Geology & Earth Science
(NASA) Corliss, William R. | Putting Satellites to Work
First edition and a beautiful copy of this early NASA publication on satellites and their applications, written for high school aged students.
The contents include sections on weather and climate monitoring, global mapping and photography, geodesy, communications, and navigation, discussing contemporary achievements as well as possibilities for the future. As Leonard Jaffe, director of NASA’s Space Applications Program, writes in the introduction, “One of the major avenues of intellectual and program effort that has guided us at NASA has been the concept, at first unproved but now clearly valid, that space systems can provide unique, direct benefits to man, benefits not before possible or economically feasible... Communications, navigation, geodetic, and meteorological space systems are operational today, and their existence, once the subject of science fiction, is now a practical fact. It is clear that many potential applications exist: the one most clearly on the horizon is the possibility of surveying the Earth’s resources from space. We are really just beginning to develop the possibilities in this area of research, but we can clearly foresee that during the next decade NASA can... provide tools which may significantly affect the efficiency and thus the quality of our life here on Earth”.
Author William Corliss (1926-2011), a physicist and writer interested in anomalous phenomena such as unusual weather, geophysical oddities, and optical illusions, described by Arthur C. Clark as “ [Charles] Fort's latter-day - and much more scientific - successor” (Clark, Astounding Days, p. 110).
...America in Space: The First Decade. Washington D.C.: NASA, October 1, 1968.
Large octavo, 26 pages. Original black and white wrappers, stapled. Illustrations throughout. Minor creasing to the top corner. Excellent condition.
Aikin, John | The Calendar of Nature
Third edition of this charming little book on the changing of the seasons from month to month by the “physician and man of letters” John Aiken (1747-1822) (Hahn, The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature).
Aiken charming combines practical knowledge of nature and gardening with literary references. For April he writes: “This month gives the most perfect image of Spring; for its vicissitudes of warm gleams of sunshine, and gentle showers, have the most wonderful effects in hastening that universal springing of the vegetable tribes, from whence the season derives its appellation. April generally begins with raw unpleasant weather, the influence of the equinoctial storms still in some degree prevailing, Its opening is thus described in a poem of Mr. Warton’s: ‘Mindful of disaster past, And thinking of the northern blast, The fleety storm returning still, The morning hoar; the evening chill; Reluctant comes the timid Spring...’ Early in the month, that welcome guest and harbinger of Summer, the swallow, returns. The kind first seen, is the chimney, or house, swallow, known by its long forked tail, and red breast. At first, here and there, only one appears, glancing quick by us, as if scarcely able to endure the cold. ‘The swallow for a moment seen, Skims in haste the village green’.”
A very nice copy in an attractive contemporary tree calf binding. With the ownership inscription and notes of a woman, Eliza Davenport, who obtained this copy in 1810. Davenport’s short pencilled notes at the rear of the volume relate to a handful of observations of flowering plants and other phenomena.
...Designed for the Instruction and Entertainment of Young Persons. The Third Edition. London: Joseph Johnson, 1787.
Duodecimo (155 x 95mm). Contemporary tree calf, spine gilt in compartments, marbled endpapers. 1810 ownership inscription to the verso of the front free endpaper, pencilled notes of a similar date to the verso of the rear blank. Binding lightly rubbed at the extremities, the corner of B6 torn, not affecting the text, light spotting to the contents. Very good condition.
Applin, Esther Richards | "Subsurface Stratigraphy of the Coastal Plain of Texas and Louisiana"
Offprint of the paper proving that microfossils could be used to date the layers of the Earth’s crust and identify potential oil-bearing zones, a key insight of modern geology. An attractive copy in very nice condition.
Author Esther Richards Applin (1895-1972) was an petroleum geologist at the Rio Bravo Oil Company. “In a paper presented at a Geological Society meeting in 1921 by her supervisor at Rio Bravo, Applin suggested that microfossils could be used to date strata. She was ridiculed by more experienced geologists for her audacity... To verify her claim, Applin worked with Alva Ellisor and Hedwig Kniker to find ways to separate the fossils from the matrix of the cuttings. In 1925, the three coauthored a paper that detailed the sequences and oil-bearing zones in the Gulf Coast using microfossils” (Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science p. 46).
...reprinted for private circulation from Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Vol. 9, No. 1, January-February 1925.
