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A System of Experimental Philosophy Prov'd by Mechanicks, wherein the principles and laws of Physicks, Mechanicks, Hydrostaticks, and Opticks, are demonstrated and explained at large, by a great number of curious experiments. . .
London:: Printed for B. Creake, ... J. Sackfield ...; And sold by W. Mears, ... 1719., 1719. Sm. 4to. [xxii], 201, [5] pp. 10 folding engraved copperplates, 5 figs. (pp. 24, 54, 75, 112), half-title is a publisher's ad for Boerhaave, rear publisher's ads [2 ff.], head and tail-pieces; title edges chipped. With errata. Title (+ p.101) perforated stamp and with a rubber stamp on verso, of the John Crerar Library, eight plates with the ex-library rubber stamp on versos; waterstained throughout. WITH FREQUENT EARLY INK CORRECTIONAL NOTES. Modern half blind-stamped dark calf, gilt spine title, raised bands, marbled paper over boards, new endleaves, bindery ticket at rear: Pat M. Bruno. Inscription on recto of front blank (verso is ad for Boerhaave book), "W. --- 1720 Power." SPURIOUS EDITION OF DESAGULIERS' FAMOUS PRIVATE LECTURES CONTAINING NOTES ON BOYLE'S AIR PUMP AND NEWTON ON COLOR THEORY. FIRST ENLARGED EDITION, early issue, without "All carefully Examined and Corrected by Mr. Desaguliers" on title [which otherwise is re-titled, "Lectures of Experimental Philosophy"]. Includes: Sir Isaac Newton's Colours. Proposition. Lights which differ in Colour, differ also in Degrees of Refrangibility. Initially published without the author's permission and then, by evidence of the printed Preface, agreed to issue the book with an erratum. There are multiple forms of this edition as different copies collate differently (Andrade, Kenney, Honeyman copies). The Honeyman copy, called a second edition, has two title-pages, and the Preface by Desaguliers, with an imprint of 1719. There are also differences in the title-pages. The fiasco of the unauthorized edition is the cause of the various issue differences. "Perhaps Dawson hoped ... to ingratiate himself with his patron, but instead he incurred the wrath of the lecturer. Immediately Desaguliers became aware of the book, which he called 'ill put together, sadly transcrib'd and worse corrected', he approached the booksellers. He found that two-thirds of the imprint had already been sold by Messrs Mears, Creake and Sackfield, but they paid him ten guineas 'to pacifie me'. They also promised to insert into all remaining copies a preface that Desaguliers would write, together with a substantial errata. The preface follows the Dawson dedication in some copies of the book entitled, A System of Experimental Philosophy, but precedes it in another version called Lectures in Experimental Philosophy." See: Carpenter, pp. 34-5, 119. Contents: Mechanical experiments, Mechanical powers & definitions; How to make a heavy Body seem to rise it self; gravity, balance, leaver, pulley, wheel axle, wedge, screw, laws of nature, hydrostatics; Description of Robert Boyle's Air-Pump (uses & experiments); How to make an air vacuum; Barometers, Thermometers, Hydrometers; Catoptrichs; Dioptrichs; Sir Isaac Newton's Colours; Condensing Engine; "Rowley's Horary being a machine to represent the Motion of the Moon about the Earth, and the Earth, Venus and Mercury about the Sun." The preface, written by Desaguliers himself, explains that this volume of lectures was released "before I designed to publish them." He then retells how Paul Dawson "took a copy of the lectures ... that they may be service to him when he went thro' my courses, and they were afterwards sold and published without my knowledge." He obtained a copy of the text and made numerous corrections - thus the micro-print 1 ½ page errata. The he invites the owner to annotate the book throughout "before he begins to read the lectures." And indeed, the owner named Powers did annotate this copy - clear evidence he read that Preface. (A2-3). The DNB asserts that Desaguliers, "held in great esteem by Sir Isaac Newton," "is said to have been the first to deliver learned lectures to general audiences. Lectures by him, at his London house were widely attended and were made attractive by experiments." In addition it mentions that Paul Dawson was responsible for the work and that Desaguliers himself "disavowed" himself of the edition. - DNB (pp. 850-1). Nicholas A Hans describes the types of persons attending Desaguliers' lectures: "merchants, craftsmen and clerks, and his private audiences consisted of gentlemen and courtiers and included ladies as well." - Nicholas A Hans, New Trends in Education in the Eighteenth Century, (1951), p. 141. Westfall says of Desaguliers, he "became a fixture at the meetings [of the Royal Society], where he carried out sets of experiments intimately related to various aspects of Newtonian natural philosophy. Some of his experiments, such as the transmission of heat through a vacuum, influenced Newton's views, and other found their way into the third edition of the Principia." - Never at Rest, pp. 685-6. Writing for the DSB, A. Rupert Hall, points out that Desaguliers did not produce his own version of these lectures until 1734, "when he took occasion to denounce this unauthorized version..." - DSB, IV, pp. 43-6. John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683-1744), born at La Rochelle, emigrated to England in 1685 [as a Huguenot refugee, hidden in a tub at 2-years of age], studied at Oxford, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1714. As the Society's experimenter and a close friend of Newton he often verified Newton's theories through experimentation. "In 1717 he published Physico-Mechanical Lectures, an eighty-page abstract of the twenty-two lectures of his course. Although not authorized by Desaguliers, the present work is the first full account of his lectures, edited by his student Paul Dawson. Primarily of interest as a textbook of Newtonian physics, many chemical topics are included. The first issue appeared with the title A System of Experimental Philosophy." REFERENCES: Bakken [title: "Lectures of experimental philosophy ... 1719"] pp. 52-3; Goodison, English Barometers 1680-1860, p. 369; Keynes, Boyle, 366, pp. 122-9; Roy G. Neville, I, p. 354 [second issue]; Poggendorff, I, 554; Wellcome II, p. 451; Wheeler 249. Not in Babson, Barchas, Gray, or Verne L. Roberts catalogues. See: DSB, IV, p. 45; Taylor, Mathematical Practitioners 1714-1840, 35; Audrey T. Carpenter, John Theophilus Desaguliers: A Natural Philosopher, Engineer and Freemason in Newtonian England, Bloomsbury Academic, 2011. FULL TITLE: A System of Experimental Philosophy Prov'd by Mechanicks, wherein the principles and laws of Physicks, Mechanicks, Hydrostaticks, and Opticks, are demonstrated and explained at large, by a great number of curious experiments. . . To which is added, Sir Isaac Newton's colours: the description of the condensing engine, with its apparatus: and Rowley's Horary; a machine representing the motion of the Moon about the Earth; Venus and Mercury about the Sun, according to the Copernican System.
      [Bookseller: Jeff Weber Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-11-24           Check availability:      Biblio    


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