Account of a New Hygrometer
Basire, James. Soft Cover. London: Printed By W. Bowyer and J. Nichols, 1774. Very Good.
Presentation copy, inscribed by the author to noted British astronomer and mathematician Thomas Hornsby to front pastedown: "Pour Mons. Hornsby de la part d l'Auteur". Small 4to. , 57,  pp. First separate edition, originally published in the periodical Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in the previous year. Containing one engraved fold-out plate by James Basire. Contemporary marbled paper wrappers. A very good copy with rubbing and toning to wrappers, a few tears and creases to extremities, front hinge starting, small sticker hand-labeled "1" to front wrapper, some spotting and toning internally but text block overall very clean. ESTC T114477. Housed in a custom folding box. Account of a New Hygrometer was first published in 1773 in Philosophical Transactions, a scientific journal issued periodically by the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge. Known as the first scientific journal in the world, Philosophical Transactions was a means through which scientists could inform their colleagues of the newest developments in their respective fields, and served as a starting point for all other scientific journals as they exist today. Indeed, Philosophical Transactions established the importance of peer review and scientific priority in scientific publications. This particular article, written by the Swiss geologist and meteorologist Jean-Andre Deluc, details the specifics of his newly developed hygrometer, an instrument used to measure humidity. Though the use of the hygrometer in some form dates back to the 1400s, Deluc was one of the first scientists to modernize the instrument into some semblance of what it is today. This particular copy, one of the few published separately from the Philosophical Transactions edition, was presented by the author to a fellow scientist, the British astronomer Thomas Hornsby. Hornsby, whose work had also been published by Philosophical Transactions, was best known for his work regarding the planning of observations of the 1769 transit of Venus across the sun, which helped lead to several discoveries about the planet.