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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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  • Allen & Hanburys Ltd – Abridged Catalogue of Surgical Instruments and Appliances – Aseptic Hospital Furniture and Electro-Medical Apparatus. – c1920

    Allen & Hanburys Ltd – Abridged Catalogue of Surgical Instruments and Appliances – Aseptic Hospital Furniture and Electro-Medical Apparatus. – c1920

    Possibly the most important reference of the period on the subject. Allen & Hanburys were at 48 Wigmore Street, London W1 with a factory at Bethnal Green and other facilities in Hertfordshire and Norway (Cod Liver Oil).

    Abridged in their world means large octavo 739 pages. Original red cloth covered boards, titles etc blind stamped on spine, white to front. No date but references show circa 1920. Thousands of illustrations, frontispiece of the principal premises. Pasted onto inside front is a 28 page price list from April, 1925. All in very good condition.

    By this time Allen & Hanburys were leading players with businesses in South Africa, China, Australia, India, South America, USA, Canada, Arabia, New Zealand, West Indies and throughout Europe.

    Items covered include far too numerous to list even by category, they appear to cover every aspect. We have provided quite a few images to give some idea.

    Special Medical instrument Reference from the distinguished Allen & Hanburys.

    $290.00

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  • Linus Pauling (Two Times Nobel Prize Winner) – Signed corrected typed letter to colleague Professor D.P. Craig

    Linus Pauling (Two Times Nobel Prize Winner) – Signed corrected typed letter to colleague Professor D.P. Craig

    One of the top 100 scientists that have ever lived. Along with Marie Currie he received the Nobel Prize twice in different fields, Chemistry and Peace the only person to have received two alone in their own right.

    Valence theory and the application of quantum mechanics to molecular theory was his forte. Here we have him corresponding with Australian Professor David Craig at University College, London. Craig spent much time there and then later at the Research School of Chemistry, ANU, Canberra.

    Pauling writes on California Institute of Technology, Pasadena letterhead …. 4th August 1961

    “I thank you for your letter about molecular orbitals and benzene. I have no doubt that a reasonably good job can be done in discussing aromatic molecules by use of the molecular orbital method, in such a way that students find the discussion acceptable. I am not sure that I feel that it is obviously justified to say that the electrons occupying an orbital with a single node are about as stable as in the two-center orbitals of a Kekule structure – I know that this is right, but how the student would feel is another matter.

    Nevertheless, I have not reached the conclusion that I should attempt much of a molecular-orbital discussion in my book, as well as the discussion of simple resonance theory.”

    An enlightening view … Kekule having established his principles in the mid-19thC. It was not until molecular orbital theory that the properties of aromatic molecules could be more readily understood. Pauling used X-ray technology to support his findings. In a number of areas, he was “in competition” with Australian born Sir Lawrence Bragg, who was running the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. Pauling discovered the protein alpha helix after many years of painstaking work … without this the work on DNA would have come much later. Having won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering work he became a strong anti-bomb supporter and through his efforts to suppress cold war activity was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Later he became a champion for the use of vitamin C as a near cure all.

    Linus Pauling every Scientists Hero – A letter to a Colleague with relevant Scientific Content

    $490.00

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  • The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex – Charles Darwin – 1890

    The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex – Charles Darwin – 1890

    A very good second revised and augmented edition, published by John Murray, 50 Albermarle Street, London, 1890.

    The desired original “Murray”’ green cloth binding as issued with blind stamped borders and gilt titles and banding to spine. Octavo, 693 pages with 78 illustrations. Very clean binding, tight and whilst a little age to page edges a very good copy of desirable edition.

    Darwin’s classic work on comparative anatomy. By comparing the physiological and psychological aspects of man and ape, he fills in what had been merely suggested in the Origin: that man’s ancestor, if still alive today, would be classified among the primates and on a lower scale than the apes.

    The last chapter is an added essay on sexual selection, the superior chances of mating that some individuals of one sex have over their rivals. The essay ends with the famous and often misquoted statement, “Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.”

    It was in this book (page 2) that Darwin used the word “evolution” for the first time.

    The Descent of Man Companion to The Origin of Species….

    $490.00

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  • Antique Medical Instruments – Wilbur

    Antique Medical Instruments – Wilbur

    Published by Schiffer, i.e. the pen people, of Atglen, USA. The 2008 edition with updates by the distinguished Keith Wilbur MD who can trace back his descendants to Rhode Island 1636.

    We mention the “pen people” as the book is rather whimsically produced in an unusual cursive font with matching line drawing of instruments.

    Quarto, softcover 149 pages. Seems to be a bit under-rated for a book we really rate not just for the beginner but the serious collector too. We also like that it has a very good section on the development of the microscope often omitted from this subject matter. A semi-useful price guide at least provides perspective … 18th Century medical instruments can hardly come cheap. A list of medical museums in the USA good prove a valuable starting point for a holiday focussed on such matters. Plan your next trip.

