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
Judge Raymond L. Drake has appeared on several historical
television programs and co-authored The Last Gold Rush and
Pike’s Peak Gold.
Co-author Dr. Robert Rhode has written numerous articles
published in this magazine and others geared towards steam traction
engine collectors. Classic American Steamrollers 1871-1935
Photo Archive is a 126 page soft cover book, available from
book and hobby stores and by mail order from advertisers in this