Ohio History Journal

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Book Notes

Book Notes





The Covered Bridges of Pennsylvania: A Guide. By Susan M. Zacher. (Harris-

burg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1982. vi + 141p.; il-

lustrations, maps, bibliography, index.) As its title might indicate, this book

functions primarily as a tourist guide to the covered bridges which are found

throughout Pennsylvania. Following a brief introduction to truss types, the

book consists of a list of the 227 extant covered bridges in the state, with the

bridges grouped by region and by county. Though some attempt is made to

characterize the bridges remaining in the various areas, the book's basic

emphasis is upon large, attractive photographs of bridges and directions for

finding them. Factual information such as builder, length, construction date,

and condition is recorded for each bridge. Each bridge is also the subject

of an extremely brief description or history. These narratives range from the

informative to the cryptic and inconsequential which, unfortunately, predom-

inate. Lacking any true historical perspective, analysis of its subject matter, or

interpretation of significance, this book offers a useful illustrated listing of

bridges for travelers wishing to examine them in person and supplies undi-

gested arcana for covered bridge mavens.

Christopher Bensch



Transportation and the Early Nation: Papers Presented at an Indiana Amer-

ican Revolution Bicentennial Symposium. (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical

Society, 1982. vii + 156p.; illustrations, maps, notes.) Transportation and the

Early Nation is a collection of six papers delivered at the fourth Indiana

American Revolution Bicentennial Symposium. The papers are: "The Trans-

portation Revolution and American Law: Constitutionalism and Public Poli-

cy" by Harry N. Scheiber, "Internal Improvements in National Politics" by

Douglas E. Clanin, "The Ohio River: Pathway to Settlement" by Donald T.

Zimmer, "The Canal Era in the Old Northwest" by Ralph D Gray, and

"Iron Roads in the Old Northwest: The Railroads and the Growing Nation"

by John F. Stover. This book is an excellent overview of early transportation.

Roger Meade



Benjamin Holt: The Story of the Caterpillar Tractor. Edited by Walter A.

Payne. (Stockton, California: University of the Pacific, 1982. x + 102p.; illus-

trations.) Number 1 of Monograph Series II from the Holt-Atherton Pacific

Center for Western Studies, this slim slip-covered volume manages to cram a

plethora of interesting and unusual photographs and illustrations into a seri-

ous study of an uncommon man and the distinctive community that devel-

oped the caterpillar. Authors Roger T. Barnett, Erling A. Erickson, Leonard

A. Humphreys, Ronald H. Limbaugh, and general editor Walter A. Payne

trace the history of Benjamin Holt and the development of his caterpillar