Philosophia Britannica – Benjamin Martin – 1759 – Volume 1 – Rules of Philosophy; Mechanics; Hydrostatics
One of originally three volumes each of which stands alone. We have two and are selling them individually or as a pair … scarce.
Published by M Cooper in Pater-noster-row, J Newbery in St Pauls Church-yard, S Crowder and Co on London-bridge etc London and sold by the Author at his House in Fleet-street, 1759.
Bound in original full speckled Calf showing some age but holding very well. Original maroon leather title labels. A beautiful antiquarian look.
Text block speckled red. Inked name on front paste down. Title page in red and black. Octavo, 333 pages after preliminaries including “Catalogue” of previous works used a reference … staring with Principia. Twenty magnificent copper engraved plates of which eighteen are folding.
Benjamin Martin (1705-1782) established a school in Chichester during his twenties. Little is known about his own formal education. By 1738 he had taken a keen interest in optics and produced several wood and cardboard microscopes. He started presenting lectures in experimental philosophy to audiences in Reading, Bristol, Bath and London. He published his first “Philosophia” in 1747. This the second 1759 edition is a new and augmented version and is the high point of his work. The world (Wiki) has Martin down principally as a lexicographer who compiled and early dictionary … and a lecturer and maker of scientific instruments …. we would say wrong way around. By 1756 Martin was firmly settled in London. He began trading as an Optician and then in addition numerous scientific instruments. His business address, which is where he lived was described as “Hadley’s Quadrant and Visual Glasses”, near Crane Court, in Fleet Street, London. His trade cards advertised … “All Sorts of Philosophical, Optical and Mathematical Instruments many of which are of New Invention made and Sold by Benjamin Martin at his shop … viz Planetariums, Globes of any Size, Air Pumps, Barometers, Thermometers, Pocket Microscopes, Wilson’s Microscopes, Solar Microscopes, Reflecting and Refracting Telescopes, Reading Glasses, Opera Glasses, Spectacles, Hadley’s Quadrants, Cases of Instruments, Sectors, Sliding Rules. Artificial Magnets and of which may be sent safe to any part of England”.
The book ... set out as four lectures; Lecture 1 - including inter alia the Nature of Matter or Substance; Divisibility and Mobility; Proof of Vacuum; Laws of Attraction; Magnetism. Lecture 2 inter alia – Gravitation; Motion; Relative Motion and Acceleration; Non-elastic Bodies; Newton’s Laws; Time and Space… Pendulums; the Pyrometer; Projectiles and Parabolic Curves; Halley’s Invention; Centripetal and Centrifugal Force; Earth and Moon; Increase in Gravity from the Equator to the Poles. Lecture 3 inter alia – Centre of Magnitude between two or more Bodies; The Sun and the Planets; Mechanical Powers … levers, ships rubber, bees cell etc. Lecture 4 inter alia the Nature of Fluids; Centre of Pressure; Specific Gravity; Hydrometer; Newtons Theory of the Motion and Resistance of Fluids at Large.
The folding plates are very good, up with Principia or Pemberton’s book on Newtonian Philosophy. We can only conveniently provide a few scans. The instrument for measuring specific gravity is extra special.
Superb 18thC Physics based on Newton and his followers with special engravings to demonstrate the principles and instruments involved.