Item #002457 Chemical Essays. 5 volumes. Richard WATSON.

Chemical Essays. 5 volumes.

London: printed for T. Evans, and sold by J. Evans, 1789.

5th Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #002457

8vo (157 x 94 mm). [2], viii [2], 349 [1] pp.; [4], 368 pp.; [8], 376 pp.; [4], xviii [1], 354, [50] pp.; v [3], 375 [1]. One folding table to vol. 1, half-title and adverts leaf to vol. 3, general index at end of vol. 4. Contemporary speckled calf, spines with red morocco labels titled in gilt (little rubbing to extremities). Internally only little age-toned, occasional spotting (a few leaves stronger). Provenance: N. Newton (signature on title of vols. 1 and 5); W. A. F. Saunders (signatures to first flyleaf, inscribed "Wennington Hall, April 1842"); The library of Hugh Selbourne (small ink stamp to title verso and p.51). Fine set. ----

Duveen, p. 610; Bolton I, 904. - Mixed editions, vol. 1 to 3: fifth edition, vol. 4: fourth edition, vol. 5: first edition. "Based on lectures delivered during the 1770s, first published in 1781. Some tracts in vol. 5 are in Latin. Volume 3 only has a half-title as called for. With an index to vols. 1-4 in vol. 4. Wason became a professor of chemistry in 1764 and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1769 after publishing a paper on the solution of salts in Philosophical Transactions. Later, he published his Chemical Essays in five volumes. These are intelligent and lucid but derivative, revealing Watson as an intelligent layman not a research scientist. They show a particular interest in applying science to manufacturing processes and a belief that chemistry could help to realize Britain's industrial potential. Watson worked on the efficiency of gunpowder and discovered that a thermometer in which the bulb was painted with black ink gave a higher reading than an ordinary thermometer. His account of the lime processes used in tar and lead smelting and his work on pit coal shows a particular interest in metallurgy. (ODNB).

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