Stationary Engines for the Enthusiast


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by David Edgington and Charles Hudson                  

Sadly all copies of the 6th reprint have now been sold.

0riginally published in 1981 and jointly edited by David Edgington and Charles Hudson. This must rate as the book most purchased as a first for so many engine enthusiasts over the past 33 years. Many private stationary engine libraries have probably been founded on this book which has reached its sixth reprint in 1999. This book, the result of two years research, and especially written for the newcomer to the world of old engines, describes a variety of types and styles of engine by using mainly contemporary illustrations and explains the various principles of operation ranging from hot-tube to compression ignition. Totally in mono as it was compiled in the days before colour pictures became a cheap option.

Stationary Engines for the Enthusiast, written 1980/81 was David’s first attempt at producing a book about engines, quite a daunting task at a time when typewriters reigned instead of computers. It all started when a publisher approached him with an ‘old engine’ book in mind. Although, at the time he was editing Stationary Engine

Magazine, his knowledge of the many makes of engine, that would need to be featured, simply wasn’t good enough, so he asked good friend, the late Charles Hudson, to be co-author. Charles had an unrivalled command of the small-power engine scene, generating sets and the majority general purpose engines — many of which he had worked on in the engine ‘hey-day’. After about a year’s collaboration they were told without any prior warning “Sorry, the publisher has gone bust.” Wondering what to do with the prepared manuscript they attempted to offer it to another publisher, but after being asked what a stationary engine actually was, they decided to abandon that idea and finish the book ourselves, little knowing what a success it would be. Collated in the days before computerisation this really was a case of a basic publishing, even the cover was sketched and coloured on a kitchen table.

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