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GUERICKE, Otto von.

Experimenta nova (ut vocantur) Magdeburgica de Vacuo Spatio …

Nunc verò ab ipso Auctore Perfectiùs edita, variisque aliis Experimentis aucta. Quibus accesserunt simul certa quaedam De Aëris Pondere circa Terram; de Virtutibus Mundanis, & Systemate Mundi Planetario; sicut & de Stellis Fixis, ac Spatio illo Immenso, quod tàm intra quam extra eas funditur.

at the shop of Johann Jansson van Waesberge, Amsterdam , 1672 Stock Code: 77930
£37,500.00
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Notes

First edition of one of the most remarkable books in the history of physics and technology. Guericke describes and illustrates with handsome engravings his inventions of the air-pump, the earliest electric generating machine, the water-barometer, and the air-balance. Guericke constructed his first air-pump some time before 1654, when he gave his first demonstration at Magdeburg of the ability of the hemispheres with a vacuum inside them to resist two teams of horses working to pull them apart; the experiment is illustrated here in the often reproduced folding plate. The experiment demonstrated that air had weight, and Guericke was further able to determine the density of air. He also proved experimentally the propagation of sound through air and, with his electrical machine, first clearly demonstrated the phenomenon of electrical repulsion.
"Copies of this first edition are now very rare. This remarkable work on experimental philosophy ranks next to Gilbert's in the number and importance of the electrical discoveries described. Electric conduction and repulsion, the discharging power of points, the dissipation of charge by flames, the light due to electrification, the crepitating noises of small sparks are all recognized" (Wheeler Gift, 170).

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Description

Folio (313 x 196 mm). Contemporary mottled calf, red morocco label, spine gilt in compartments with urn and flower centre tool, pineapples in corners, sides ruled in gilt with a double fillet, curl-marbled endpapers, red edges. Housed in a brown flat back cloth solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.

Illustrations

Extra engraved title, engraved portrait, 2 double-page engraved plates (including that of the famous Magdeburg experiment), 20 large engravings in the text (7 full-page, plate XVIII repeated).

Condition

Early ownership inscription of Michele Colombo to front free endpaper verso. Minor wear to extremities, portrait slightly browned, small ink stain to fore-edge of sig. D1, very slightly affecting leaves either side but not the text, an excellent copy in a handsome binding.

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