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Jeremy Norman's historyofscience

Polyanthea opus suavissimis floribus exornatum . .

Polyanthea opus suavissimis floribus exornatum . .

Nani Mirabelli, Domenico Nani Mirabelli, Domenico (ca. 1455 - after 1528). Polyanthea opus suavissimis floribus exornatum . . . Folio. [12], CCCXXXIX, [1]ff. Title-page and dedication printed in red. Hand-colored woodcut on first leaf of text showing the author surrounded by important religious and secular figures; decorative initials, the first printed in red and hand-illuminated; rubrication and flourishes through leaf LXXX. Savona: Francesco Silva, 1503. 297 x 207 mm. 19th century full vellum gilt, all edges gilt, front cover a bit warped. Occasional faint dampstains, but a very good copy. First Edition of this enormously popular encyclopedic work, one of the first general reference works produced for the printed-book market. "The conception of the reference work compiled from a neutral stance, for the common good, to cater to a wide range of interests, and by multiple contributors working collaboratively at one time and over time was honed in early modern Latin reference works like the Polyanthea" (Blair, Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age [2010], p. 172). The work's compiler, Domenico Nani Mirabelli, was a rector of schools, archpriest of the cathedral in Savona, and also served as papal secretary. The Polyanthea contains selections from the writings of over 150 authors from Aristotle to Dante, arranged in alphabetical order and covering subjects in the fields of classical antiquity, medieval history, natural history and medicine. In the preface to the work Nani Mirabelli "boasted that he had selected the best of literature, appropriate for the moral edification of young and old and of both sexes, and desired it to "be useful to as many people as possible" . . . He listed 163 authors excerpted and acknowledged that some of these had mocked the Holy Scriptures and taken positions contrary to the Catholic truth. But thanks to his careful selection, Nani promised safe passage through the shoals of pagan literature-both the raciness of Ovid or Horace and the obscurity of Aristotle-for the moral edification of Christians . . . At the same time as he played up the religious themes, Nani identified his principal audience as young people studying rhetoric. For them especially, Nani was proud to offer definitions and descriptions; Latin translations of all Greek expressions; sentences of philosophers, historians, and poets in Latin and Greek; and a tabular outline of the larger topics. The early Polyanthea served in part as a dictionary of hard words, offering in addition to the major articles, many very short ones, with just a definition, a Greek etymology, and one or even no quotation as an example" (Blair, pp. 177-178). The Polyanthea went through at least 41 editions between 1503 and 1681, nearly all of which were revised and expanded by their successive editors. Like other popular reference works of the early modern period, the Florilegia tended to suffer hard usage and copies of the first edition, especially in good condition, are now scarce. Blair was able to locate 20 copies of the first edition cited in online library catalogues; most of these copies are in Italy. OCLC records 10 copies, three of which (Newberry Library, Harvard and U. Chicago) are in the United States. Collinson, Encyclopedias: Their History Throughout the Ages (1964).
Myotomia reformata

Myotomia reformata

Cowper, William Cowper, William (1666-1709). Myotomia reformata. . . . Folio. [12], lxxvii, 194pp. Fronts. & 66 magnificent plates (plus 1 outline plate), double-page engraved table, numerous fine head- & tailpieces, fascinating historiated initials with myological motifs, diagrams in text. London: Printed for Robert Knaplock, William & John Innys & Jacob Tonson, 1724. 510 x 332 mm. Modern full calf preserving 18th-century spine. Minor wear and browning, but very good. First Folio Edition. One of the most beautiful atlases of the 18th century, Cowper's Myotomia made a modest first appearance in 1694 as an octavo with 10 plates. Cowper worked until his death on a new edition, which was finally published posthumously under the supervision and at the expense of Richard Mead (1673-1754). This new sumptuous folio with 66 plates, some after Rubens and Raphael, and others after nature, ranks as one of the most artistic anatomical publicatons of the period, not only for the quality of the plates, but for the overall printing, especially the ingenious historiated initials with myotomical motifs. The text of this edition also contains a long introduction on muscular mechanics by Dr. Henry Pemberton, editor of the 1726 edition of Newton's Principia. The Myotomia was the most complete atlas of the muscles published up to that time in any language, and should be considered on a par with the very greatest atlases of the period by Albinus and Cheselden. See Garrison-Morton 1214, 2730 & 3247. Choulant/Frank 253. Russell 210. Cole, History 5 & 6, reproducing historiated initial. Hahn & Dumaitre, Histoire de la medecine et du livre medical, pp. 263 & 268; 279-80 & 318 reproducing illustrations. Roberts & Tomlinson, Fabric of the Body, pp. 415-17.
Report R-196. Programming for Whirlwind I. June 11

