Crossing on Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World

Crossing on Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World

By: David Macaulay
Published by: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: 2019

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Prior to the invention of the steam engine in the early 1800s, ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean relied on the wind in their sails to power their journeys.  By the end of that centruy, gradual improvements to the steam engine led to steamboats and eventually to steamships, a faster and more reliable mode of transportation that would change ocean travel forever.

In this riveting book, lauded author-illustrator David Macaulay illuminates the rich and storied history that culminated in the building of the fastest, most advanced—and last—of these great steamships:  SS United States.  This unique "biography" of SS United States artfully explores the design and construction of the ship and the life of its designer and engineer, William Francis Gibbs.

But it also tells of a personal journey: Gibbs's famed vessel was the very one on which the author emigrated to America as a ten-year-old.  Thoughtful, engaging storytelling and the elegantly executed blueprints, diagrams, and illustrations for which David Macaulay is renowned make Crossing on Time a tour deforce of the art of explanation, and a touching and surprising childhood story.

From the dust jacket

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