JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
This drawing comes from the great engineering classic that presented the prototype jet engine for all that would follow it--J.G. Keenan's Elementary Theory of Gas Turbines and Jet Propulsion. It was published in the glorious Oxford blue cloth by the university and issued with the classically-design beige dust wrapper--it just has the feel of something solid and astute. Keenan's work is a classic--it is a general survey of developments in the jet propulsion field and was among the very first books published on the subject.
Keenan was not the first though to the jet engine party--Hans von Ohain and Sir Frank Whittle were. It was a classic idea-in-the-air example of two people working on a very similar idea at the same time without any knowledge of the other. von Ohain was the first to produce an operational jet engine (1939) while Whittle was the first to patent (while getting his engine to be operational in 1941). Jet engines have been around for a long time (Romans having legislation on the use of variable jet sprays in water distribution) in different forms--fountains, fire hoses, marine jet propulsion (reaching back to 1871), and so on. But John Gregory Keenan's book--that was a big and influential review, a major contribution to the field.