Essays, on the effects produced by various processes on Atmospheric Air; with a particular view to an investigation of the constitution of the acids. Translated from the French, by Thomas Henry, F.R.S..
LAVOISIER, Antoine-Laurent

Warrington Printed by W. Eyres, for J. Johnson...London 1783 Rare. Large uncut and unopened paper copy. 8vo (22.5 cm x13.8 cm) Re-cased in eighteenth century blue gray boards with cream color paper spine and printed label. Staining on rear cover only defect for binding. Collation:[i-v] vi-xvii [xviii-xix] xx [1] 2-142 [2-Ads] pp. There is circular stain on first 5 lls at lower right corner; dusting and minor foxing (which is usual for this publication cf. Neville) on preliminary lls (i-xx). Remainder of text only has some fore edge dusting. Text contains nine "Essays," which Lavoisier published in the Mémoires of the Académie Royale des Sciences. There is no other publication other than the French and this English translation by Thomas Henry. (Item ID: 0000788)


In this series of nine Essays Lavoisier reports his experiments on "an attempt to overthrow Stalh's doctrine of phlogiston and in an investigation of the nature and constitution of the acids " (Preface pp.v-vi). "At the Academy on November 23, 1779, Lavoisier, after pointing to his conclusion that eminently respirable air was contained in all the acids, announced that he would give the name of oxygen from the Greek … acid and I beget. This marks the first appearance of a term that has since passed out of the world of science into the currency of daily speech."(D. McKie p.138) "In the preface Henry discusses the general concept of phlogiston, as well as the theories and controversies of Lavoisier, Priestley and Kirwan. Far from being an antiphlogistonist, Henry states (p.ix): 'the existence of phlogiston, however, has not only been proved but Dr. Priestley has clearly shewn that phlogiston and inflammable air (i.e., hydrogen) are the same thing…'The first essay, on the respiration of animals, marks the beginning of Lavoisier's serious study of this subject. Other essays deal with combustion, mineral acids, alum, iron pyrites, and sulphides, the nature and properties of fire, etc. In the eighth essay (pp.96-118) of this important work, Lavoisier proposes his theory that oxygen (dephlogisticated air) is an essential constituent of all acids. Henery has added a number of valuable footnotes to these essays."(Neville, p.17) (Blake,258; Cole, 761; D.S.B., VI, 283; Duveen, 340; Duveen & Klickstein, 336; Partington, III, 371) $3,000.

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