[Tulsa, OK]: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1925.
44 page offprint. Original tan wrappers printed in black. 1 plate, 1 illustration within the text. Wrappers lightly rubbed and toned with some small chipped areas at the edges of the lower wrapper. Text clean and fresh. Very good condition.
Applin, Esther Richards, et al. | "Subsurface Stratigraphy of the Coastal Plain of Texas and Louisiana"
Offprint of the paper proving that microfossils could be used to date the layers of the Earth’s crust, a key insight of modern geology. Presentation copy inscribed by author Alva E. Ellisor on the upper cover.
Lead author Esther Richards Applin (1895-1972) was an petroleum geologist at the Rio Bravo Oil Company. “In a paper presented at a Geological Society meeting in 1921 by her supervisor at Rio Bravo, Applin suggested that microfossils could be used to date strata. She was ridiculed by more experienced geologists for her audacity... To verify her claim, Applin worked with Alva Ellisor and Hedwig Kniker to find ways to separate the fossils from the matrix of the cuttings. In 1925, the three coauthored a paper that detailed the sequences and oil-bearing zones in the Gulf Coast using microfossils” (Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science p. 46).
Ellisor was one of the first professional female stratigraphers in the United States, and probably the first woman to do geological work for an oil company, the Humble Oil and Refining Company (BDWS p. 419). “Ellisor recognized the importance of combining laboratory work with field work. She examined nearly every area of the gulf coast, visiting Pliocene, Miocene, Oligocene, and Cretaceous exposures o the coast. After her first paper was published (1918), she identified the first Foraminifera ever observed on the Gulf Coast... this discovery supplied the oil industry with the means to identify these oil-bearing formations where previously they had been dependant on large fossils or fossil fragments. After this discovery, she became Humble’s first research stratigrapher and paleontologist” (BDWS). Ellisor was elected vice-president of the Houston Geological Society twice and was a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.
...reprinted for private circulation from Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Vol. 9, No. 1, January-February 1925, pp. 79-122.
[Tulsa, OK]: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1925.
44 page offprint. Original tan wrappers printed in black. 1 plate, 1 illustration within the text. Wrappers a little rubbed and toned with some creasing and small closed tears at the edges of the upper wrapper, and creasing from folds of the lower wrapper and some of the rear leaves. Very good condition.
Applin, Paul L. & Esther R. | "Regional Subsurface Stratigraphy and Structure of Florida and Southern Georgia"
Offprint. Presentation copy inscribed on the upper wrapper, “Compliments of the authors”, one of whom was responsible for a key insight of modern geology, that microfossils could be used to date strata.
Author Esther Richards Applin (1895-1972) and her husband Paul met when both were petroleum geologists at the Rio Bravo Oil Company. “In a paper presented at a Geological Society meeting in 1921 by her supervisor at Rio Bravo, Applin suggested that microfossils could be used to date strata. She was ridiculed by more experienced geologists for her audacity... To verify her claim, Applin worked with Alva Ellisor and Hedwig Kniker to find ways to separate the fossils from the matrix of the cuttings. In 1925, the three coauthored a paper that detailed the sequences and oil-bearing zones in the Gulf Coast using microfossils” (Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science p. 46). Together the Applins studied the oil-bearing zones of the Gulf Coast, and in 1944 they moved to Talahassee and Eleanor joined the US Geological Survey, continuing to publish and do research into the 1960s.
...reprinted for private circulation from The Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Vol. 28, No. 12, December, 1944, pp. 1673-1753.
[Tulsa, OK:]: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1944.
Octavo. Original cream wrappers printed in black. 5 illustrations from photographs in 4 plates, maps and charts within the text. Wrappers a little faded at the spine and edges, some faint spots and mild creasing. Excellent condition.
Boos, C. Maynard & Margaret Fuller | "Tectonics of Eastern Flank and Foothills of Front Range, Colorado"
Offprint inscribed by Margaret Boos on the title, “To Sherman Wengerd, with appreciation for his prompt and careful editing of the manuscript, Margaret and Maynard Boos”.
