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Meteorological observations and essays: Dalton, John

Dalton, John

Published by W. Richardson, London (1793)

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Item Description: W. Richardson, London, 1793. First Statement of Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures Dalton, John (1766-1844). Meteorological observations and essays. 8vo. xvi, 208pp. Text diagrams. London: Printed for W. Richardson . . . J. Phillips, . . . and W. Pennington, 1793. 216 x 136 mm. 19th century sheep, gilt spine, a little rubbed. Very good copy. First Edition, First Issue, with the publishers' names as above and the price on the title given as four shillings. Dalton's first book, containing his first statement of what we now call Dalton's law of partial pressures. Dalton's study of rainfall and water vapor in the atmosphere led him to claim that water vapor exists in the atmosphere as "fluid sui generis diffused among the rest of the aerial fluids," rather than as a result of a chemical reaction with air. In the appendix to the work, Dalton stated that "'the vapour of water (and probably of most other liquids) exists at all times in the atmosphere in an independent state' . . . The ideas that in a mixture of gases every gas acts as an independent entity (Dalton's law of partial pressures) and that the air is not a vast chemical solvent were thus first stated in the Meteorological Observations" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography). Smyth, John Dalton, 1. $2000. Bookseller Inventory # 41760

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DALTON, JOHN. - [THE FOUNDATION OF METEOROLOGY]

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: Lynge & Søn ILAB-LILA (Copenhagen, Denmark)

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Item Description: London, W. Richardson, 1793. Cont. hcalf, professionally rebacked in old style with raised bands. orig. gilt title-label preserved. XVI,208 pp. Light yellowing to leaves, scattered brownspots. Front-and end-papers brownspotted. First edition of Dalton's first book. In chemistry Dalton was the founder of "The Atomic Theory" (A New System of Chemical Philosophy 1808-27) and with his "Meteorological Observations" and supplementary lectures he laid the foundation of modern meteorology, establishing the cause of air's homogeneity and formulating the law of partial pressures. In the attempt to give solid experimental bases for his studies, Dalton laid the foundation of future atomic theory, beginning an experimental inquiry into proportions of different gases in the atmosphere. (PMM p.157). - A.L. Smyth No. 1. Bookseller Inventory # 28834

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DALTON, JOHN

Published by W. Richardson, J. Phillips, W. Pennington, London (1793)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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Item Description: W. Richardson, J. Phillips, W. Pennington, London, 1793. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE IN ORIGINAL BOARDS of Dalton's first book; one of the foundational works in meteorology. "In 1793 Dalton moved to Manchester to teach mathematics at a dissenting academy, the New College. He took with him the proof sheets of his first book, a collection of essays on meteorologic topics based on his own observations together with those of his friends John Gough and Peter Crosthwaite. This work, Meteorological Observations and Essays, was published in 1793. It created little stir at first but contained original ideas that, together with Dalton's more developed articles, marked the transition of meteorology from a topic of general folklore to a serious scientific pursuit" (Britannica). His book "contained not only a record of his unremitting observations but also inferences of the causes of the meteorological phenomena so exposed. These reflections, which inevitably concerned the relation between air, water, and water vapour, played an important part in the evolution of his future theories. "The book began with a description of the instruments needed for observation. There followed a series of typical observations and essays on their interpretation. Then a more interesting section on the aurora showed Dalton's breadth of experience with many instruments, even including work with a new design of theodolite. The final section interpreted the findings of the earlier sections, offering theories and speculations, including one of great ingenuity-proposing that the aurora is of electrical or magnetic origin" (Dictionary of National Biography). First issue: with date (1793) on title page and price of four shillings. London: W. Richardson, J. Phillips, W. Pennington, 1793. Octavo, original boards sympathetically rebacked with paper spine; pages uncut. Complete with subscribers list. Some light occasional browning, small taped closed tear in margin of one leaf (p.73). A rare survival in original boards. Bookseller Inventory # 1286

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