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PETTY, Sir William.

Another Essay in Political Arithmetick, concerning the Growth of the City of London:

With the Measures, Periods, Causes, and Consequences thereof. 1682.

London: printed by H. H. for Mark Pardoe, 1683 Stock Code: 134803
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mass production

First edition and very scarce on the market. Another Essay in Political Arithmetick was likely written in Ireland circa 1681, but was not sent to press until after Petty came to London in June 1682. "The title page implies that an Essay in Political Arithmetic had already been published, though in fact the present Essay was the first that was printed. The discrepancy was resolved when it was reprinted in 1686 as An Essay Concerning the Multiplication of Mankind It was there explained on A2a that the edition of 1683, having been entitled Another Essay, aroused questions as to what should have preceded it. On inquiry this other Essay was not to be found" and, as Keynes goes on to explain, an "extract of a Letter" had been incorrectly thought to have been the earlier essay (Keynes). It was reprinted in 1759, along with Graunt's Observations (1676), as part of Thomas Birch's A Collection of the Yearly Bills of Mortality. In their 1966 article, "The Kress Library of Business and Economics and Some of Its Treasures", Eleanor L. Nicholes and Dorothea D. Reeves cite Another Essay as proof that "as early as 1682 Petty had seen the advantages of mass production, with specialisation by both the individual and the community in functions for which they were best adapted" (p. 240).

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Small octavo (172 x 107 mm), pp. 47, [1]. Sometime extracted from a pamphlet volume, now rebound in 20th-century brown cloth, front board lettered in gilt.


Table to p. 24.


A very good copy, contents evenly browned with the occasional spot, two small ink annotations to title page, one short closed tear to bottom edge of leaf A7, tiny area of loss to blank margin of the same and A8; a few uncut lower edges in gathering C.


Goldsmiths' 2515; Hill, p. 310; Keynes 19; Kress 1590; not in Einaudi, Mattioli or Sraffa. See Nicholes & Reeves's article in The Business History Review, Vol. 40, No. 2, Summer 1966, pp. 237-49.


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