The History and Present State of Discoveries relating to Vision, Light, and Colours.
by PRIESTLEY, Joseph.
London:: Printed for J. Johnson, 1772.. 4to. v, [i], [viii], xvi, 422; [ii], 423-812, [xii] pp. Folding frontispiece, subscribers list, errata, 24 folding plates, index, list of books in Dr. Priestleys research; title, frontispiece with offsetting. Original full calf, with gilt stamps lending Library T.C.D. on upper covers, original red gilt-stamped spine labels; spine broken, covers reattached with kozo. Copy of JOHN KNOTT, MD [November 21, 1904], with his red inked signature (light) on title and FREQUENT MARGINAL NOTES THROUGHOUT; bookplate of Trinity College, Dublin, Lending Library (Duplicate sold). FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE EARLIEST WORKS ON OPTICS, AND AT THE TIME OF ITS PUBLICATION THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE WORK IN ENGLISH ON THE SUBJECT. The second volume of a projected history of the experimental science (The History of Electricity was the first), this was the only English work on optics for 150 years and the only one in any language for fifty. The work owes a great deal to Bo?kovi?s theory of matter, to which Priestley had been introduced by a neighboring rector, John Michell. The use of Bo?kovi?s theory allowed Priestley to support the corpuscular, or emission theory of light in opposition to Newtons optical ether by providing an alternative explanation for Newtons rings. Organized on the Baconian design of an exhaustive chronicle, the work contains and collates the views of all previous writers on the subject with great care and intelligence. Furthermore, it contains chapters on the development and construction of instruments such as telescopes and microscopes. Unfortunately, the History failed to pay the costs of all the books collected to write it and the project was discontinued. [DSB] This copy retains its original paper boards and spine, and is in remarkably good condition. ¶ Joseph Priestley occupied a variety of teaching posts, supported the phlogiston theory against Lavoisier, and Unitarianism against the Established church; the latter position led to his house and laboratory being destroyed by a mob. Priestley spent his final years in the United States. ¶ PROVENANCE: John Knott, MD , Dublin, graduate of the University of Dublin, wrote a paper, Angina Pectoris, The Dublin Journal of Medical Science, Volume 104, pp.195-197, and The Birth and Origins of Syphilis, [JAMA] Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 42, Part 1, (1904), pp. 113-114. Colles Fracture, appeared in the Transactions of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, Volume 20, 1902 [pp.361-386]. Another paper was entitled, Old Age – Its Prevention and Cure. – St. Louis Medical Review, Jan. 7, 1905. Also: Dr. Tobias Venner: His Via Recta ad Vitam Longam. – St. Louis Medical Review, vol. 50, Oct. 15, 1904. In 1910 was issued, Animal Therapy. St. Louis Medical Review, vol. 59, Aug. 1910, pp. 235-237. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and also a member of the Royal Irish Academy. REFERENCES: Blake/NLM, p. 363; BM Readex, vol. 20, p. 934; British Optical Association Catalogue, I, p. 171; Crook: Bibliography of Joseph Priestley, p. 157; DSB, XI, pp. 139-147; Honeyman, VI, 2534; Osler 1190; Claire Parkinson, Breakthroughs: A Chronology of Great Achievements in Science and Mathematics, G K Hall, (1985), 1772; Roller, II, 327; Waller 15652. [PLEASE CONTACT DIRECT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION].
(Inventory #: S13081)
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