Jeremy Norman's historyofscience

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Remarks on the superinduction of anaesthesia in natural and morbid parturition . . . Charles T. Jackson’s copy

Simpson, James Young Simpson, James Young (1811-70). Remarks on the superinduction of anaesthesia in natural and morbid parturition: With cases illustrative of the use and effects of chloroform in obstetric practice. 48pp. Boston: William Little & Co., 1848. 232 x 145 mm. Original printed wrappers, light wear at extremities, tiny marginal tear in front wrapper, small dampstain. Very good. From the library of Charles T. Jackson (1805-80), discoverer of the anesthetic properties of sulfuric ether, with his signature and note on the front wrapper. First American Edition, originally published in Edinburgh in 1847. Simpson, who held the chair of midwifery at Edinburgh University, adopted ether anesthesia shortly after its introduction into Europe in late 1846, and was the first to use anesthesia in obstetrics. He afterwards became dissatisfied with sulfuric ether as an anesthetic and set himself the task of finding other anesthetic substances without ether's drawbacks. On November 4, 1847 Simpson made his famous discovery of chloroform anesthesia, which he announced in his Account of a New Anaesthetic Agent as a Substitute for Sulphuric Ether (1847) and further described in several other pamphlets, including the Remarks. The first American edition of Simpson's Remarks was published by William B. Little & Co., a Boston pharmacy that manufactured and sold chloroform. This edition adds an appendix containing several letters and testimonials from prominent American medical men, including Charles Jackson, the Boston physician and chemist who discovered the anesthetic properties of sulfuric ether. Jackson's detailed account of his experiences with chloroform is found on pp. 37-41; Jackson marked the spot with two ink lines in the upper margin of p. 37. We are offering Jackson's own copy of this work, which he inscribed on the front wrapper: "Dr. C. T. Jackson / Duplicate copy-p. 37 [referring to his own contribution]." Fulton & Stanton, Centennial of Surgical Anesthesia, no. VI.6.
Apollo 11 mission director's briefing for news media

Apollo 11 mission director’s briefing for news media

Apollo 11; NASA [Apollo 11.] Hage, George H. (1925-2008). Apollo 11 mission director's briefing for news media. Reproduced typescript. 78pp. (irregularly numbered), including diagrams. Washington, DC: NASA, 16 June 1969. 268 x 205 mm. Unbound (stapled). Some damage from paper clips on a few leaves, including rust stains and small marginal tears, minor spotting, but very good. First Printing. On 16 June 1969, one month before the launch of the historic Apollo 11 spaceflight to the moon, George Hage, the Apollo mission's director, held a lengthy and detailed briefing on the project for the news media. The briefing's main purpose was to calm the public's fear-stoked by inflammatory stories in the press-that the Apollo 11 astronauts might bring back to Earth some unknown deadly lunar disease. "One month before the Apollo 11 liftoff, a media briefing was held in Washington to describe the details of the mission and . . . allay any fears that the first landing and return from the Moon's surface posed any danger to life on Earth. The final portion of the briefing was conducted by Air Force colonel John Pickering, who had served on the Interagency Committee on Back Contamination and now held the title director of lunar receiving operations . . . He went to great lengths to describe the procedures that would be followed, from collecting and packaging the samples on the Moon through recovery and transport of the samples and astronauts to the LRL [Lunar Receiving Laboratory] . . . This openness and attention to detail defused this issue for most of the media, and it never surfaced again as a major public concern" (Beattie, Taking Science to the Moon: Lunar Experiments and the Apollo Program, p. 261).
Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen

Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen

Oberth, Hermann Oberth, Hermann (1894-1989). Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen. 8vo. 92pp. 3 folding lithographed plates. Munich & Berlin: R. Oldenbourg, 1923. 254 x 175 mm. Original wrappers, uncut, wrappers a little worn & chipped; boxed. Occasional minor foxing, but very good. First Edition of Oberth's thesis on the rocket in interplanetary space, in which he set out to prove four propositions: (1) that the technology of the time permitted the building of machines capable of rising above the earth's atmosphere; (2) that these machines could attain velocities sufficient to prevent their falling back to earth, or even to escape the earth's gravitational pull; (3) that such machines could be built to carry human beings; and (4) that under certain conditions, their manufacture might be profitable. Oberth demonstrated that a rocket can operate in a vacuum and that it can surpass the velocity of its own exhaust; he also pointed out the superiority of liquid fuels in producing maximum exhaust velocity. He described in detail the designs of a prototypical instrument-carrying rocket and a theoretical space-ship, and developed the first sketchy model of a space station. Oberth's work was anticipated by that of Goddard and of Tsiolkovsky; however, their work went largely unheralded, while Oberth's was greeted enthusiastically in Germany by a band of devotees that eventually became the Verein für Raumschiffahrt (Society for Space Travel). "This partly explains why, when war came in 1939, Germany could so quickly organize an efficient and competent [rocketry] research team" (Biog. Enc. Scientists [2nd ed.]). After the war German rocket technology was transplanted into the United States' rocketry and space programs, greatly enhancing their development. The title-page of Oberth's Rakete calls for only two plates; however, this copy has three-two numbered plates at the end of the work, and an unnumbered plate inserted after page 80. Norman 1604 (2 plates). Ley, Rockets, Missiles and Space Travel, pp. 108-12. Von Braun & Ordway, Hist. Rocketry & Space Travel, pp. 57-59.
Automatic computing: An analysis of arithmetical operations

