WILLIAMS, Frederick Smeeton. Our Iron Roads: Their History, Construction and Social Influences. London, Ingram, Cooke and Co., 1852.8vo. Original maroon grained cloth, spine ornamented and lettered in gilt, front cover with title and image of the Rocket in gilt and ornamented in blind; pp. xi, 390, wood-engraved frontispiece, additional pictorial wood-engraved title, numerous wood-engravings in the text, some of which full-page; expertly rebacked, retaining the slightly darkened spine and original endpapers, very light spotting only, an attractive copy.
First edition of a beautiful book on the British railways, issued at a time when the boom (after the mania of the 1840s) was in full swing and Britain already had an impressive network. Frederick Smeeton Williams (1829-1886) was a Congregational minister and railway historian. 'Williams also enjoyed a deserved reputation as a pioneer railway historian. Our Iron Roads appeared in 1852 and had run to seven editions by 1888. This was an excellent introduction to Britain's early railway history and was not superseded until Sir William Ackworth's Railways of England appeared in 1889' (ODNB).