London:: Printed for John Senex; Printed for W. Innys M. Senex, 1734. 1744. hardcover. 2 volumes. 4to. [xxiv], 463, , [xii]; xv, , 568, [viii] pp. 32. + 46 [=78] engraved plates. Subscribers list, indexes. Original. calf, raised bands, gilt spine compartments, leather spine labels;. joints reinforced with kozo. Very good. RARE.. First edition. This is the expanded complete work that was promised in the authors preface of 1717 where a select group of lectures were issued. For this see: Physico-mechanical lectures, 1717. (80 pp. and 78 plates). Desaguliers was one of those responsible for popularizing Newton. He was, in fact, the chief designer of experiments for the Royal Society, something which he devoted his life work towards. Many of these experiments were oriented towards optics and mechanics, and then later to electricity. It was Desaguliers who popularized the demonstrative experiments to the public Without Observations and Experiments, he wrote in the preface to the first volume of his Course of Experimental Philosophy (1734), our natural Philosophy would only be a Science of Terms and an unintelligible jargon. By deliberate choice he demonstrated to the eye not only things discovered by experiment but also those deducd by a long Train of mathematical consequences; having contrived Experiments, which step by Step bring us to the same Conclusions, for he recognized that the Newtonian philosophy was not accessible to all through mathematics. Thus Desaguliers occupies a leading position (along with Keill, Pemberton, and Maclaurin) among those who gave Newtonian science its ascendancy in eighteenth-century England. Hall, p. 45. ¶ John Theophilus Desaguliers, Huguenot émigré, priest, freemason, engineer and natural philosopher, was both a protégé and promoter of Newton. An Oxford graduate and popular lecturer, he became Newtons experimental assistant in 1713, and a fellow of the Royal Society in 1714. Desaguliers promoted Newtonianism in various settings, and for various ends. Within the Royal Society, he devised new experiments to defend several of Newtons claims (for instance, concerning the shape of the earth) against French critics. His skill as an experimental demonstrator also helped establish him within the competitive world of commercial lecturing. His popular lectures, intended to demonstrate Newtonian propositions to a non-academic audience, provided the basis of several publications. Desaguliers natural philosophical credentials were also useful in obtaining patronage: he performed experiments for the royal family, and his allegorical poem, The Newtonian System (1728), compared the certainty and stability of Newtons universe with that of the Hanoverian monarchy. Whipple Library. ¶ One of Desaguliers lectures concerned Isaac Newtons recently established three laws of motion. He also used a planetarium, or orrery, to visualise the motion of the heavenly bodies in our solar system according to the Copernican system. By turning a crank the planets and Earth are set in motion around the Sun. [See: plate 31, vol. I] Museum of the History of Science. ¶ DESAGULIERS, JOHN THEOPHILUS (16831744), natural philosopher, son of Jean Desaguliers, pastor of a protestant congregation at Aitré, was born on 13 March 1683 at La Rochelle. On the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685 his father fled to England, bringing with him John Theophilus. The latter, it has been said, was concealed in a barrel, and thus carried on board the Refugee vessel. As a boy he read classics with his father, who, after a brief residence in Guernsey, became minister of the French chapel in Swallow Street, London, and kept a school at Islington, with his son as assistant. After his fathers death Desaguliers matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford. Here he took the degree of B.A., and entered into deacons orders in 1710, in which year he was also appointed successor to Dr. Keil as lecturer on experimental philosophy in Hart Hall. He followed the method adopted by his predecessor, and lectured on hydrostatics, optics, and mechanics. On 3 May 1712 he proceeded M.A., and in the following year took up his residence in Channel Row, Westminster, and there continued his lectures. In July 1714 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and invited to become their demonstrator and curator. He was held in great esteem by Sir Isaac Newton, then president of the society, and became chaplain in the same year (1714) to the Duke of Chandos, who presented him with the living of Stanmore Parva, or Whitchurch, Middlesex. In 1717 he lectured before George I, who rewarded him with a benefice in Norfolk, worth 70l. a year, which was afterwards exchanged for a living in Essex on the presentation of George II. About this time he was appointed chaplain to Frederick, prince of Wales. On 16 March 1718 he completed his degrees at Oxford as bachelor and doctor of laws. In February 17412 he received the Copley gold medal from the Royal Society in acknowledgment of his successful experiments. When old Westminster Bridge was built (17389) his opinion on the structure was often sought, but his house with Channel Row had to be pulled down. Desaguliers removed to a lodging in Bedford Coffee-house, over the great piazza in Covent Garden, where he continued his lectures with great success until his death on 29 Feb. 1744. He was buried in the Savoy on 6 March following. In personal appearance he was unattractive, short and thickset, of irregular features, and extremely near-sighted. He was a member of the Gentlemens Society at Spalding (Nichols, Lit. Anecdotes, vi. 81). He is said to have been the first to deliver learned lectures to the general public. His lectures were attended by the most learned men of the day, and were made interesting by skilful experiments. In a journey through Holland his lectures likewise attracted the attention of men like Huyghens and Boerhaave. He was the inventor of a machine called the planetarium, which served to determine the exact distances of the heavenly bodies according to the systems of Newton and Copernicus. He also erected a ventilator, by order, in a room over the House of Commons. Desaguliers contributed a vast number of papers on light, colours, the barometer, &c., to the Philosophical Transactions, a list of which is to be found in Matys index to the Philosophical Transactions. James Cawthorn, in his poem The Vanity of Human Enjoyments, credits Desaguliers with poverty at death. A portrait is in Nicholss Anecdotes, ix. 6401. He left three sons, of whom John Theophilus (17181752) was vicar of Cratfield and Lexfield, Suffolk. Thomas, the youngest, is separately noticed. DNB. ¶ DSB, IV, pp. 43-46, by A. Rupert Hall. . 2 (Inventory #: S13104)
You can be confident that when you make a purchase through ABAA.org, the item is sold by an ABAA member in full compliance with our Code of Ethics. Our sellers guarantee your order will be shipped promptly and that all items are as described. Buy with confidence through ABAA.org.