Automatic computing: An analysis of arithmetical operations

Coombs, A W M; W W Chandler Coombs, Allen W. M. (1911-95); William W. Chandler; Thomas H. Flowers (1905-88); W. Gordon Radley. Research report no. 12719. Automatic computing: An analysis of arithmetical operations. Mimeograph typescript. 29pp., including diagrams. Dollis Hills, London: Post Office Research Station, August 1946. 281 x 219 mm. Original printed wrappers, chipped and frayed at spine, traces of label removal on right margin of front wrapper, ink inscriptions and stamp ca. 1946 on front wrapper. Very good. Bookplate of Erwin Tomash. First Edition. In early 1946 Tommy Flowers, designer of the Colossus, the code-breaking computer built at Bletchley Park during World War II, was chosen to organize the construction of Turing's ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) computer at the Post Office Research Station at Dollis Hills, with Coombs and Chandler as the other members of the team. Flowers initially believed that a basic version of the ACE could be ready by August or September 1946; however, the project was considerably delayed due to manpower shortages and Turing's numerous revisions of the computer's logical design. This is the first edition of one of the extremely rare early reports on ACE that Turing began designing for the National Physical Laboratory in late 1945. All of the authors of this report had worked with Turing at Bletchley Park, where Flowers, Coombs and Chandler served as leaders of the secret wartime codebreaking project that in 1943 produced the Colossus Mark I, the world's first electronic digital computer. The Pilot Model ACE, a smaller version of Turing's original design, went on line on 10 March 1950. Coombs and Chandler went on to build a second and more powerful ACE computer, the MOSAIC (Ministry of Supply Automatic Integrator and Calculator), which became operational in early 1955. All of the early Post Office Research Station computing reports are rare. This is the first one we have handled in more than 50 years of experience. Copeland, The Essential Turing, pp. 395-396.
The antiquity of man in South Africa

The antiquity of man in South Africa, and evolution

Hillier, Alfred Peter Hillier, Alfred Peter (1858-1911). The antiquity of man in South Africa, and evolution. 26pp. Kimberley, [South Africa]: C. H. Hartley and Son, 1890. 201 x 143 mm. Original cloth, gilt-lettered front cover, light edgewear, tiny hole in lower part of spine. Very good. First Separate Edition. The first separate publication on human origins in South Africa to be published in South Africa. As is well known, it was in South Africa that the first fossil remains of Australopithecus africanus, a possible early hominin ancestor of modern humans, were discovered in 1924. Hillier was an English physician who spent his early years in South Africa, returning to London in 1897. Hillier discusses several types of paleolithic stone tools found in gravel deposits in the Cape Colony, "not however made of flint, which substance is nowhere to be found in this district, but of a hard sub-crystalline rock found in the immediate vicinity of the greenstone dykes so numerous in South Africa." Hillier also speculated on the evolution of the various South African races, concluding that "the Bushmen, and probably also the Hottentots, are the true aboriginal inhabitants of Central and Southern Africa." Hillier's paper was read on his behalf before the Eastern Province Literary and Scientific Society in Grahamstown, South Africa, and published in the Grahamstown Journal on 23 and 25 November 1886.
Napoléon Empereur des Français . . . Considerant qu'il importe d'adopter des mesures générales pour prévenir les ravages occasionnés par la petit vérole . . . Manuscript document

Napoléon Empereur des Français . . . Considerant qu’il importe d’adopter des mesures générales pour prévenir les ravages occasionnés par la petit vérole . . . Manuscript document

Napoleon / Vaccination [Napoleon I.] Office of the Governor-General of the Illyrian Provinces. Mesures générales relatives à la propagation de la vaccine [docket identification]. Manuscript government document with engraved heading, signed [illegibly] by an official at the Illyrian Governor-General's office. [8]pp., plus 2 blank leaves (6 bifolia total), tied together with linen tape in the lower left corner. Laybach [Ljubljana], 5 August 1813. 403 x 258 mm. Creased horizontally. Fine. The official government decree establishing a program of smallpox vaccination in the Napoleonic Empire's Illyrian provinces, encompassing what is now Croatia, Slovenia, Gorizia and parts of Austria. The Napoleonic smallpox vaccination program, which extended throughout the Empire, was the most significant public health measure undertaken by Napoleon's government. "The Napoleonic authorities created the vaccination system, including the laws, administration and personnel designed to enforce the vaccination policy . . . They proclaimed decrees, dispatched numerous letters inducing and promoting vaccination at the local level, exerted efforts to overcome resistance and educate the public, turned clergy into civil servants in order to convince people to follow the law, gathered statistical information on vaccination performance, and took measures to isolate cases of smallpox and prevent the disease from spreading" (Grab). The elements of the Illyrian program are set out in the present government document, signed by an official at the Governor-General's palace in Laybach (modern-day Ljubljana). As noted in the document's opening paragraph, the Napoleonic government's intention was to wipe out smallpox entirely-"il importe d'adopter des mesures générales pour prévenir les ravages occassionés par la petite verole et parvenir à l'extinction de cette maladie par la vaccination"-a laudable goal that would not be reached until the latter half of the 20th century. A. Grab, "Smallpox vaccination in Napoleonic Italy [1800-1814], Napoleonica. La revue 3 (2017): 38-58. doi:10.3917/napo.030.0038.