This is the story of a machine that began as a crude device used only for pumping water from mines, to become the main driving force behind the mills and factories of Britain for nearly two hundred years. By the end of the 18th century, the steam engine was no longer stuck where it was built: it moved into the world of transport. First it was used to power boats, and then it trundled off down the highway before finding a home on railed tracks. It is one of the greatest stories of British inventiveness, and the steam engine has a host of admirers. Anthony Burton covers early ideas that led to the development of steam, and the breakthroughs by blacksmith Thomas Newcomen and James Watt. He looks at the steamboat, carriages, early locomotives, steamships, engines and turbines, agricultural engines and preservation today, exploring the steam engine in all of its many guises.