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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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  • A Census of the Fossil Foraminifera of Australia – Howchin – 1893 – From Robart Logan Jack’s Library

    A Census of the Fossil Foraminifera of Australia – Howchin – 1893 – From Robart Logan Jack’s Library

    A paper read at the Adelaide Meeting of the Australasian Association for the advancement of Science – September 1893.

    Walter Howchin was an English born, Clarke Medal winning geologist who lectured at the Adelaide School of Mines. This paper presents in tabular form a complete list of the fossil foraminifera then know in Australia and is a mighty piece of work encapsulated in 24 page paper.

    Original pink paper wrappers now reinforced at the hinge. Bound in Walter Howchin’s personal compliments slip … R. L. Jack Esq added in in manuscript by the receiver … also his name to front pink cover. Robert Logan jack being the distinguished explorer, geologist, author of the book on the history of Exploration in the Far North “Northmost Australia”. Logan Jack was to follow Daintree as the Queensland Appointed Geologist.

    Interesting piece of scientific ephemera with Logan Jack ownership.

    $40.00

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  • Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1926 [the Dutch in Tasmania and Crowther]

    Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1926 [the Dutch in Tasmania and Crowther]

    Contains an important historical paper by Clive Lord on the planting of the Dutch Flag in Tasmania.

    Geoffrey Ingleton’s copy … Ingleton Catalogue stamp no 14258 on rear cover.

    Perfect bound in original paper covers, 196 pages with 11 plates and 22 figures within the text.

    Contents further include inter alia … Isostatic Background of Tasmanian Physiography; the Constitutional Separation of Tasmania from New South Wales 1825; Oil Shales of Tasmania; Tasmanian Spiders; Tasmanian Cetacea; New and Little Known Tasmanian Lepidoptera; Notes on the Tasmanian Race (Crowther) etc etc. As well as the formalities … Annual Report etc.

    The Dutch plant their flag and Crowther on the Tasmanian Aborigines

    $60.00

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  • The Martyrs of Science, or the Lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe and Kepler – Sir David Brewster – Special Binding – 1856

    The Martyrs of Science, or the Lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe and Kepler – Sir David Brewster – Special Binding – 1856

    Published by John Murray, London in 1856. Small octavo 216 pages after preliminaries. Bound extravagantly in full purple Morocco, with rich gilt decoration to both boards and spine, the upper board with the arms of Milton Abbat School … a fine prize. A little rubbed externally, bright throughout.

    Sir David Brewster (1781-1868) was a Scottish scientist, inventor, academic. He was Principal at St Andrews and then Edinburgh University. Newtonian devotee and master in optics (hence his interest in the subjects of this book) he discovered Brewster’s Angle and pioneered mineralogical observations with the microscope. Inventor of the stereoscopic camera and kaleidoscope. He has a crater on the Moon named after him … the ultimate accolade.

    Galileo, Tycho Brahe and Kepler need less introduction.

    Nobody has been closer to the stars

    $140.00

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  • Ventriloquism For Beginners – A Complete Set of Lessons in the Art of Voice Magic – Douglas Houlden

    Ventriloquism For Beginners – A Complete Set of Lessons in the Art of Voice Magic – Douglas Houlden

    Published by Kaye & Ward, London revised in 1967. Large octavo, 63 pages with numerous sketches and photographs. A nice copy.

    A super guide … a bit like playing the didge … practice makes perfect and here we have the techniques carefully explained. Advanced ventriloquism includes … the muffled voice, the distant voice, drinking (whilst talking) etc. After learning how to do the basic letters and covering up the B’s with G’s we have the most challenging “Labial Sounds”.

    All without moving your lips …

    $40.00

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  • The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication 2 Volumes – Charles Darwin. 1888

    The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication 2 Volumes – Charles Darwin. 1888

    Charles Darwin conceived this book in the early 1850’s. It was to be his ‘Big Book”. However, in June 1858 he received a paper from Borneo by Alfred Russell Wallace relating to Natural selection … the race was on to publish so Darwin took the elements drawn up from his work on the Big Book relating to his views on natural selection and had Origin published to great success in November 1859. This book was published first in 1868 and in the intervening years Darwin published other elements on Descent of Man etc. Regardless of the pilfering for his other works this work still remained his largest work and he later described the difficulty he had in finishing it … a true 4 year and 2 months of labour went into it over the years.

    Second Edition Revised published by Murray, London in 1888, two volumes 473 pages and 495 pages after preliminaries. Illustrated throughout from wood engravings. Original “Murray” green cloth covered bindings, blind embossed front and back, gilt titles etc to spine. An attractive set bar some light foxing and flecking to page edges.

    This work contains the first reference to “pangenesis” in which Darwin proposes that cells contain hereditary material which he referred to as “gemmules” which could be modified by an organism’s environment and passed on to the next generation. Debunked for good by Mendel’s theories … the similarity with DNA is dismissed by all and sundry, but we quite like the idea.

    You may be curious about the focus on domestic creatures and plants … but Darwin was concerned about “Variation” and had been since the Galapagos Islands – there are again references here to the Beagle Voyage. He could see that whilst man had a hand in selecting changes in domesticated breeds … it was the environment that was making the changes not the man. “It is an error to speak of man “tampering with nature” and causing variability. If a man drops a piece of iron into sulphuric acid, it cannot be said strictly that he makes the sulphate of iron, he only allows their elective affinities to come into play. If organic beings had not possessed an inherent tendency to vary, man could have done nothing”. Simple but we like it.

    Incidentally, the principles behind pangenesis had been referred to as early as Hippocrates. Count Buffon had a crack at it as did Charles Darwin’s grandfather Erasmus Darwin in his book “Zoomania” published in 1801.

    Darwin’s Big Book – what was left of it – Variation behind or in front of Evolution.

    $740.00

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  • Living on the Edge – Our Personal Antarctic Story – Yvonne Claypole

    Living on the Edge – Our Personal Antarctic Story – Yvonne Claypole

    First edition paperback (only form) published by Harper, Australia in 2001.Decorated covers. 262 pages, nice real photographs of goings on and the usual map. Surprisingly scarce and in great condition.

    The story of adventurous couple Yvonne and Jim Claypole who gave up the quiet life in Melbourne to live in “Gadget Hut” nearby Mawson’s Hut, Cape Denison for a full year. They managed scientific readings from Mawson’s Hut during the period.

    At 3.6 metres by 2.4 metres, Gadget Hut is no Hilton. Minus 33 Degrees in the “Dunny” called for swift action. Their winter boredom nearly got to them but cigars, fruit and the US papers from a passing US Military Scientist helped. A delightful and at times chilling narrative.

    Would you feel safe at Gadget Hut? … maybe the place to be!

    $25.00

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