Power from Steam is the first comprehensive history of the steam engine in 50 years, following the development of the reciprocating steam engine. Hills covers its history from its earliest form to the beginning of the twentieth century when it was replaced by the steam turbine. Although the first steam engine was used to pump water, its development really started with the mechanisation of the textile industry. This development is studied closely and the theoretical understanding of its operation is covered. The background of thermodynamics is introduced to show how science and design coupled to produce increasingly more efficient and powerful engines. This book will be indispensable to steam power enthusiasts as well as historians of technology.