Essay de Dioptrique.
Paris: Jean Anisson, 1694.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003350
4to (249 x 184 mm). , 1-179, , 180-233  pp. Woodcut printer's device on title, woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces, one unsigned double leaf with engraved lunar map and facing explanatory text inserted before p. 179, several diagrams and a few illustrations in text. Bound in contemporary French sprinkled calf, gilt-decorated spine with 5 raised bands and gilt-lettered label in first compartment, red-sprinkled edges, original endpapers (wear to extremities, spine-ends chipped, minor unobtrusive old repair to corners and hinges). Bright and crisp internally, the inserted plate just a bit browned and spotted. Provenance: Alexis (Nicolas-François) Hanriet* (neat inscription "Ad usum Nonni Alexii Hanriet religiosi molinensis" on title). Exceptional, wide-margined copy in original binding. ----
Bierens de Haan 1925; Wellcome III, p.217; DSB VI, 148f; A.J.J. Vandevelde, Bijdr. tot de bibliogr. geschied. v.h. microscoop, pp. 1174-76. - RARE FIRST EDITION. Nicolaas Hartsoeker (1656-1725) was a Dutch mathematician, physicist and inventor of the screw-barrel simple microscope. Starting as a lens maker in Rotterdam, he was instructed in optics by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. In 1674, he and a fellow student, assisted by Van Leeuwenhoek, were the first to observe semen, a situation that would later lead to a priority dispute between Hartsoeker and Leeuwenhoek over the discovery of spermatozoids. "In addition to his instrument work, Hartsoeker did research in embryology. In 1674 he recognized small 'particles' in the sperm, which he at first thought to be signs of desease . . . As a result of his investigations, Hartsoeker believed that the fetus was preformed in the sparmatozoon and published illustrations of the humunculus crouched there" (DSB). He never claimed to have seen humunculi; he only postulated their existence as part of his Spermist theory of conception. His Essay on dioptrics, in which this hypothesis was formulated, "was a highly lauded book, in fact tackling several misconceptions of the time. For example, Hartsoeker disavows the contemporary position (e.g. of Robert Hooke) that with refractor telescopes one soon would be able to see man-sized creatures on the moon, if any in fact existed." (Wikisource). - Visit our website to see more images!
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