R.I.P. Tom McGowen, 88, in Sept. 2015 ("Sir Machinery," 1970)
(too old to reply)
2017-05-08 18:55:16 UTC
Raw Message
Aka Thomas E. McGowen, he lived near Chicago.

He was a senior book editor at World Book, Inc.

From "Contemporary Authors":

"Sidney Clayton and Associates (advertising firm), Chicago, IL, production manager, 1949-53; Justrite Manufacturing Co., Chicago, IL, advertising manager, 1953-54; National Safety Council, Chicago, IL, sales promotion director, 1954-59; Hensley Co. (advertising firm), Chicago, IL, creative director, 1959-69; World Book, Inc. (publisher), Chicago, IL, senior editor, 1969--. Military service: U.S. Navy, member of hospital corps during World War II."

Incredibly (given that he wrote dozens of books) the ONLY notice I could find of his death was at Goodreads! Which is why this took so long - up to now, I had only been Googling on his name and birth year. (There was nothing about his death in Familysearch, either.)

(See under Rconard131; he also posted in the Straight Dope forum)


"...I was influenced a great deal by that wonderful book and desired for many years to locate and thank Mr. McGowen, personally. Recently I was finally able to talk with Mr. McGowen himself, now aged 86, still living in Illinois. He wrote 73 books for Follett and Scholastic, among other publishers, and was an editor for World Book. His works covered three genres: Young Adult Fiction,Children's Science, and an impressive number of well researched history books ranging from ancient history to the Korean War era..."

About "Sir Machinery" (from 1970, illustrated by the late, great Caldecott Medalist Trina Schart Hyman - some spell it as "Sir MacHinery," but the cover doesn't look like that to me):

"A mechanical robot with a computer brain is helped by the wizard Merlin to overcome the evil forces encroaching on the earth."

Hyman previously illustrated McGowen's "Dragon Stew."

"Encyclopedia of Legendary Creatures" (1981) was illustrated by British illustrator Victor G. Ambrus.

(booklist - this also has over a dozen book covers of his nonfiction work)

(SF book covers)

(more book covers)

(thread on "Sir Machinery," from 2012 to 2015)

(many reader reviews - the most popular 7 or so are SF books)

(three Kirkus reviews)

(more Kirkus reviews)


(And illustrator) The Only Glupmaker in the U.S. Navy, Albert Whitman (Niles, IL), 1966.
The Apple Strudel Soldier, Follett, 1968.
Dragon Stew, Follett, 1969.
Last Voyage of the Unlucky Katie Marie, Albert Whitman (Niles, IL), 1969.

The Biggest Toot in Toozelburg, Reilly & Lee, 1970.
Hammett and the Highlanders, Follett, 1970.
Sir MacHinery, Follett, 1970.
The Fearless Fossil Hunters, Albert Whitman (Niles, IL), 1971.
Album of Dinosaurs, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1972.
Album of Prehistoric Animals, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1974.
Odyssey from River Bend, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1975.
Album of Prehistoric Man, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1975.
The Spirit of the Wild, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1976.
Album of Sharks, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1977.
Album of Reptiles, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1978.
Album of Astronomy, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1979.

Album of Whales, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1980.
Album of Rocks and Minerals, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1981.
Encyclopedia of Legendary Creatures, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1981.
Album of Birds, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1982.
Album of Space Flight, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1983.
Midway and Guadalcanal, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1984.
King's Quest, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1984.
War Gaming, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1985.
George Washington, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1986.
Radioactivity: From the Curies to the Atomic Age, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1986.
The Magician's Apprentice, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1987.
The Circulatory System: From Harvey to the Artificial Heart, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1987.
Chemistry: The Birth of a Science, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1988.
The Time of the Forest, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1988.
The Magician's Company, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1988.
The Magicians' Challenge, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1989.
Epilepsy, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1989.

The Great Monkey Trial: Science versus Fundamentalism in America, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1990.
The Shadow of Fomor, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1990.
The Magical Fellowship, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1991.
A Trial of Magic, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1992.
The Korean War, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1992.
A Question of Magic, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1993.
World War I, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1993.
World War II, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1993.
Lonely Eagles and Buffalo Soldiers: African-Americans in World War II, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1995.
"Go for Broke": Japanese-Americans in World War II, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1995.
Yearbooks in Science: 1900-1919, Holt (New York, NY), 1995.
Yearbooks in Science: 1960-1969, Holt (New York, NY), 1995.
The Black Death, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1995.
Adventures in Archaeology, Twenty-First Books/Scientific American, 1997.
The Beginnings of Science, Twenty-First Century Books, 1998.
African-Americans in the Old West, Childrens Press (Chicago, IL), 1998.
The Battle for Iwo Jima, Childrens Press (Chicago, IL), 1999.
Germany's Lightning War: Panzer Divisions of World War II, Twenty-First Century Books, 1999.
Sink the Bismarck: Germany's Super-Battleship of World War II, Twenty-First Century Books, 1999.

Robespierre and the French Revolution in World History, Enslow, 2000.
Giant Stones and Earth Mounds, Millbrook Press, 2000.
Carrier War: Aircraft Carriers in World War II, Twenty-First Century Books, 2001.
Air Raid! The Bombing Campaigns of World War II, Twenty-First Century Books, 2001.
The Battle of Midway, Childrens Press (Chicago, IL), 2001.
Frederick the Great, Bismarck, and the Building of the German Empire in World History, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.
The Battle of Cantigny, Childrens Press (Chicago, IL), 2002.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor, Childrens Press (Chicago, IL), 2002.
Assault from the Sky: Airborne Infantry of World War II, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2002.
Assault from the Sea: Amphibious Invasions in the Twentieth Century, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2002.
The Spanish-American War and Teddy Roosevelt in American history, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.
The Alamo, Childrens Press (Chicago, IL), 2003.
The 1968 Democratic Convention, Childrens Press (Chicago, IL), 2003.
The Surrender at Appomattox, Childrens Press (Chicago, IL), 2004.
The Revolutionary War and George Washington's Army in American History, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.
D-Day, Childrens Press (Chicago, IL), 2004.
Alexander the Great: Conqueror of the Ancient World, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2006.
William the Conqueror: Last Invader of England, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2008.
Jesse Bowman: A Union Boy's War Story, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2008.
Space Race: The Mission, the Men, the Moon, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2009.

2017-05-09 00:19:03 UTC
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From what I posted in 2007:

He's won awards for Album of Prehistoric Man, Album of Whales,
Radioactivity: From the Curies to the Atomic Age, The Magician's
Apprentice, The Great Monkey Trial: Science versus Fundamentalism in
America, A Trial of Magic, Robespierre and the French Revolution in
World History.

He lives in Norridge, Illinois.

From Contemporary Authors:

"I believe that if children can come to understand the why and how of
things going on around them, from the interrelated activities of
animals and plants to the unseen movement of molecules, they'll be
more likely to grow into comfortable, confident, civilized adults,
unencumbered by superstition and irrationality. If one of my fiction
books can turn just one child on to the imagination-stimulating world
of fantasy; if one of my nonfiction books can make just one child
aware of the equally stimulating worlds of nature, natural science,
and history, I'll have achieved my personal goal."