Geologist Margaret Boos (1892-1978), known as Peggy to her friends, was one of the 20th century’s leading experts on the geology of the Rocky Mountains, principally the structure and stratigraphy of the Front Range; carried out important work on minerals and petroleum reserves in the region; and taught at universities across the American West, including establishing and serving as head of the Department of Geology at the University of Denver. She met her husband, C. Maynard Boos, while both were graduate students at the University of Chicago and he became “an ideal field partner”, helping her expand on her own work (Jacobson, “Margaret Fuller Boos: Colorado Pegmatite Geologist”, Matrix vol. 5, summer 1998. p. 74). Boos became one of the first female members of the American Geological Association and in 1975 the US Board of Geographic Names designed a previously unclimbed mountain in Alaska “Peggy’s Peak” in her honour. “Boos was very interested in supporting women students studying geology at Northwestern University; following her death, the Margaret Fuller Boos Scholarship was established as a permanent endowed fund for women graduate students at Northwestern” (Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science). The present paper is on the subject for which Boos and her husband are best know, the geology of the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies, and is listed as a key work in the Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science.
The recipient of this inscribed offprint, Sherman Wengerd (1915-1995) was a distinguished petroleum geologist at the University of New Mexico and a leader in his field, responsible for more than 140 academic publications and the supervision of 30 masters theses and PhD dissertations.
...[offprint from] The Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, volume 41, number 12.
Denver, CO: The American Association of Petroleum Geologists, December, 1957.
Duodecimo, stapled. Small arrow in ink pointing to the authors’ names. A few of the outer leaves split at the head and tail of the spine, but still firmly bound. Excellent condition.
Buick, Thomas Lindsay | The Mystery of the Moa: New Zealand's Avian Giant.
First edition, first impression. An unusually attractive copy in the scarce dust jacket. The Mystery of the Moa is a scientific and historical narrative of the giant birds of New Zealand, covering their origin in prehistory, behavior and habitat, relationship to Maori culture, extinction, and the European search for fossils and living specimens. The plates include photographs of Moa skeletons and eggs (including the famous image of Sir Richard Owen next to the York specimen), New Zealand landscapes, and Maori and European individuals associated with the Moa.
Author Thomas Lindsay Buick (1865-1938) "was a man of considerable intellectual ability, substantially self-educated, who began writing New Zealand history by chance but soon developed a lasting commitment to the task. During a busy career as a journalist he managed to write 12 books and a small number of pamphlets, many of which he published at his own expense. Buick had a fluent prose style and a firm sense of narrative structure. He synthesised a wide range of printed sources and, particularly for his earlier works, sought out eyewitnesses and others closely associated with historical events. Through The Treaty of Waitangi and other books and speeches, he played an important role in establishing the treaty as New Zealand's foremost historical document, asserting that it was 'in very truth the foundation of our nationhood'. He belongs to the small group of New Zealand-born historians, including Robert McNab, James Cowan and Elsdon Best, writing in the first quarter of the twentieth century, who worked out of a sense of duty and with little or no financial reward to make New Zealand's past readily accessible to the general reader" (Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand online).
- Published under the auspices of The Board of Maori Ethnological Research. Illustrated. New Plymouth, NZ: Thomas Avery & Sons Limited, 1931. Octavo. Original dark blue-green pebble cloth boards, titles to spine and upper board gilt. With the dust jacket. Frontispiece and 26 plates. Corner of upper board bumped, cloth a little dulled, white mark to upper board, a little light spotting to edges of text block and occasionally to contents. A very good copy in the jacket that is generally fresh with a few spots, a faint ring to the upper board, and some small chips and short closed tears.
Emanuel, Harry | Diamonds and Precious Stones
First edition, first impression of this delightful book on precious stones. Included in the text are a lovely chromolithographic title page and other lithographic illustrations, chapters on their history and appearance in classical literature and the Bible, their characteristics and values, identification, and technical information on cutting and polishing. A very attractive copy in unusually nice condition.
...Their History, Value and Distinguishing Characteristics. With simple tests for their identification.
London: John Camden Hotten, 1865.
Octavo. Original purple cloth blocked in gilt, purple coated endpapers. 6 page publisher’s ad at rear. Chromolithographic half title, 4 tinted lithographic plates and 1 monochrome lithographic plate, illustrations within the text. Elegant ownership inscription dated 1879 to the verso of the first leaf. Cloth lightly rubbed, spine slightly darkened, some tiny spots on the upper board, occasional light spotting. An excellent copy.