Report R-196. Programming for Whirlwind I. June 11, 1951

Saxenian, Hrand Saxenian, Hrand (1924-2014). Report R-196. Programming for Whirlwind. Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. Mimeographed document. [1], 61, ix ff. 8 plates. Cambridge: Electronic Computer Division, Servomechanisms Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 11, 1951. 280 x 218 mm. Original soft-cover printed binder, labeled "Copy 30" in manuscript; uneven fading, top edges a bit frayed, small chip in lower spine. Very good. Stamp of Walter S. Attridge, Jr. on the front cover. First Printing of the programming manual for the Whirlwind I, MIT's first digital computer. Rare-OCLC lists only two copies (MIT and Minuteman Library Network), and we catalogued one other in Origins of Cyberspace. The Whirlwind I, developed by Jay Forrester and his team at MIT between 1944 and 1953, was the fastest machine of its day, and the first machine capable of real-time computations Designed with a revolutionary bit-parallel architecture-the ancestor of our modern computer architecture-the Whirlwind was responsible for many advances in computer technology: Magnetic core random-access memory (introduced in 1953), self-checking procedures, sophisticated visual display facilities, feedback control loops, and techniques for sending digital data over telephone lines. Most importantly, the Whirlwind I was the first to use a three-dimensional random-access magnetic core memory (introduced in 1953), which represented "a fundamental turning point in the development of computer architectures" (Williams, History of Computing Technology, p. 386). Origins of Cyberspace 612.
Remarks upon the railway system of France. Manuscript

Remarks upon the railway system of France. Manuscript

Vignoles, Charles de Vignoles, Charles Blacker (1793-1875). Remarks upon the railway system of France. Manuscript document in a secretarial hand, signed by Vignoles on the last text leaf (f. 71). [2, blank], 71, [2, blank]ff. 4 Trafalgar Square, London, December 1842. 323 x 210 mm. Original plain wrappers, spine and corners chipped; preserved in a 19th-century portfolio (boards, cloth backstrip), slightly worn. Fine. Unpublished Book-Length Document on Railways by Charles Vignoles, an influential British engineer and pioneer of railway construction. In the 1820s Vignoles worked with the Rennies on the London & Brighton and Liverpool & Manchester railways; in the 1830s he helped to build Ireland's first railway system; and in the 1840s and 1850s he was employed by several European governments to oversee the construction of various railway lines and bridges. In 1836 Vignoles introduced to Britain the "Vignoles rail," a flat-bottomed flanged rail designed by American inventor Robert L. Stevens; this type of rail is now used worldwide. Vignoles's manuscript "Remarks," a detailed economic analysis of the French railway system, was prepared in response to the French government's adoption in 1842 of the "Thiers Plan" to conduct a much-needed expansion and improvement of the country's railways. France had built its first railway in 1823, but for various political and economic reasons the French were slow to embrace this new form of transport, and by the early 1840s France had only 300 miles of railways in operation compared to Britain's 1900. In the 1830s the French government consulted Vignoles about a proposed London-to-Paris railway, during which time he met often with Adolphe Thiers (author of the Thiers Plan), who was then serving as France's Minister of the Interior. Vignoles advised Thiers extensively on railroad construction and funding, advocating for government involvement in both to correct some of the defects in the free-market system that had spawned Britain's complicated rail network. Thiers evidently heeded Vignoles's advice, as his 1842 plan called for a combination of public subsidies and private investment: The French government would supply the land, pay for infrastructure and own the rail system, while private railway companies would cover operating costs and furnish track, stations and rolling stock. The scheme was unfortunately contradictory and confusing, leading to conflict between public and private interests and delaying "the development of French regional rail networks. Vignoles described the current state of France's railway project in his "Remarks": France has shaken off the apathy and indifference, that seemed, at one time, to have closed her public mind against appreciating the boon in store for her, and has seized the favourable moment for executing the long-delayed project of her railways . . . With reference to the broad enquiry into the principles and system, on which these new lines of intercourse should be established, in any country, the very first questions must be, 'Are Railways to be considered in the light of mere Mercantile transactions, not to be undertaken, except with the prospect of a remunerating profit? Or, are they to be regarded as great and beneficial works, to be constructed for the improvement of a Country, and to be sustained by the hand of Government, when private means are insufficient?' It has already been answered officially in France, in favor of the latter principle, and yet it would seem, by the encouragement held out to private Speculators, that there were efforts still making, to unite these two distinct objects; and I cannot help surmising, that between attempting both, the great gift of Railway intercourse, for many parts of France, may be indefinitely postponed . . ." Vignoles's manuscript includes several tables analyzing railway construction and operating costs, projected receipts for carrying passengers and various types of freight, and other pertinent economic data.
Carnet de voyage]. Manuscript

