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Philosophia Britannica – Benjamin Martin – 1759 – Volume 3 – Optics, Astronomy, the Use of the Globes an Optical Instruments (Includes map of the World By Emanuel Bowen)

Short Description

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, 408 pages after preliminaries, with solid index at the rear. Thirty five magnificent copper engraved plates, all folding, two with professionally repaired tears.

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 comprises; Lecture IX Optics containing inter alia; Lenses; Harmonical Reflection in Mirrors; Images; Algebraic Theorems; Of the Eye and Vision; Refractive Power; Defects of the Eye; Optical Instruments; Microscopes; Cata-dioptric Microscope; Reflecting Microscope; Micrometer; Pocket Microscope of the Author’s Invention; Refracting Telescopes; Newton’s Reflecting Telescope; Camera Obscura; Solar Telescope; Lecture XI Astronomy – inter alia The Universe; Ptolomean System; Tycho Brahe; Copernican or Solar System; Periodical Times of The Planets; Satellites or Moons; Atmosphere of the Moon; to Measure the Height of a Mountain in the Moon; Moons of Jupiter; Moons of Saturn; Saturn’s Rings; Newtonian Theory of Planetary Motion; the Orrery; Eclipses; Comets; The Path of the Comet of 1743/3 Ascertained by Observation etc. An Appendix of Chronology including the Cycles of the Moon; the Golden Numbers and Their Use; The Astronomical Principles of Sir Isaac Newton’s Chronology Explained. Lecture XII, the use of the Globes inter alia Catalogue of Stars; Zodiac; Nebulous Stars; Problems on the Celestial Globe; The Manner of Drawing a Meridian Line; the Voyage to the Arctic Circle by the French King’s Mathematicians; Mercator’s Projection Explained. Appendix of the Lunar Motions; Method of Computing the Quantity of Matter, Density, and Weight of Bodies, in the Sun, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn. Appendix II – Improvements in Optical Instruments Universal Microscope; the New Solar Microscope; the New Reflecting Microscope etc

The folding plates are very good, up with Principia or Pemberton’s book on Newtonian Philosophy. We can only conveniently provide a few scans. Special Astronomical plates and the early Instruments

The folding map of the world is by distinguished English cartographer Emanuel Bowen (1694-1767). Described as “the Globular projection or A Map of the World Drawn from the best Authorities & Regulated by Astronomical Observations” circa 1750 but obviously before 1759.

A special pre-Cook map of the world. Australia based on the Dutch understanding of the coastline with New Holland, Carpentaria and Van Diemens Land named. Elsewhere a number of false of fictitious landmarks add interest, including Darkes Land south of the Horn; Davis Land (which may be Easter Island) and Gamas Land in the North west Pacific, and Terra Australis just south of Tristan da Cunha. Strong plate mark and in good condition. Uncoloured as it should be. This map underpins supports the value of the book.

Emanuel Bowen was appointed mapmaker to George II and Louis XV. He trained Thomas Kitchen and Thomas Jeffreys both distinguished followers, as well as his son Thomas Bowen who carried on the family tradition after his death.

Superb 18thC Physics based on Newton and his followers with special engravings to demonstrate the principles and instruments involved.

With the fine early world map by Emanuel Bowen.

Price: $590.00

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