He starts by paying homage to the great boiler men of the past: Evans, Stephenson and Robert Fulton. Stephenson is especially interesting because he was illiterate til he was 18 and some of his inventions were presumed to be stolen because he had such a gruff exterior.
Hawkins begins his book by explaining what goes through his mind when he arrives at the shop, smells the air, and looks around:
That's beautiful, isn' it? Few things are more interesting in print than a man explaining his passion for his work. Imagine what Shakespeare or Eugene O'Neil could have done with raw material like this!