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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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  • Global Warning – A Pop-Up Book of Our Endangered Planet – Sandy Ransford

    Global Warning – A Pop-Up Book of Our Endangered Planet – Sandy Ransford

    A super high standard educational pop-up book from 1992 … threats to the Earth from ozone depletion, global warming, rain forest destruction.

    Conceived and designed by Graham Brown and Ruth Mawdsley, who did the “Paper Engineering” … written by Sandy Ransford. From the Five Miles Press, Balwyn, Australia.

    60cms by 22mc, illustrated boards, ten pages with some super pop-ups, pull outs and an inspiring narrative which has none of its meaning in a current sense.

    Serious fun for a budding environmentalist …. a warning on the warming


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  • Australia and the Antarctic – The John Murtagh Macrossan Lecture – 1960 – Phillip Law

    Australia and the Antarctic – The John Murtagh Macrossan Lecture – 1960 – Phillip Law

    Phillip Law (1912-2010) was born at Tallangalta and educated at Hamilton, Ballarat and then Melbourne University where he achieved an MSc in Physics. During WWII he wished to join the RAAF but was persuaded to stay at Melbourne University working on weapons research.

    His first trip to the Antarctic was in 1947 and from 1949 to 1966 he was Director of ANARE, heading a total of 23 voyages and expeditions. Over the period over 5,000 kms of Antarctic coastline was surveyed and much inland. The Mawson, Davis and Casey Stations were established.

    A super lecture nicely presented here in the usual Macrossan Lecture style. Octavo, 22 pages, illustrated with charts and images from photographs. Law describes the challenges and achievements during his involvement to date … super detail in such a succinct format.

    Distinguished writer, historian, bibliophile Geoffrey Ingleton’s copy with his bookplate. A very clean crisp copy.

    Scarce Antarctic Ephemera from Phillip Law


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  • [A History of the Aclare Mine – South Australia] – Silver and a Trace of Gold – J.K. Chilman

    [A History of the Aclare Mine – South Australia] – Silver and a Trace of Gold – J.K. Chilman

    A very good copy of Special Publication No 1 celebrating 100 year of the Department of Mines and Energy, South Australia.

    Soft silvered cover, 212 pages with numerous illustrations … from photographs, sketches, maps, mine plans etc.

    From discovery in the 1840 to the end of that century … and the continuing heritage interest an extremely thorough work.

    R.K Johns in his preface … “Silver and a Trace of Gold” establishes the mood of these times and painstakingly and sympathetically traces the events connected with speculation and mining investment, the opening and closure of mining operations, and the developments in metallurgical practice and smelting of mixed metallic ores. It not only traces the history of the Aclare mine, and the Kanmantoo- Callington mining field, but has relevance to the whole mining history in the State” … a bit dry but does capture the breadth and depth of this study.

    A Mining History well presented and more … processes etc


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  • Direct Vision “Rainband” Cased Brass Spectroscope – Late Victorian

    Direct Vision “Rainband” Cased Brass Spectroscope – Late Victorian

    A good example of a hand held direct vision spectroscope made by or to a design by John Browning of London.

    Late Victorian in manufacture and in its original case. Works nicely and produces sublime spectra. Contains a train of alternating crown and flint glass prisms in order to correct for chromatic aberration. Brass body left unpolished as is preferred by collectors of fine scientific instruments. Original plush lined case is in very good condition and the clasp still hold firm.

    This design is also known as the “Rainband” spectroscope and was used by gentlemen scientist to detect the spectral bands that appear as water vapour builds in the atmosphere prior to a shower of rain. This is the more sophisticated version with a knurled device for altering the slit width and a draw tube for fine focus.

    Very good condition working spectroscope


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  • Mining Engineering Cards by W.D. & H.O. Wills – Full Set of 50 – 1912

    Mining Engineering Cards by W.D. & H.O. Wills – Full Set of 50 – 1912

    Very hard to find complete set of 50 cards circa 1912 issued by Wills of Bristol and London.

    Very good condition, now protected in standard card wallets.

    Seven cards represent Coal Mining featuring Miner Holing; Miner Drilling and Blasting; Electric Coal Cutters; Electric Train; Taking Coal to Pit Mouth by Pony; At the Bottom of the Shaft; Sorting and Cleaning Coal and the all important Mine Surveyor.

    Cards specific to Australia include BHP Silver Mine Mechanical Feed and a General View of the Mine … Mount Morgan Gold (with it’s interesting story) and Digging and Washing Sapphires in Queensland.

    The rest of the world is represented including Asbestos at Thetford Canada; China Clay at St Austell Cornwall; Copper at the famous Rio Tinto Mine Spain; Diamonds at Kimberley; Tin at Perak Malaya; Turquoises from Nishapour, Persia; Rock salt in Cheshire; Rubies from Burma etc etc

    Large 50 card Mining set over 100 years old.


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  • A Complete Treatise of Mines Etc – Henry Manningham – First Edition 1756

    An extremely rare works from a period when mining expertise was as much a military endeavour as for the extraction of resources.

    Lengthy title continues … extracted from the Memoires d’Artilliere. To which is prefixed, by way of Introduction, Professor Belidor’s Dissertation on the Force and Physical Effects of Gunpowder. Illustrated by a Variety of Copper Plates.

    A first edition of this work translated and compiled by mining engineer Henry Manningham. The original French by P Surirey de Saint Remy (1660-1716). Benard Forest de Belidor (1698-1761) was a hydraulics and ballistics expert. Born into a military family he later became Professor of Artillery at Aisne. He became an early expert on the calculus and its use in solving technical problems.

    Published by Millar, the Strand, London 1756. Octavo, xxix,168 pages with 21 folding copper engraved plates, elaborate engraved vignette on Dedication. Ex John Crerar Library with the odd stamp, later half leather binding somewhat worn, top edge gilt. Lightly toned, still a very worthy copy of a very scarce item.

    Early Mining Explained and the Use of Gunpowder Carefully Explained.


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