European Space Agency | METEOSAT Users’ Guide
An uncommon, early user’s guide to METEOSAT, the European Space Agency’s meteorological satellite network, published in 1976 or early 1977, just before the system’s first satellite became operational in December, 1977. We can locate no copies of this guide at auction or institutionally.
METEOSAT was designed for long-term weather forecasting, and “when the first Meteosat satellite took its place in the sky, it completed coverage of the whole globe from geostationary orbit and laid the foundations for European and world cooperation in meteorology that continues today... Meteosat was an important milestone in European cooperation in space. Individual countries had pioneered monitoring of the ionosphere from space and the European Space Conferences of the 1960s agreed in principle that there should be a European weather satellite, but it was not until Meteosat that the potential for meteorological satellites began to be fulfilled... Meteosat-1 lifted off at 13:35 GMT on 23 November 1977 from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It reached its operational orbit on 7 December 1977, and its first image was sent back on 9 December. It was the first satellite in geostationary orbit to have a water vapour channel to track the motion of moisture in the air. The new satellite required great improvements in ESA’s computing power – both for telemetry and for image data processing. From its position over the Greenwich meridian, Meteosat-1 could scan Earth’s full disc every 30 minutes, with the data being provided in near-real time to users. Since the launch of the first Meteosat, 40 years of imagery and derived meteorological data from it and its successors have helped to significantly improve weather forecasting. There are 35 years’ worth of Meteosat imagery available online and the satellite’s record of imaging from space constitutes an important body of evidence in climate science.” ("Forty Years of METEOSAT", ESA History of Europe in Space website).
The contents of this twelve page pamphlet give “a brief description of the METEOSAT system, its mission, and the services it will offer for a better understanding of the earth and its near environment”, as explained in the introduction by Dr. Dieter Lennertz, Head of the Meteorological Programmes Office of the ESA. The contents include a map of the satellite's coverage; a list of missions ("Imaging, every half hours, of the earth’s surface and cloud cover, in one band of the visible spectrum and in two bands of the infra-red spectrum..."); a list of the major components of the whole satellite and ground-based system; the products that will be available to users ("high-resolution images of the earth and its cloud cover... meteorological information: wind fields, sea surface temperatures, cloud cover, cloud-top altitude, radiative exchange balances, measurements of the water vapour content of the upper troposphere... environment data"); and how this information will be collected and disseminated.
...A Short Introduction to METEOSAT and Its Use. Toulouse, France: ESA Meteorological Programmes office, [c. 1976].
Duodecimo, 12 pages. Original colour printed wrappers, stapled. Charts and diagrams within the text, illustration of a METEOSAT satellite in the lab from a colour photo. Wrappers lightly rubbed, some minor fading and creasing along the spine. Excellent condition.
Hansen, James | Storms of My Grandchildren
First edition, first printing of this important popular work by leading climate scientist James Hansen (1941 - ).
Hansen, currently director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University, has been studying climate change since the 1970s, making important contributions to our understanding of the atmosphere of Venus; how the global average temperature is measured and calculated; the effects of black carbon (such as that produced by forest fires and burning coal); and the design and analysis of climate models, showing that climate change has been occurring faster than most early models predicted.
Hansen first came to public prominence when he testified to Congress in 1988 on the causes and effects of climate change, and in recent years he has been an outspoken activist, critical of ineffectual mitigation policies, and being arrested three times during 2011 demonstrations against the Keystone Pipeline. Storms of My Grandchildren explains the science of anthropogenic climate change, why it threatens humanity’s future, discusses the political issues that kept it from being adequately addressed, and proposes a way foreword for the economy and environment.
...The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. Illustrations by Makiko Sato. New York: Bloomsbury, 2009.
Octavo. Original black boards, titles to spine in silver. With the dust jacket. Illustrations and charts within the text. Spine a little rolled. An excellent, fresh copy in the bright jacket.
Hibbert, Samuel | History of the Extinct Volcanos of the Basin of Neuwied
First and only edition of this rare work on the effect of volcanic activity on the development of the Rhine Valley, in the original cloth. WorldCat locates only three copies, at Berlin, Göttingen, and the University of Manchester. Only two have appeared at auction in the last decade, this copy at at Forum Auctions in 2017 and one in library cloth at Dominic Winter in 2013.