Carnet de voyage]. Manuscript

Baillio-Lamothe Baillio-Lamothe. Manuscript notebook recording Baillio-Lamothe's field studies as an engineering student at the École des Mines (Paris). [2], 3-134, [18]pp., plus 5 loose sheets of notes, sketches, etc. in a pocket inside the back cover; lacking the first leaf [pp. 1-2]. Illustrated with numerous technical drawings of mining machinery, plans of mine layouts, etc. N.p., n.d. [1820]. 168 x 114 mm. Bound wallet-style in old vellum manuscript leaf, linen tie, some soiling. First and last leaves a bit soiled, but very good. Laid in is a letter to Baillio dated 8 April 1818, signed by Louis Becquey (1760-1849), Directeur-Général des Ponts et Chaussées et des Mines; the letter names Baillio-Lamothe an "élève externe" (external pupil) at the École. Remarkable document from the early days of the Industrial Revolution in France, recording field studies at several European coal mines undertaken by Baillio-Lamothe, an engineering student at Paris's École des Mines. Baillio-Lamothe's first name and history remain obscure, but he is known to have prepared at least one illustration for the Annales des mines (Vol. 13 [1826]). The Industrial Revolution, which originated in Great Britain in the latter part of the 18th century, did not spread to France until the end of the Napoleonic Era in 1815. One of the major factors in this delay was the primitive state of French coal mining at that time. Technological innovations in manufacturing, such as steam-powered engines and mechanized looms, required coal for their production and use, but most of France's coal deposits were inconveniently located and expensive to mine; moreover, during Napoleon's reign France had prioritized war and conquest over the development of its domestic economic resources. Because the Napoleonic Wars with England cut off economic and technological communication with England, and England led the world in development of steam and manufacturing technology, France fell behind in these fields, and did not begin to catch up until after the wars were concluded. To improve France's coal-mining industry Louis Becquey, who became Directeur-Général des Ponts et Chaussées et des Mines in 1817, established a program at the École des Mines whereby engineering students like Baillio-Lamothe were sent to mining operations in France and other countries to learn mining techniques first hand. These students were required to keep detailed written accounts of what they learned during their travels, and journals such as the one we are offering "are now a part of the [École de Mines'] great heritage" (Hatchuel, p. 24). In April 1818 Baillio-Lamothe matriculated at the École as an "external student" (i.e., someone not from the École Polytechnique), as recorded in the letter from Becquey laid into Baillio's notebook. Two years later he spent the weeks between 28 June and 7 August 1820 traveling to coal mines in the north of France, Belgium, and Prussia. His journal contains detailed accounts of mining machinery and operations, many illustrated with precisely executed technical drawings; these include some remarkable sketches on pp. 130-131 of a steam engine ('machine à vapeur") Baillio had seen in operation at Fürth. The journal also records Baillio's encounters with fellow students Gabriel Lamé (1795-1870) and Émile Clapeyron (1799-1864), both noted mathematicians and engineers who made important contributions to these fields. Hatchuel, "École des Mines de Paris: A few lessons from a long history," in Subrahmanian, ed., Engineering a Better Future, pp. 21-32.
Anatomia dal vero disegnata nel 1821 da Gio. Fran.co Ferrero

