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An Illustrated History of Cranes

Publisher:  Ian Allan Publishing ISBN:  0 7110 2817 6
Author:  Hinton J Sheryn
Book published 2000, 128 pages
Review Date:  January 2008

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Front cover.
This paperback book is one of a series or 'Illustrated History' books published by Ian Allan. In addition to this book on cranes the other books cover excavators and fork lift trucks amongst others.

The book is fairly short but its great strength is the large number of black and white photos which show the development of cranes over the course of a century up until around the mid 1990s.  It commences with a historical background before moving on to consider some simple company histories of the UK companies Stothert and Pitt, Coles, Clarke Chapman, and of Manitowoc of the US.  There are then sections devoted to floating, marine and dockside cranes, derricks, overhead cranes, railway cranes and finally a couple of sections devoted to mobile cranes and tower cranes.  The end of the book is marked by two strange chapters about a couple of specific but relatively little known cranes.

The book should not by any means be regarded as an authority on the subject as there is really very little text as the vast majority of the book consists of annotated photographs. Much of the writing is fairly imprecise and there are some errors which have crept through the proof reading, as well as errors of fact. The structure of the book resembles something of a loose connection of topics under which to group the many photos.

However for anyone interested in the subject there is enough in the many photographs to make the book worthwhile.