Author Samuel Hibbert Ware (1782-1848) was an antiquarian and geologist who spent most of his life in Edinburgh, where he was a member of numerous learned societies and was friendly with notables such as Sir Walter Scott. “In 1817 Hibbert visited Shetland, where he discovered 'chromate of iron' and undertook a geological survey of the country. For this discovery the Society of Arts awarded him in 1820 the Iris gold medal. In Shetland he also discovered what he described as 'native hydrate of magnesia'. In 1822 he published his Description of the Shetland Islands, in which he described the local geology and antiquities. Hibbert contributed various papers to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, of which he was secretary from 1823 to 1827, with responsibility for obtaining contributions for meetings and preparing them for publication. He remained an active member of the society, editing volumes and helping run the museum, under what were sometimes difficult conditions.... In 1824, at the request of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, Hibbert delivered at Manchester a course of lectures on geology, and in 1827 a further course for the Manchester Royal Institution... He and his family also spent two or three years abroad, chiefly visiting the volcanic districts of France, Italy, and northern Germany, and he published a History of the Extinct Volcanoes of the Basin of Neuwied on the Lower Rhine (1832) on his return to Edinburgh” (ODNB).
A History of the Extinct Volcanos was well received in the scientific community. A near contemporary, Edward Hull, described it as a work of “remarkable merit, if we consider the time at which it was written. For not only does it give a clear and detailed account of the volcanic phenomena of the Eifel and the Lower Rhine, but it anticipates the principles upon which modern writers account for the formation of river valleys and other physical features; and in working out the physical history of the Rhine Valley below Mainz, and its connection with the extinct volcanos which are found on both banks of that river, he has taken very much the same line of reasoning which was some years afterwards adopted by Sir A. Ramsay when dealing with the same subject. It does not appear that the latter writer was aware of Dr. Hibbert’s treatise” (Hull, Volcanos Past and Present, p. 7).
...on the Lower Rhine. With Maps, Views, and Other Illustrations. Edinburgh & London: W. and D. Lang; Treuttel and Wurtz ad Richter, 1832.
Octavo. Original brown silk morieé, printed paper label to spine. 2 hand-coloured maps, one being the double page folding frontispiece, 6 lithographed plates of which 3 are double page, 18 illustrations within the text. Table and directions to the binder at rear. Publisher’s advert on the front pastedown, covered by a late-19th century Munden family bookplate. Splits at the head of the spine, some small worn spots at the extremities, joints cracked, some light offsetting affecting the maps, some of the plates darkened, light spotting to the edges of the text block. Edges untrimmed. Very good condition.
Jenyns, Leonard | Observations in Meteorology
First edition of this significant contribution to 19th century meteorological records, uncommon in such nice condition.
By the close of his career author Leonard Jenyns (later Blomefield, 1800-1893) was considered a “patriarch of natural history studies in Great Britain” (ODNB). Interested in science from a young age, Jenyns attended Cambridge, where he became a close friend and collaborator with J. S. Henslow. In 1823 Jenyns was ordained, and his first post was as curate of Swaffam Bulbeck, where he made the meteorological observations published in the present volume. Cambridge was nearby, and he maintained strong relations with his colleagues there, becoming friends with the younger Charles Darwin during the naturalist’s time as an undergraduate. Most famously, Jenyns was invited to join the Beagle voyage but declined and recommended Darwin instead, later writing that, “no better man could have been chosen for the purpose” (Darwin Correspondence project biographical sketch). Darwin and Jenyns remained friends and correspondents for the rest of their lives, with Jenyns describing the fish specimens that Darwin collected on his journey, culminating in Fishes of the Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle, published between 1840 and 1842.
Jenyns was a tireless observer, and made numerous contributions to the field of natural history. Other than the Fishes, his most important publications were A Systematic Catalogue of British Vertebrate Animals and A Manual of British Vertebrate Animals; “the latter work was held in high estimation as a work of reference” (ODNB). “In 1856 at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Cheltenham, he read a paper entitled 'The variation of species', a paper of which Darwin asked to be sent a copy. (Jenyns broadly supported the latter's ideas, subsequently published in Origin of Species.) In 1869 Jenyns was the donor of the Jenyns Library, a munificent gift of some 1200 volumes, which went to Bath's Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. He also donated to this institution his choice herbarium of British plants, consisting of more than forty folio and an equal number of quarto volumes, the result of his life work in this branch of science... The Proceedings of the Bath Field Club abound with papers and addresses from his pen. Not the least valuable are those on the climate and meteorology of Bath. It was entirely at his instance that the small observatory was erected in the Institution gardens in 1865” (ODNB).
