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The One-Hoss Shay

The One-Hoss Shay by Oliver Wendell Holmes

This is a small collection of whimsical poems by the American physician and author Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. "The Deacon's Masterpiece" describes the "logical" outcome of building an object (in this case, a two-wheeled carriage called a shay) that has no weak points. The economic term "one hoss shay," referring to a certain model of depreciation, derives its name from this poem. "How the Old Horse Won the Bet" is a lighthearted look at a horse race. Finally, "The Broomstick Train" is a wonderfully Halloween-y explanation of how an electric tram really works.

First Page:

[Illustration: Y^e Deacon]

The One Hoss Shay

With its Companion Poems

How the Old Horse Won the Bet & The Broomstick Train

By Oliver Wendell Holmes

With Illustrations by Howard Pyle


Boston and New York Houghton, Mifflin and Company The Riverside Press, Cambridge M DCCC XCII

Copyright, 1858, 1877, 1886, and 1890, BY OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

Copyright, 1891, BY HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.

All rights reserved.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A. Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Co.


My publishers suggested the bringing together of the three poems here presented to the reader as being to some extent alike in their general character. "The Wonderful One Hoss Shay" is a perfectly intelligible conception, whatever material difficulties it presents. It is conceivable that a being of an order superior to humanity should so understand the conditions of matter that he could construct a machine which should go to pieces, if not into its constituent atoms, at a given moment of the future... Continue reading book >>

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