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  • Keywords = science & medicine
  • Oeconomia animalis, novis in medicina hypothesibus superstructa, & mechanicè explicata... by CHARLETON, Walter. CHARLETON, Walter. ~ Oeconomia animalis, novis in medicina hypothesibus superstructa, & mechanicè explicata... London: Roger Daniel and John Redmayne, 1659.
    First edition in Latin (issued simultaneously in English) of this important work in the history of physiology. ‘In 1659 Charleton published a mechanistic account of… (more)

    First edition in Latin (issued simultaneously in English) of this important work in the history of physiology. ‘In 1659 Charleton published a mechanistic account of physiology in Latin (Oeconomia animalis) and English (Natural History of Nutrition, Life, and Voluntary Motion), which included the suggestion that there was no increase in volume when a muscle contracted. Charleton was here rejecting the Cartesian account which attributed muscle shortening to its inflation by animal spirit. Charleton’s assessment was confirmed experimentally by Jonathan Goddard in 1669’ (Henry in Oxford DNB). Wellcome II, not in Krivatsy (nor NLM online catalogue, which list the Amsterdam second edition of 1659 and later London editions only); Russell, British Anatomy, 133; Wing C3685. OCLC locates US copies at Sutro Library (Ca), Northwestern and Bryn Athyn only.

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  • Histoire de l’origine de la médecine, par M. Coakley Lettsom... traduite de l’anglois par M. H***. by LETTSOM, John Coakley. LETTSOM, John Coakley. ~ Histoire de l’origine de la médecine, par M. Coakley Lettsom... traduite de l’anglois par M. H***. ‘Londres & se trouve à Paris, Rue des Cordiers, No. 4; et chez La Ve[uve] Hérissant; Théophile Barrois le jeune,’ 1787.
    First edition in French, bearing an obviously false ‘Londres’ imprint, of History of the Origin of Medicine (London, 1778). Lettsom, the physician and Quaker philanthropist… (more)

    First edition in French, bearing an obviously false ‘Londres’ imprint, of History of the Origin of Medicine (London, 1778). Lettsom, the physician and Quaker philanthropist was a prolific author on medical subjects and his name is especially associated with the foundation of the Medical Society of London (as a Quaker, he was excluded from the Royal College of Physicians). Wellcome III, 508; Blake 268; Rochedieu, p. 187.

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  • Traité de l’Incertitude des Sciences. Traduit de l’anglois [by Nicolas Berger]. by [BAKER, Thomas]. [BAKER, Thomas]. ~ Traité de l’Incertitude des Sciences. Traduit de l’anglois [by Nicolas Berger]. Paris: Pierre Miquelin and Jacques Piget, 1714.
    First edition in French of Baker’s popular Reflections upon Learning (1699), a work designed to display the inadequacies of human knowledge and reason and to… (more)

    First edition in French of Baker’s popular Reflections upon Learning (1699), a work designed to display the inadequacies of human knowledge and reason and to emphasise the ultimate need for belief in revelation. It proved controversial (provoking an angry response from geologist and physician John Woodward) and was widely reprinted in England. Bacon and Descartes, the twin pillars of scientific civilisation, raised on either side of the English Channel, are closely considered, though the spirit of scientific enquiry is frequently disparaged. The work of a conservative Anglican antiquary, its reception in France is perhaps surprising. The French translation was reprinted at Amsterdam the following year. Rochedieu, p. 15.

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  • on flatulence
    Pneumato-Pathologia seu tractatus de flatulentis humani corporis affectibus... by COMBALUSIER, François de Paule. COMBALUSIER, François de Paule. ~ Pneumato-Pathologia seu tractatus de flatulentis humani corporis affectibus... Paris: Joannes de Bure, 1747.
    First edition of this Parisian physician’s first book, a treatise on the causes of flatulence. It was translated into French in an edition of 1754.… (more)

    First edition of this Parisian physician’s first book, a treatise on the causes of flatulence. It was translated into French in an edition of 1754. Blake 96; Wellcome II, 376.

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  • NEILL, Hugh. ~ The practice in the Liverpool Ophthalmic Infirmary, in the year 1834; being the first special report... [Liverpool: D. Marples & Co.] for W. Grapel in Liverpool and Longman, Rees, Orme, and Co. in London, 1835.
    First edition. Though entitled “the first special report”, no further issues of the series were produced. The work includes an interesting collection of cases of… (more)

    First edition. Though entitled “the first special report”, no further issues of the series were produced. The work includes an interesting collection of cases of named individuals (“William Ablett, aged 9, at play, ran a fork through the Cornea of the right eye, and punctured the Lens... James Greenow, 20 years of age, of Little Woolton, had the stalk of a tobacco pipe thrust through the Cornea” etc) and gives a peculiarly detailed insight into this aspect of public health in the Victorian industrial city. Neill was an enthusiastic advocate of the use of strychnine in opthalmology. This copy of the Special Report evidently belonged to one of his doctors, who made several small notes at the end of his part in a few of the treatments described in the text.