...Relating to Temperature, the Winds, Atmospheric Pressure, the Aqueous Phenomena of the Atmosphere, Weather-Changes, etc., Being Chiefly the Results of a Meteorological Journal Kept for Nineteen Years at Swaffham Bulbeck in Cambridgeshire... London: John van Voorst, 1858.
Octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spine gilt, decorative roundels to spine and borders to boards clocked in blind, yellow coated endpapers. Single leaf of publisher’s ads at rear. Lightly rubbed at the extremities, spine a little rolled, endpapers and half title tanned, occasional small spots to contents. An excellent copy, the cloth fresh.
Libby, Leona Marshall | Past Climates
First edition and an unusually fresh and attractive copy of this important work on using isotopes in ancient trees to study past climates.
Leona (Woods) Marshall Libby (1919-1986) was one of the most prominent female physicists of the 20th century and an important member of the Manhattan project. Immediately upon earning her graduate degree in 1942 she joined Enrico Fermi’s research group at the University of Chicago, where she helped construct Chicago Pile-1, the world’s first nuclear reactor. Laura Fermi remembered her as “a tall young girl built like an athlete, who could do a man’s job and do it well” (”This Month in Physics History: Death of Leona Woods Marshall Libby”, American Physical Society, vol. 23, no. 10, 2014). Aged 23, she was the youngest and only female member of the team, and was present when the reactor went critical. Woods married her colleague, John Marshall, Jr., and the couple worked on Manhattan Project nuclear reactors at Argonne, Illinois and then Hanford, Washington, where she made significant contributions to the discovery that the fission by-product xenon-135 can slow and eventually stop the nuclear chain reaction.
After the war Woods Marshall continued worked at Fermi’s Institute for Nuclear Studies, later joining the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and New York University. In 1966 she married a former Manhattan Project colleague, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Willard Libby. Libby and her husband were both interested in environmental issues, and “Although Leona Libby continued her research on particle physics, she became increasingly interested in Willard Libby’s work on the determination of ancient climates by observing tree rings” (Ogilvie p. 788). Libby was hired by UCLA in 1975, “where her research shifted to devising new methods for studying annual changes in temperature and rainfall patterns using isotope ratios of oxygen and carbon in tree rings” (”This Month in Physics History”).
The present volume, published in 1983, discusses the chemical methods of climate research that Libby devised, and includes a significant chapter on the history of human interaction with the climate. In the preface she writes that, “This book describes the new science of tree thermometry, depending on measuring stable isotope ratios in wood, and its power to reveal climactic changes in the past... The method of tree thermometry depends on measuring the ratios of the stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in tree rings. These elements derive from rain and snow, which in turn originate as water vapor distilled from the surface of the seas. Variations in sea surface temperature cause variations in the stable isotope ratios in the distilled water and therefore changes in the ratios as they are stored year by year in tree rings. By evaluating their changes in tree rings, we are able to determine climate changes in the past... By applying the method of Fourier analysis to the stable isotope measurements in trees, we can predict climate changes to be expected in the near future. Such predictions have not yet been tested, but they should certainly be studied for their potential influence on world food and energy supplies and on national defense”.
Bibliography: Ogilvie pp. 787-788
...Tree Thermometers, Commodities, and People. Foreword by Rainer Berger. Austin, TX: University of Texas press, 1983.
Octavo. Original khaki boards printed in white and green. Illustrations and charts throughout the text. Spine faded, some very light rubbing at the extremities. An excellent copy.
Maury, M. F. | The Physical Geography of the Sea
Seventh edition of this major text of oceanography, originally published in 1855. An attractive copy, the cloth unusually bright and fresh.
