London:: John Senex, 1734; 1744., 1734. 2 volumes. 4to. [xxxii], ; xv, ; 568,  pp. 32 + 46 engraved plates, index. Original gilt-stamped calf, leather blind-stamped spine label; joints cracked, reinforced with kozo. Ownership signature on title [difficult to read: H--- Clarke?]. Very good. Rare. First edition of Desaguliers' most important work. Desaguliers was an experimental assistant to Newton, and, along with Keill and Pemberton, one of the greatest proponents of his works. Desaguliers own experiments focused more on electricity and machinery, and had a significant impact on the research that presaged the industrial revolution. The work "exerted a profound influence on Benjamin Franklin" (Taton). ". . . the long-promised first volume of the Course [of Experimental Philosophy] appeared in 1734, containing five long lectures and many additional notes. It is devoted wholly to theoretical and practical mechanics, including both a simple treatment of Newton's system of the world and a description of Mr. Allen's railroad at Bath. Desaguliers attributed the ten year delay before the appearance of his second tome to his desire to improve the treatment of machines, especially waterwheels. . .Continuing with mechanics, in seven lectures he discussed impact and elasticity, vis viva and momentum, heat, hydrostatics and hydraulics, pneumatics, meteorology, and more machines. This second volume is even more concerned with applied science and engineering than the first and entitles Desaguliers to be considered a forerunner of the more advanced knowledge of machinery that characterized the Industrial Revolution." – A. Rupert Hall, DSB IV, p. 45. / "Highly regarded by Newton, Desaguliers had a genius for the simple explanation of complex subjects in 1742 received the Copley Medal of the Royal Society for his original research and inventions. These two volumes contain the first series of learned scientific lectures delivered to general audiences. Volume I is a Newtonianum , in which there are simple explanations of Newton's theories, and volume II entitles Desaguliers to be considered a forerunner of the more advanced knowledge of machinery that characterized the industrial revolution. . . .First editions of both volumes, as here, are very rare. Not in Blake, Ferchl, Smith, Waller, etc." – Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library, I, p. 353. REFERENCES: Knight, 68; Morgan, 220; Partington, II, 739; Poggendorf, I, 554; Sotheran, Bibliotheca Chemico-Mathematica, Cat. 702 , 7237 ["Rare"]; Taton, II, 475; Watt, I, 299c; Wellcome, II, 451 [volume II only]; Wolf, II, 338.
(Inventory #: RW1384)
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