Crossing on Time

Crossing on Time

Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World

David Macaulay


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David Macaulay, co-creator of the international bestseller The Way Things Work, brings his signature curiosity and detailing to the story of the steamship in this meticulously researched and stunningly illustrated book.

Prior to the 1800s, ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean relied on the wind in their sails to make their journeys. But invention of steam power ushered in a new era of transportation that would change ocean travel forever: the steamship.

Award-winning author-illustrator David Macaulay guides readers through the fascinating history that culminated in the building of the most advanced—and last—of these steamships: the SS United States. This book artfully explores the design and construction of the ship and the life of its designer and engineer, William Francis Gibbs.

Framed around the author's own experience steaming across the Atlantic on the very same SS United States, Crossing on Time is a tour de force of the art of explanation and a touching and surprising childhood story.

A 2020 NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book


David Macaulay:
David Macaulay received his bachelor of architecture degree from Rhode Island School of Design. In January 1973, Macaulay went to France to work on the first of his more than two dozen books, Cathedral. Macaulay is perhaps best known for The Way Things Work. His numerous awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Caldecott Medal, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, an American Institute of Architects Medal, the Washington D.C. Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, the Dutch Silver Slate Pencil Award, and the Bradford Washburn Award. He was U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award twice. Macaulay and his family live in Norwich, Vermont.