The Physical Geography of the Sea was the first comprehensive, scientific work on the characteristics and behaviour of the oceans. Its author, Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873) was a Naval officer, librarian, meteorologist, astronomer, and one of the founders of modern oceanography. As Superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory, he recognised the importance of the Naval Office’s collection of log books, and undertook the task of organising this library so that its data could be published and used to improve seamanship and the understanding of the oceans. Maury instituted a key reporting system so that weather and current data could be relayed to his office from around country, and he promoted international standards for data collection and distribution. Maury studied the migrations of whales, and from this developed the concept of the Northwest Passage; he also developed the concept of ocean lanes for shipping traffic. The Physical Geography of the Sea was his most important publication, and for many years the standard work on the subject.
...With the author’s latest additions.
London: T. Nelson and Sons, 1860.
Octavo. Original purple cloth blocked in gilt and blind with seaweed motif, yellow coated endpapers. 13 plates and charts printed in blue on 12 leaves, of which 10 are folding. Armorial bookplate, Pall Mall Gazette clipping on the author tipped-in on the first page of the introduction, contemporary ownership inscription to the verso of the front free endpaper and some notes in the same hand (on waves in the Atlantic) on the recto. Cloth just a little rubbed but fresh and bright, spine toned, occasional light spots to contents. Very good condition.
Nansen, Fridtjof | Farthest North
Second English language edition, the first to appear in the famous gilt-blocked publisher’s cloth. A lovely set, the cloth bright and fresh.
Born in Christiana (Oslo) in 1861, Fridtjof Nansen trained as a scientist. He earned a PhD in zoology, made important contributions to neurological anatomy, and worked as a natural history curator in Bergen and Oslo. He was also a champion cross-country skier, and combined his scientific interests with a thirst for adventure by becoming the first person to cross the unexplored interior of Greenland, using a novel method - skis. Next he planned an even more ambitious trip to the Arctic, again applying radical new ideas to the challenge. He began with the scientific hypothesis that an ocean current carried polar ice from east to west, and decided that the best way to reach the pole was to intentionally trap his ship in the pack ice near Siberia, live in it for a year or two as it made its way toward the pole, and then set off with skis and dogs for the final leg. Instead of trying to bend the Arctic to his will, he would “take note of the forces of nature and try to work with them and not against them” (Huntford, p. 180).
Nansen’s plans were technologically ingenious. The strength of polar ice could crumple a normal ship, so he devised a revolutionary new type, one with “sloping sides and rounded bilges, completely smooth, rather like an egg cut in half. In this way the ice could not get a grip, and instead of being crushed by the floes she would rise safely under pressure” (Huntford p. 183). He tinkered obsessively with his sledges and skis to adapt them for arctic conditions; designed lighter, more flexible clothing; and was the first polar explorer to adopt the Primus stove. He arranged a wide variety of fresh and preserved food to provide nutritional balance for the crew, and had many items laboratory tested before ordering them. Scurvy had stalked every previous polar voyage, and while Nansen’s theory about its cause was incorrect, the varied diet meant that this was the first polar expedition in which no one was affected. In fact, it was the first such expedition in which every crewman made it back safely - many, including Nansen, having gained weight rather than lost it despite spending nearly three years in the arctic. The Voyage was also one of significant scientific discovery, with the Fram “serving as an oceanographic-meteorological-biological laboratory” that obtained enough data to fill six volumes of scientific observations published on the ship’s return (Nobel Peace Prize biography).
Though Nansen did not reach the north pole, he achieved what was then the farthest north (86°13.6′N), around 314 km beyond the previous record. He “returned to international acclaim not only for the voyage itself but for its results, proof of a deep Arctic Ocean, free of any land masses or islands, and extensive data on magnetism, zoology, and oceanography. His account of the journey, Farthest North, was a worldwide bestseller and prepared him for an effective life of diplomacy” (Books on Ice).
...Being the record of a voyage of exploration of the ship Fram 1893-96 and of a fifteen months’ sleigh journey by Dr. Nansen and Lieut. Johansen with an appendix by Otto Sverdrup Captain of the Fram. About one hundred and twenty full page and numerous text illustrations and coloured plate in facsimile from Nansen’s own sketches. Portrait and maps.
London: George Newnes, Ltd., 1898.