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  • Elements of the Art of Dyeing... translated from the French by William Hamilton... by BERTHOLLET, Claude Louis. BERTHOLLET, Claude Louis. ~ Elements of the Art of Dyeing... translated from the French by William Hamilton... London: by Stephen Couchman, and sold by J. Johnson, 1791.
    First edition in English of Berthollet’s important scientific contribution to the burgeoning European textile industry. Having collaborated with Lavoisier on the latter’s pioneering chemical nomenclature… (more)

    First edition in English of Berthollet’s important scientific contribution to the burgeoning European textile industry. Having collaborated with Lavoisier on the latter’s pioneering chemical nomenclature and presented some seventeen memoirs to the Academy, the author was already an influential chemist when appointed inspector of dye works and director of the Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins in 1784. The Gobelins had their origins in the workshops of Flemish weavers brought to Paris by Henri IV in 1602 and were formally established by Colbert in 1667 as the Royal Manufactury of Furnishings to the Crown. They became the pre-eminent centre for tapestry weaving in Europe

    In the Éléments de l'art de la teinture Berthollet ‘endeavored to place the ancient craft of dyeing on a scientific basis by a systematic discussion of its procedures, coupled with an attempt to find an adequate set of theoretical principles to explain the chemical actions involved. His explanation was that, depending on the variable physical conditions of temperature, quantity of solvent employed, and so forth, when a cloth was dyed the reciprocal affinities of the particles of the dye, the mordants, and the cloth itself were responsible for the kind and quality of dyeing. The colors produced were due to the oxidation of the mordant by the atmosphere’ (DSB).

    The British edition appeared in the same year as the French, reflecting the market for such a treatise in a country where textile production was becoming one of the most important national industries. A second British edition appeared at Edinburgh the following year and several reprints appeared in the nineteenth century, presumably a measure of the popularity and utility of this scientific manual of dyeing in the British industrial revolution.

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  • Harvey embraced “with both arms”
    BEVERWYCK, Jan van. ~ De calculo renum & vesicae liber singularis. Cum epistolis & consultationibus magnorum virorum. Leyden: Elzevir Press, 1638.
    First edition of this famous work in urology, one of the earliest medical books to accept William Harvey’s account of the circulation of the blood.… (more)

    First edition of this famous work in urology, one of the earliest medical books to accept William Harvey’s account of the circulation of the blood. Beverwyck was a Dutch physician and a relative of Vesalius.

    He sent a copy of this work to Harvey with a letter praising him for his work on circulation, saying “As everyone here wonderingly admires this doctrine, so I too embrace it both both arms in the little book which I send ‘On the calculus of the kidneys and the bladder’”. Harvey replied at length, praising the work with the punning passage: “Pleasing me, learned and elegant, and truly original, your De calculo renum et vesicae, in which you have laid a firm and solid foundation for your name and fame; go on to build further day by day, and erect a splendid monument of your genius. I will, not unwillingly, add my stone...” He went on to provide a detailed and approving critique of Beverwyk’s work on the operation of the kidneys. Keynes, The Life of William Harvey, pp. 271-73. Murphy, History of Urology, p. 78. Willems 463.

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  • Recherches sur les vertus de l’eau de goudron, où l'on joint des Réfléctions Philosophiques sur diverses autres sujets... Avec deux Lettres de l'Auteur... by BERKELEY, George. BERKELEY, George. ~ Recherches sur les vertus de l’eau de goudron, où l'on joint des Réfléctions Philosophiques sur diverses autres sujets... Avec deux Lettres de l'Auteur... Amsterdam: Pierre Mortier, 1745.
    First edition in French of Siris, a Chain of philosophical Reflections and Enquiries concerning the Virtues of Tar-water (1744) and of Berkeley’s two letters on… (more)

    First edition in French of Siris, a Chain of philosophical Reflections and Enquiries concerning the Virtues of Tar-water (1744) and of Berkeley’s two letters on the subject to Thomas Prior.

    ‘In 1744 appeared one of [Berkeley’s] most controversial works. Siris is a reconciliation of medicine with metaphysics, best known for its advocacy of the medicinal value of tar water, a native American preventative distilled from pine resins. Having conducted his own experiments Berkeley made specific claims for its beneficial effect in alleviating fevers, gout, scurvy, and dropsy. In trying to understand the cosmical principles that might explain this he conceived the possibility, which others took up with greater alacrity, that its properties might be those of a universal panacea, operating as condensed light. Siris had exceptional sales, primarily as a home medicine guide, for a few years and was translated into most western European languages, but its medical claims also provoked criticism’ (Oxford DNB).

    Siris is, however, more than just a medical work and the consideration of tar-water led Berkeley into a lengthy chain of reflections on the principles of the universe and of divine providence. Blake p. 43; Wellcome II, p. 149; Rochedieu p. 23.

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