    Wilbur’s Medical Instruments a great place to start … and more

    $50.00

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  • Douglas Mawson – Report from the British Antarctic Expedition – Transactions and Proceedings of The Royal Society of South Australia

    Douglas Mawson – Report from the British Antarctic Expedition – Transactions and Proceedings of The Royal Society of South Australia

    Published by the Society, Adelaide 1916, Being Volume XL.

    Thick octavo, 631 pages with 54 plates and 21 figures in the text, Mawson map and folding diagram. Fine condition, barely opened, clean as a whistle inside. Unusually still in its original mailing envelope albeit chipped here and there. A super copy.

    Numerous papers, many on entomology, marine species, flora, mineralogy etc.

    Douglas Mawson features twice. First, his report on the Aurora Australis … “Aural Observations at the Cape Royds Station, Antarctica”. Pages 151-213 with plates xxi and xxii. The observations were taken during the British Antarctic Expedition in 1908. Mawson states that they were intended for publication in 1911. The delay was due to Shackleton wishing to publish the Scientific Reports as a series. However, for lack of funds this could not happen, and the series ides was abandoned, allowing this work to be published here. Special thanks are given to Edgeworth David for his contribution to the work.

    Second, “Mineral Notes” is based on Mawson’s analysis of minerals exhibited at the Society in 1910 and 1911. Publication, gain, had been delayed … this time because Mawson mislaid his notes before departing for his own Antarctic Expedition of 1911. Minerals described include … Octahedrite, Twinned Gypsum Crystals, Beryl, Loadstone, Monazite, Cordierite, Sillimanite, Spinel, Sphene, Davidite, named after the great man, and much here about the radioactive properties. An addendum page by W.T. Cooke on the constituency of Davidite with reference to the spectroscopic work of the great Sir William Crookes identifying Scandium as a component.

    Another standout report is by Walter Howchin on “The Geology of Mount Remarkable” pages 545- 584 with large coloured Geological Sketch Map.

    Nicely illustrated journal with interesting reports by Douglas Mawson in very good condition.

    $140.00

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  • Important Microscope Slide – HMS Challenger Expedition –  Globigerina Ooze – Station 21 South Atlantic in 1876. Preparer John Browning, the Strand, London.

    Important Microscope Slide – HMS Challenger Expedition – Globigerina Ooze – Station 21 South Atlantic in 1876. Preparer John Browning, the Strand, London.

    Contemporary prepared microscope slides of samples taken on the Challenger Expedition are highly sought after. This one is of particular interest as few can be found prepared by John Browning.

    The Challenger Expedition 1873-1876 was the perhaps the world’s greatest marine focused scientific expedition. Organised by the world’s greatest club. The Royal Society, a total of 126 thousand kms were travelled. She carried 190km of Indian hemp for making soundings and taking samples, had beautiful fitted laboratories and the finest instruments of the day; and no doubt microscopes made by John Browning a leading maker of microscopes and spectroscopes of the highest standard.

    The slide is very clearly labelled with the preparers name and address at 63 The Strand. The date the sample was taken on the Challenger, 21st March 1876. The depth of sample taken, 1,990 fathoms and the location Latitude 21.15 South Longitude 14.2 West.

    On the 21st March 1876 the Challenger had been at sea three years and was on her way home to England. The location is almost the same longitude as Voyager’s favourite island Tristan d’Acunha and a few degrees north.

    Campbell’s “Log Letters from the Challenger” recorded the passage of the vessel. In literally the final paragraph we have our location.

    “On the 6th February 1876 the Challenger left the Falklands for Monte Video; thence she proceeded towards Tristan d’Acunha. [Here they found the water very cold at depth, finding a stratum of water 400 fathoms in thickness below freezing.] From the neighbourhood of Tristan d’Acunha the ship sailed to Ascension, finding shallow soundings, and the bottom temperature 35.9F having left Ascension she touched at Porto Praya, St Vincent, and Vigo, and arrived at Spithead on the 24th May 1878. And so ended the cruise of the Challenger”

    In our images we show a chart showing the track of the vessel (taken from Campbell’s Log-Letters – see our copy) and the nature of various sample taken [Yellow] is Globigerina Ooze. The location of this sample is almost equidistant between Tristan and Ascension [just south west of St Helena}. You will see that it is marked Station 21 and the depth of 1,990 noted.

    Globigerina refers to planktonic foraminifera with calcareous shells.

    See our Research Section for a note on the achievements of John Browning. We have his spectroscopes for sale elsewhere on this site.

    Original Challenger Expedition prepared slide, of good Globigerina sample, from known location and date of sample – rare distinguished preparer.

    $290.00

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