Anatomia dal vero disegnata nel 1821 da Gio. Fran.co Ferrero

Ferrero, Giovanni Francesco Ferrero, Giovanni Francesco (fl. 1820-60). Anatomia dal vero disegnata nel 1821 da Gio. Fran.co Ferrero [manuscript title in pencil on first leaf]. Manuscript sketchbook. 42 unnumbered leaves, all but 13 containing anatomical drawings, mostly in pencil and sanguine, on one or both sides. Anatomical watercolor pasted down on 8v. N.p. [Rome?], 1821. 275 x 205 mm. Later half calf over green paper boards, handwritten paper label on front cover, upper corners a bit bent. Minor foxing, some offsetting from drawings, but very good. Bookplate and ownership inscription of Piergiorgio Borio. Giovanni Francesco Ferrero, a native of Piedmont, spent most of his career in Rome working as an engraver. In 1830 he published Raccolta delle migliori composizioni di Raffaello, Pussino, Domenichino e di altri celebri pittori, a collection of 150 engravings after Raphael, Poussin, Domenichino and other celebrated Italian painters, and in 1845 he issued an engraved anatomical broadside captioned "Proporzioni, osteologia, miologia esterna, ed uso principale dei muscoli" (Proportions, osteology, extermal myology and the principal use of muscles), showing skeletons and écorché figures with their proportions marked. The sketchbook we are offering here, produced in the early part of Ferrero's career, contains 39 finely executed anatomical drawings on the first 29 leaves; most of these are in pencil and sanguine, with a primary focus on the musculature. Curiously, the drawing on 29v depicts a suit of armor. After the blank leaves are a series of drawings in pencil and grey watercolor on academic subjects.
Autograph letter signed to Thos. Martineau Jr.

Autograph letter signed to Thos. Martineau Jr.

Spurzheim, Johann Gaspar Spurzheim, Johann Gaspar (1776-1832). Autograph letter signed to Thomas Martineau Junior (1795-1824). 2pp. plus integral address leaf. London, 18 April 1815. Lacuna repaired where seal was broken (not affecting text), remains of mounting slip on address leaf, but very good. From J. G. Spurzheim, co-developer with Gall of the pseudoscience of phrenology, which holds that a person's character and personality traits can be determined by reading the bumps and fissures of the skull; it is credited with furthering the development of neuroscience by promoting the concept of localization of function in the brain. His correspondent was Thomas Martineau Jr., surgeon and founder of the Norfolk and Norwich Eye Infirmary, who was apparently interested in engaging Spurzheim to lecture on phrenology. Martineau, a member of the prominent Martineau family of Norwich, was the older brother of Harriet Martineau (1802-76), the famous political writer and social theorist, and of theologian and philosopher James Martineau (1805-1900). Both Harriet and James wrote about phrenology extensively, with Harriet endorsing the doctrine in the second edition of her Letters on Mesmerism (1851) and James taking a more skeptical view, e.g. in his Essays Philosophical and Political (1870). Spurzheim's 1815 letter thus documents one of the earliest connections between the Martineau family and phrenology. After collaborating with Gall on several phrenological works, Spurzheim set up on his own as a lecturer and writer on phrenology, traveling extensively throughout Britain and Europe. In the present letter he discusses the content of his lectures and sets out his terms: ". . . I am aware that no one will and can subscribe without knowing the time when the Lectures are to be delivered. I now foresee that I cannot go to Norwich during this Summer. I will, therefore, answer at least your other questions. I show the structure of the brain and deliver, besides, twelve Lectures on the practical part of our doctrine; thirty subscribers are requested before I begin a course; the price of a Ticket is two guineas; the Tickets are transferable. I am indifferent about the Lecturing-hour, but it must be fixed in the list of Subscribers, otherwise there are always who object against any hour. I lecture at least four times a well; if I can lecture every day, except Sundays, the better."
Report on the preparation of programmes for the EDSAC and the use of the library of sub-routines

Report on the preparation of programmes for the EDSAC and the use of the library of sub-routines

