Astragal Press books on antique tools and more






Steam Engines & Railroads

Since the beginning of railroading in the steam era, signals have always been a vital part of the industry. Everyone who has ever operated or ridden in a train has depended on railroad signals to prevent collisions and mishaps. This book examines how different railroads developed specific hardware to serve their unique needs, in the process tracing the lineage of various types of hardware and highlighting when, how, and where they were used. From nineteenth-century mechanical signals to disc signals, upper- and lower-quadrant semaphores, three-light electric signals, searchlight-style targets, positional lights, and color-position light hardware, the author covers nearly every conceivable piece of North American signaling hardware. Illustrated with gorgeous period and contemporary photographs this is a fine addition to any railroad enthusiast's library.

160 pages, Hardcover, Color and B&W Images, 8.5" x 11",
© 2015
Order Number: VAP-SO-RRSIGNAL…..$35.00

Author Barry David provides an enormous amount of information in The Antique American Steam Gauge that helps the collector learn about his gauge: when it was made, what job it was designed to do, how it did this job, who made it, and for what company it was made. If you are a collector, or a student of technological history, you will find this book to be an invaluable addition to your library.

304 pages, Paperback, B&W, 8.5" x 11", © 2003
Order Number: AP138............$35.00

For the first time, a book has been written that explains all the tools and techniques necessary for successfully building models with brass. Readers are exposed to every technique for cutting, forming, fabricating, soldering, and final finishing of commercially available brass stock in Model Building with Brass.

160 pages, 327 Color Photos, Hardcover, Full Color, 8.5" x 11", © 2016
Order Number: VAP934.........$34.99


The Engine's Moan by Ed Fagen, one of the nation’s foremost authorities on steam whistles, has provided a broadly researched, eloquently written and marvelously witty book, the first and only one on the subject. A joy to read, this book is a true “must have” for the railfan, collector, curator, historian of science, industrial archeologist.

277 pages, Paperback, B&W, 8.5" x 11", © 2002
Order Number: AP014..........$39.95 $32.00

The History of the First Locomotives in America by William H. Brown provides a rare, insightful look at life for those who witnessed the advent of the steam locomotive. Originally published in 1874, it was written from the perspective of those who lived during the development of this “great mechanical blessing” and evokes the spirit of the 19th century as seldom experienced in other historical works.

304 pages, Paperback, B&W, 6" x 9", © 2003
Order Number: AP12X............ $27.50 $23.95

A Journey into Florida Railroad History, a little-known yet fascinating chapter of Florida history. It is safe to say that without railroads, Florida wouldn't be what it is today. Railroads connected the state's important cities and towns, conquered the peninsula's vast and seemingly impenetrable interior, ushered in untold numbers of settlers and tourists, and conveyed to market--faster than any previous means of transportation--the myriad products of Florida's mines, forests, factories, farms, and groves.

6" x 9", 304 pages, paperback.
Order Number: GOV591……….$19.95

Last Train to Paradise is acclaimed novelist Les Standiford’s fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad—one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the Labor Day hurricane of 1935. Brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler’s dream fulfilled, the Key West Railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for more than twenty-two years, heralded as “the Eighth Wonder of the World.”

288 pages, Paperback, B&W, 5" x 8", © 2003
Order Number: GOV543...........$14.95


American Steam Engine Builders 1800-1900 by Kenneth L. Cope

American Steam Engine Builders is the companion volume to Ken Cope’s previous works on machine tools, carriage making machinery and cooperage machinery. The nearly 1000 illustrations show the development of the steam engine from 1800 to 1900 in a great variety of sizes, styles, and designs.

280 pages, Paperback, B&W, 8.5" x 11"
Order Number: AP227...........$29.95

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©2010 Astragal Press
An Imprint of Finney Company