Taking a break from the Olympics (really just watching ice skating as well as Apolo Ohno), I sat myself down to compare the 1832, 1849 and 1850 editions.
For the record, Mechanic's Companion was first published in 1831. Prior to that, a book entitled Mechanical Exercises was published by Nicholson in 1812. Much as I would love to get my greedy palms on a copy of that one, the price for the one copy offered for sale is beyond my current means. I've contacted two libraries that hold copies of the 1812 but am still waiting for a response. Even contacted the book dealer who has a copy for sale, simply asking for some information on the book but again, no response yet.
The 1850 edition has the addendum on steam engines, authored by 'we don't know'. Other than that difference, what else, if anything, sets them apart? Precious little, to my surprise.
- Plate 12 is the lead in plate opposite the title page
- Cover is simple leather over boards (the spine is long gone)
- Published by James Locken, Philadelphia
- The contents is a duplicate of the 1832 edition, although a little less distinct in the illustrative plate details
- Unfortunately, this one was rebound by a library so I cannot speak to the nature of the original binding.
- Published by John Locken, Philadelphia (families keep the good stuff to themselves)
- 27 extra pages on the Steam Engine, along with one extra page of Table of Contents and one plate featuring Watts' Double Acting Steam Engine. Otherwise, it's a duplicate of the 1832.
- Interestingly enough, the Watts plate replaces plate 12 as the title plate. Plate 12, the ever popular workbench and woodworking tools plate, is where it should be, opposite page 125.
- Blue blind embossed cloth cover with ornate gilt lettering and images on the spine (one of a steam ship and one of assorted tools)
- Published by F. Bell, Philadelphia
- Different Title page