Essays on the Microscope; Containing a Practical Description of the Most Improved Microscopes The second edition, with considerable additions and improvements.
by Adams, George, Jr. (1750-1795).
London:: Printed by Dillon and Keating, for the Editor, 1798.. 2 vols. bound in one (i.e. with Atlas dated 1787). 4to. xvii, [vii], 724, 14, 2 pp. 32 engraved double-page plates, with the allegorical frontispiece mezzotint (dated 1787), Â“Truth discovering to Time, Science, instructing her children in the improvements of the microscope,Â” after T.S. DuchĂ¨, with the folded title-page for the Atlas of plates, errata, list of plates (numbered 1-31; with 26A and 26B, making 32), index; occasional foxing. Original half calf by Hering (with his stamp: Â“Bound by Hering 9 Newman StÂ”); quite worn, inner joints reinforced with kozo. Bookplates of Max Erb and William Seymour. Good. SECOND EDITION, enlarged, with the first issue of the frontispiece plate and first of the Atlas title. This work is a most thorough treatment on microscopy, reviewing the history of the topic, of optics, a description of microscope instruments, before entering into describing various items from nature. Adams states Â“When I first undertook the present essays, I had confined myself to a re-publication of my fatherÂ’s work, entitled, MICROGRAPHIA ILLUSTRATA; but I soon found that both his and Mr. BakerÂ’s tracts on the microscope were very imperfect. Natural history had not been so much cultivated at the period when they wrote, as it is in the present dayÂ… I have in the fifth chapter, after some general observations on the utility of natural history, endeavoured to remedy their defects, by arranging the subject in systematic order, and by introducing the microscope reader to the system of Linnaeus, as far as relates to insects: by this he [the reader] will learn to discriminate one insect from another, to characterize their different parts, and thus be better enabled to avoid error himself. And to convey instruction to others.Â” (pp. x-xi). Adams, being Â“seducedÂ” by these Â“little creaturesÂ” expanded his descriptions of them. With chapter six he bases his discussion of insects on the work of Lyonet (1742), focused on the caterpillar of the Phalaena Cassus. Â¶ Adams, Jr. (1750-1795), son of well-known instrument-maker George Adams (1709-1772), both instrument makers to the king. He was an optician, instrument maker (to George III) and prolific writer on instruments and scientific issues. Gee notes that Adams had studied Louis Joblot on the microscope and animalculae and Abraham Trembley on the polyp. Â¶ Provenance: Max Erb, of Max Erb Instruments, Santa Ynez, California. This company started in 1954 and specializes in microscopes. [FULL TITLE: Essays on the Microscope; Containing a Practical Description of the Most Improved Microscopes; A General History of Insects..., An account of the various species Â… A Description of Three Hundred and Eighty-Three Animalcula, with a Concise Catalogue of Interesting Objects: A view of the organization of timber, and the Configuration of Salts when Under the Microscope. By the late George Adams Â… The second edition, with considerable additions and improvements by Frederick Kanmacher, F.L.S.] Â¶ See: DNB; Brian Gee, Francis Watkins and the Dollond Telescope Patent Controversy, Ashgate, 2014, p. 67; John R. Millburn, Adams of Fleet Street: instrument makers to King George III, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000. (Inventory #: S13101)
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