Wilkes, Maurice V. Wilkes, Maurice (1913-2010) et al. Report on the preparation of programmes for the EDSAC and the use of the library of subroutines. Dittoed document in two colors. [3], 40 [2], 26, 39, xi ff. 323 x 201 mm. N.p., September 1950. Original tan printed wrappers, cloth spine. Fine. Stamp of John Todd (1911-2007) on the front wrapper. First Edition, One of No More Than 100 Copies Issued. The first report on how to program an operational stored-program computer-Cambridge University's EDSAC, the world's second stored-program computer and the first to be truly usable for large-scale operations. The machine was constructed at the University's Mathematical Laboratory (now the Computer Laboratory) by Maurice Wilkes, who was inspired by John von Neumann's account of the EDVAC; it ran its first program on 6 May 1949. The Report on the Preparation of Programmes for the EDSAC was prepared by Wilkes and a fifteen-man team of researchers at the Mathematical Laboratory, and distributed to no more than one hundred people-"everyone we thought would be interested, both in the United Kingdom and abroad" (Wilkes, Memoirs of a Computer Pioneer, p. 149). The material in this dittoed report was published with very few changes in Wilkes, Wheeler, and Gill's Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer (1951). This copy bears the ownership stamp of mathematician John Todd, professor of mathematics at Caltech and pioneer of numerical analysis and high-speed computer programming. Origins of Cyberspace 1027.
Adversus Iacobi Sylvii de pulsio num anatomicarum calumnias

Adversus Iacobi Sylvii de pulsio num anatomicarum calumnias, pro Andrea Vesalio apologia . .

Henerus, Renatus [Vesalius, Andreas (1514-64).] Henerus, Renatus. Adversus Iacobi Sylvii depulsionum anatomicarum calumnias, pro Andrea Vesalio apologia . . . Small 8vo. [16], 134, [2]pp. Venice: N.p., 1555. 160 x 100 mm. Limp boards ca. 1555, front hinge cracking but sound. Minor staining, wormholes in upper margins (affecting headlines and a few letters of text) largely filled in. Very good. First Edition of the first significant defense of Vesalius and his Fabrica against the criticisms of Jacobus Sylvius (1478-1555), who had been Vesalius's professor of anatomy at the University of Paris. This is one of a tiny group of publications contemporaneous with the Fabrica that address Vesalius's work in their titles. Rare on the market-Rare Book Hub, whose records go back to the 19th century, shows no record of any auction sales of Henerus's work. Sylvius, a traditionalist and defender of Galenic medicine, was appalled at the growing influence of Vesalius's Fabrica, which had disproven many of Galen's claims about human anatomy. In 1551 Sylvius published the splenetic Vaesani cuiusdam calumniarum in Hippocratis Galenque rem anatomicam depulsio [A refutation of the slanders of a madman against the anatomy of Hippocrates and Galen], hailing Galen as "the sole parent of anatomy" and denouncing "that insolent and ignorant slanderer [Vesalius] who has treasonably attacked his teachers with violent mendacity and time and again distorted the truth of nature" (quoted in O'Malley, p. 247). In response another one of Sylvius's students, Renatus Henerus, issued the pro-Vesalian Adversus Iacobi Sylvii depulsionum anatomicarum calumnias, in which "after expressing his displeasure with Sylvian fanaticism and the cult of Galen, Henerus very sensibly remarked that Galen would have been one of the first to cry out against the authority his own name had acquired to the detriment of scientific advancement. Furthermore, it was foolish, he stated, to deny Galen's very words indicating that he had been restricted to research in nonhuman materials [such as apes, dogs and pigs] . . . Recognizing the fallibility of Galen as a matter of fact, Henerus proceeded point by point to refute Sylvius's arguments against the Fabrica as they had been presented in the Vaesanus. The defense was a clear-cut expression of the Vesalian victory that would henceforth permit a fairly consistent development of a scientific anatomy and physiology" (O'Malley, p. 266). O'Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, pp. 246-247; 265-266.
An inquiry into the origin of the antiquities of America. S. G. Morton's copy

