The first work in English on determining specific gravity
Medicina hydrostatica: or, Hydrostaticks Applyed to the Materia Medica. Shewing, How by the Weight that Divers Bodies, Us'd in Physick, Have in Water; one may Discover Whether they be Genuine or Adulterate. To which is Subjoyn'd, a Previous Hydrostatical Way of Estimating Ores.
London: Samuel Smith, 1690.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Near Fine. Item #002223
8vo (162 x 100 mm). , 217, ; , 14 pp., including half-title, folding engraved frontispiece, and with the 'Catalogue of the Philosophical Books and Tracts' at end. Internally clean and crisp, slight printer's ink smudges to leaves N3-4. 18th century panelled sheep, spine with morocco label (spine rubbed, corners bumped and scuffed). Provenance: Mountstuart bookplate of the Earls of Bute to front pastedown. A fine copy of one of the rarest of Boyle's works. ----
Fulton 189; Wellcome II, p.224; Wing B3928A; Neville, Historical Chemical Library I, 2006, p. 200. - "One of Boyle's last writings and important as the first work in English on determining specific gravity. The catalogue at the end is rare and was added to only a few copies." (Neville). "The book is not common and has not been reprinted except for the Geneva edition" (Fulton).
It "was written by Boyle the year before his death. He explains in the preface that he borrowed the title from Santorio's Medicina Statica, and he might have apologized for the term 'medicina', for, in modern parlance, the book is essentially a monograph devoted to a special branch of physics... it was Boyle who first directed the attention of physicists and chemists to the importance of specific gravity. Pages 145 to 224 are of considerable interest in the history of mineralogy showing the specific gravities of various ores.
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