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The One-Hoss Shay

The One-Hoss Shay by Oliver Wendell Holmes
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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

[Illustration]

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.

Preface

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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