An inquiry into the origin of the antiquities of America. S. G. Morton’s copy

Delafield, John, Jr. Delafield, John, Jr. (1812-66). An inquiry into the origins of the antiquities of America . . . with an appendix, containing notes, and "A view of the causes of the superiority of the men of the northern over those of the southern hemisphere," by James Lakey, M.D. 142pp. 10 lithograph plates (5 colored), plus 17.5-foot (5.334-meter) folding lithograph frontispiece printed on tissue paper, tipped to the leaf facing the title. New York: Colt, Burgess & Co.; London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman; Paris: A. & W. Galignani & Co., 1839. 287 x 245 mm. Original cloth, all edges gilt, stamped in gilt and blind, spine repaired, minor spotting and edgewear. Minor foxing especially to frontispiece and a few plates, frontispiece leaf starting, but very good. Pencil annotations on front flyleaves. From the library of American anthropologist Samuel George Morton (1799-1851), with slip inscribed "For S. G. Morton Oct. 25/42" tipped to front pastedown; bookplate of Morton's son, Thomas G. Morton M.D., pasted beneath; bookplate signed "B. M. [Bertha Morton] Gittings." First Edition, issue with New York imprint (another issue exists with the Cincinnati imprint of Burgess & Co.). Like many early anthropologists, Delafield was concerned with discovering the origins of the aboriginal American races-whether they had descended from Old World peoples such as the Egyptians or Israelites, migrated from Asia, or arisen sui generis on the North and South American continents. He was particularly interested in the ancient tumuli left by the Mound Builders culture in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes regions, concluding that these had been built by ancient Egyptians "on the basis of 'evidence' gleaned from Humboldt's illustrations of monuments in South and Central America, from ancient and modern skulls, and from the cranium of an Egyptian mummy" (Achim, p. 38). The remarkable 17.5-foot frontispiece to Delafield's work reproduces, at about a 1:1 ratio, the 16th-century Boturini Codex (now in the Museo Nacional de Anthropologia in Mexico City), depicting the legendary journey of the Aztecs from Aztlán to the Valley of Mexico. This copy is from the library of Samuel George Morton, founder of the polygenist "American School" of ethnography, based on the idea that the various human races had all been created separately and that each race possessed specific immutable characteristics. To buttress his theories Morton amassed an enormous collection of skulls from around the world, measuring and comparing their cranial capacities and ranking the races by brain size-Caucasians, of course, being at the top, followed by Asians, Polynesians, Native Americans and Africans. Morton's Crania Americana, a systematic study of skulls from the native peoples of North and South America, was published the same year as Delafield's Antiquities of America. Achim, "Skulls and idols," in Kohl, Podgomy and Gänger, Nature and Antiquities: The Making of Archeology in the Americas, pp. 23-44.
Zur affinen Feldtheorie. Offprint

Zur affinen Feldtheorie. Offprint

Einstein, Albert Einstein, Albert (1879-1955). (1) Zur allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie. Offprint from Sitzungsberichte der preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (1923). 32-38pp. 257 x 185 mm. Original printed wrappers. (2) Bemerkung zu meiner Arbeit "Zur allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie." Offprint from Sitzungsberichte der preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (1923). 76-77pp. Single sheet, unbound as issued. 265 x 183 mm. (3) Zur affinen Feldtheorie. Offprint from Sitzungsberichte der preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (1923). 137-140pp. 257 x 185 mm. Original printed wrappers. Together 3 items. Light toning but very good to fine. First Editions, Offprint Issues. The first three of the four short papers Einstein published in 1923 on Eddington's program for a unified field theory (the fourth paper, "The theory of the affine field," appeared in Nature 112, pp. 448-449). "Einstein's own initial reaction was that Eddington had created a beautiful framework without content. Nevertheless, he began to examine what could be made of these ideas and finally decided that 'I must absolutely publish since Eddington's idea must be thought through to the end.' That was what he wrote to [Hermann] Weyl. Three days later he wrote to him again about unified field theories: 'Above stands the marble smile of implacable Nature which has endowed us more with longing than with intellectual capacity.' Thus, romantically, began Einstein's adventures with general connections, adventures that were to continue until his final hours" (Pais, Subtle is the Lord, p. 343). Einstein eventually concluded that "the Weyl-Eddington [theories] are unable to bring progress to physical knowledge" (ibid.). Weil, Albert Einstein Bibliography, 131, *132.