more than 10-15 psi, they move very large quantities of air in a
completely different way than other devices that move a lot of air fast,
and at a lower energy cost than conventional piston compressors.
Compressed Air, by Elmo G Harris
From the introduction: "It is the author's opinion that
prerequisite to a successful study of compressed air is a thorough
training in mathematics, including calculus, and the mathematical
sciences, such as physics, mechanics, hydraulics and thermodynamics.
Therefore no attempt has been made to adapt this volume to the use of
the self-made mechanic... Many phases of the subject are elusive and
difficult to see clearly even by the thoroughly trained; and serious
blunders are liable to occur when an installation is designed by one not
well versed in the technicalities of the subject...the author has
prepared this volume for college-bred men, believing that such only, and
only the best of such, should be entrusted with the designing of
compressed-air installations..." OK, so that part sucks, but the rest of the book is pretty good.
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