New Book From Iconographix Celebrates The Steam Roller

| July/August 2001

Steam roller enthusiasts, rejoice! The reference book you have awaited has finally arrived.

While authors Dr. Robert Rhode and Judge Raymond Drake have titled their book a 'photo archive,' it is organized alphabetically by manufacturer, and sufficient text is included to give the reader ample technical and historical guidance.

The project began, apparently, as a picture book of Buffalo and Kelly-Springfield steam rollers, but it grew to encompass many other manufacturers as well. The authors acknowledge the contributions of numerous collections, public and private, as well as those of individual researchers.

We think readers of IMA will be especially interested in this book because so many traction engine manufacturers produced a steamroller to capitalize on the growth in American road building. The first American patent for a steamroller was issued to Abbott Q. Ross on August 22, 1871. Numerous rollers were made by various firms before the turn of the century, and their manufacture continued until 1935.

Readers will delight in the great variations on steam rollers from the obscure and impractical to the more logical and successful models. Included in the book are some rare and fascinating, pictures showing manufacturing, assembly and transport of these massive machines.

Judge Raymond L. Drake has appeared on several historical television programs and co-authored The Last Gold Rush and Pike's Peak Gold.