Paris: l'Imprimerie Royale, 1751.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #002986
4to (241 x 186 mm). , xxxvi, 280, xv  pp. Title-page with woodcut coat of arms, large engraved folding map, 6 engraved plates and maps (5 folding), 1 folding table, head- and tail-pieces. Bound in 20th century cloth, spine lettered in gilt (slight rubbing to extremities). Text little browned, paper fairly pockmarked (sandgrained, paper flaw?) in margins not impairing readability, old paper repair to preliminary leaves b3-4 (b4 with loss of a few letters), longer tear to folding map of Quito without loss. Provenance: New York Historical Society (ink stamp to title-page), bookseller's label pinned in before title-page. Collated complete. ----
Norman 1250; Sabin 38479; DSB XV, p.272. FIRST EDITION, without the supplement and the Mesure volume published separately. La Condamine was among the scientists whom the Academie des Sciences sent to Peru in order to measure several degrees of meridian at the equator, and thus, in conjunction with a similar expedition to Lapland, settle the controversy between the Cartesians and Newtonians as to whether the earth was flattened or elongated at the poles. The expedition embarked for South America in 1735, and reached it the following year, but their geodetic measurements were hampered by the terrain and difficult working relationships between the scientists. Eventually the measurements were completed in 1743 and the scientists found separate ways home to France. La Condamine spent two months travelling down the Amazon to the Atlantic at Paraa, then another five months in Cayenne, finally arriving back in Paris in February of 1745. "The scientific result of the expedition was clear: the earth is indeed a spheroid flattened at the poles, as Newton had maintained. Bouger and La Condamine were unable, however, to agree on the joint publication of their works. Their long quarrel continued through a series of memoirs that were essentially mutual refutations of no scientific value; it ceased only with the death of Bouger in 1758" (DSB). The folding map details the territory around Quito where the triangulation took place. After the researches, La Condamine became the first white man to voyage the length of the Amazon. - Visit our website for additional images and information.
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