2 volumes, octavo. Publisher’s green cloth elaborately blocked in gilt, silver, and red with depictions of the Fram on the covers, red speckled edges. Frontispiece to each volume, colour plate and colour folding map to volume I, 212 illustrations from photographs and drawings. Subtle repairs to the joints of volume I, professional tissue repairs to some minor closed tears at the inner margin and a couple of the folds of the map, cloth lightly rubbed at the extremities but overall fresh and bright. Very good condition.
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center | Science in Orbit
First edition and a beautiful copy of this book celebrating the Space Shuttle’s scientific mission and laboratory capabilities, copiously illustrated in full colour. Among the topics covered in this technically advanced volume are studying the human body in space; materials and chemical processes in microgravity; observing the Sun; plasma physics in space; atmospheric science and Earth observations; and astronomy and astrophysics.
...The Shuttle & Spacelab Experience: 1981-1986. Washington D. C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1988.
Tall quarto. Original illustrated boards depicting the space shuttle, dark blue embossed endpapers. Colour illustrations throughout. Small area of residue where ownership ticket or small bookplate was removed from the front pastedown. Very light rubbing at the tips, pages faintly toned at the edges. Excellent condition.
Verndasky, Vladimir I. | The Biosphere
First English language edition, first printing of this key work in the history of ecology, originally published in Russian in 1926. A beautiful copy.
Author Vladimir Vernadsky (1863-1945) remains little known in the West, but he was a leading Russian geochemist whose main contributions to science were expanding on and popularising the concept of the biosphere and adding to it his theory that plant, animal, and human life had a significant influence on the Earth’s geology and chemistry. This was controversial, as most scientists believed that human and animal activity could not affect the planet’s atmosphere or geological processes.
“A bare handful of scientists thought otherwise. The deepest thinker was the Russian geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky. From his work mobilizing industrial production for the First World War, Vernadsky recognized that the volume of materials produced by human industry was approaching the scale of geological processes. Analyzing biochemical activities, he concluded that the oxygen, nitrogen, and C02 that make up the Earth’s atmosphere are put there largely by living creatures. In the 1920s he published works arguing that living organisms constituted a force for reshaping the planet comparable to any physical force. beyond this he saw a new and still greater force coming into play: intelligence, Vernadsky’s visionary pronouncements about humanity as a geological force were not widely read, however, and struck most readers as nothing but romantic ramblings” (Weart, The Discovery of Global Warming, pp. 14-15).
This edition, the first complete publication of The Biosphere in English, is fully annotated and includes a foreword by thirteen scientists and historians, including the prominent biologist Lynn Margulis (1938-2011), who made the important discovery that bacterial organelles such as mitochondria were originally free-living bacteria.
...Foreword by Lynn Margulis [et al]. Introduction by Jacques Grinevald. Translated by David B. Langmuir. Revised and Annotated by Mar A. S. McMenamin. New York: Copernicus, Spring-Verlag, 1998.
Quarto. Original quarter black cloth over red boards, titles to spine in metallic blue, black endpapers with white text. With the dust jacket. A little very mild rubbing and a small spot to the jacket. A superb copy in excellent condition.
Warren, John C. | Remarks on Some Fossil Impressions in the Sandstone Rocks of Connecticut River
- First edition and a very attractive copy. This book was the second American publication (and first American scientific publication) to be illustrated with a photograph, a salt print depicting the fossilised tracks of prehistoric birds. Author John Collins Warren (1778-1856) was a prominent Boston surgeon and member of the Harvard Medical School faculty. "On October 16, 1846, Warren performed the first operation using ether as an anesthesia (administered by dentist W.T.G. Morton), and he was the first American to operate on a strangulated hernia. He wrote an important book on his speciality, Surgical Observations on Tumours (1837)" (Massachusetts Historical Society finding aid). Warren also developed a large collection of anatomical specimens, both human and animal, and published works on mastodon fossils and an Egyptian mummy. The present paper is based on a talk he gave at the Boston Society of Natural History on the fossil slab pictured in the frontispiece. He writes that, "we are indebted to photography for enabling us to represent the remarkable slab from Greenfield, and its numerous objects, in a small space, yet with perfect accuracy."
- Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. Octavo. Original blue cloth elaborately blocked in blind, title to upper board gilt. Folding salt print frontispiece depicting fossil tracks. Lightly rubbed at extremities, a few faint spots and marks to cloth, head of spine bumped, two small dampstains to preliminaries not affecting frontispiece. Excellent condition.