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  • Atomic Energy for Military Purposes – Henry Smyth – First Edition 1945

    Atomic Energy for Military Purposes – Henry Smyth – First Edition 1945

    Full text of the Official Report … subtitled A General Account of the Scientific Research and Technical Development That Went into the Making of Atomic Bombs.

    Not everyone’s cup of tea. For scientists particularly physicists and physical chemists a startlingly frank book about the Manhattan Project and what went on about, and into the making of, the first atomic weapon.

    Published by the Princeton University Press but effectively a reproduction of the Official Report with an added Preface. Octavo, 264 pages, with photographs of the individual, facilities and the first boom. A good copy, dust jacket well chipped and repaired now protected in Brodart.

    The back history is well laid out, the fundamental science and the challenges. The simplicity of “critical mass” has always amazed Voyager. But it was the speed that CM is attained that was the key before all sorts of other leakages could take place in that extended micro-second. Typical of what can be achieved during wartime. The management (laboratory) structure … the heads of each all famous scientists. Voyager hero, British Nobel Prize Winner, James “Neutron” Chadwick spent three year there and is recognised here as making a fundamental contribution.

    Oppenheimer is the first name that comes to most. His organisational ability could not be questioned. The speed at which the first device was manufactured after the science was decided upon is nothing more than remarkable. On the night of the first test they were delayed by a significant lightening storm … Oppenheimer went out into the darkness and at the first sight of stars declared the experiment on …

    The First Atomic Bomb – the whole official story – like it or not … it makes interesting scientific and historical reading.



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  • The Amazing Mr Doolittle [Biography of American Air Ace and Daredevil] – Quentin Reynolds – 1954

    The Amazing Mr Doolittle [Biography of American Air Ace and Daredevil] – Quentin Reynolds – 1954

    A very good copy of the second impression of the first UK edition published in June 1954 one month after the first.

    Published by Cassell, London. Octavo, 313 pages, frontispiece of our Hero.

    Biography of the great American Air Ace. The front cover boldly list his achievements .. some would be less bold nowadays .. that’s history.

    His early flights is our bag though, and this ace started early in the 1920’s .. winner of the Schneider Trophy and a true daredevil .. where are they now? He was the first to fly on instruments alone, cross America etc.

    Doolittle, Not talking to the Animals, flying the Aeroplanes.


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  • The Passenger Pigeon – by Joseph Quinn.

    The Passenger Pigeon – by Joseph Quinn.

    No date comb bound copied item published circa 1990, see below. This was its original form – self published by the author.

    Subtitled “A Boys Story” but not a story for Boys, in fact a compilation of the writings of the author, many of them, published in Bird World … and all about the demise of the Passenger Pigeon.

    We learn that the last pigeon a female was given the name of Martha, after George Washington’s wife … the second last Passenger Pigeon, her brother, named George … naturally. We like this unusual work not just for its obvious rarity but the love of the writer for his subject. The Boys story is a reference to him finding his childhood scribbles about the subject matter.

    96 pages in all, some images from the magazine that have not copied too well. Cream card covers.

    A total of 20 separate articles, all of some length, published variously between 1982 and 1987.

    Inserted on posh faux vellum paper is a poem written by the author in honour of the sadly retired bird; rather well penned and definitely moving.

    Joseph Quinn – his life’s work on the Passenger Pigeon all in one place.


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  • Black Widow – America’s Most poisonous Spider – Thorp and Woodson

    Black Widow – America’s Most poisonous Spider – Thorp and Woodson

    What a super subject for a standalone book.

    First edition published by The University of Morth Carolina Press in 1945.

    Octavo, 222 pages, illustrated with spidery goodness. A very good copy and very clean and well produced given the end of WWII publishing date.

    All about the Widow as one would expect. Comparison’s with other spider devils, experiments on people .. the life cycle and habits of this avoidable octopod.

    Would make a great gift for someone who has it all …


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  • Gold Panning is Easy – Roy Lagal

    Gold Panning is Easy – Roy Lagal

    An American standard but translates well for Australian’s with the gold bug.

    A nice early one published in 1979. Softcover, 70 pages, illustrated throughout. Sticker removal mark on front otherwise a very good copy. Has the stamp of “Treasure Island Detectors” Sandy Bay Hobart on a blank at front a nice local touch.

    The author a legendary panner from way back takes the reader through the choice of pans (crucial) the dry and wet panning, metal detecting, ore identification, dredging and super jets etc. we learned that it is important to learn to blow very gently … to get the last of the dust off the pan and leave the glitter behind. Images prove that all that is learned works.

    Get the pans out today .. well the right ones.


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  • The Story of Charles Francis Hall, Explorer – Weird and Tragic Shores – Chauncey Loomis 1972

    The Story of Charles Francis Hall, Explorer – Weird and Tragic Shores – Chauncey Loomis 1972

    The writer a Professor and arctic adventurer himself was well qualified to pen this thorough biography of the great and somewhat unusual American Polar explorer, Charles Francis Hall. His research included access to key papers at the Scott Polar Institute; the Stefansson Collection and unique documents held by descendants of Paul Fenimore Cooper.

    Published by MacMillan, London in 1972 a first UK edition. Octavo, 367 pages, plus index etc. Illustrations from early images and a useful map. A very good copy.

    Hall was a successful printer who out of the blue had a urge to become an explorer. His first venture was in the path of Eliza Kane to search for evidence of the lost Franklin expedition. He essentially set off by himself having tagged along on a whaling expedition. Fame a support followed and he was to go back several time before succumbing himself possibly like Franklin from food poisoning of sorts. He is said to be the first to live with the Eskimo and had good and bad vies on their approach to life.

    Charles Francis Hall devoted a large part of and his life to Arctic exploration.


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