Smeaton’s papers on scientific instruments: scarce 1814 volume in fine binding

Smeaton’s papers on scientific instruments: scarce 1814 volume in fine binding

Stock Number: 2405335101


Civil Engineer John Smeaton's papers on the air pump, hygrometer, pyrometer, divided scales of astronomical instruments, and many others, with numerous plates






John Smeaton

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Engineering antiques, Bookshop, Scientific, Technology, Maritime Books, Scientific Books, Early Technology, Navigational instruments, Physics & Chemistry


John Smeaton, The Miscellaneous Papers of John Smeaton, Civil Engineer, &c. F.R.S., Comprising His Communications to the Royal Society, Printed in the Philosophical Transactions (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown), 1814

4to; pp. viii, 208 [12 plates, two double-page]

The very scarce supplement to Smeaton’s collected Reports, complete in and of itself, featuring his papers on scientific instruments and experiments. This volume was printed in a smaller edition than the first three volumes of the Reports (only 504 copies), and covers very different ground. Papers include:

– ‘Some improvements […] in the air-pump’
– ‘An account of some improvements of the mariner’s compass’
– ‘Description of a new method of observing the heavenly bodies, out of the meridian’
– ‘Description of an improvement in the application of the quadrant of altitude to a celestial globe’
– ‘A description of a new pyrometer’
– ‘Description of a new hygrometer’
– ‘Observations on the graduation of astronomical instruments; with an explanation of the method invented by the late Mr. Henry Hindley, of York, clock-maker, to divide circles into any given number of parts’

Very good condition: half-leather binding with marbled paper covered boards, raised bands to the spine, gilt spine decoration and title-label and marbling to all edges; internally somewhat browned throughout as usual, with faint damp staining to the plates and a small area of damp staining to the prelims (but see pictures). An excellent example of this major work on instruments by the leading civil engineer and philosophical instrument maker of his day.

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GB Boris Jardine Rare Books

Boris Jardine Rare Books specializes in history of science and technology, and scientific instruments.

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