(Miller, Peter L.) Longfield, Cynthia | Dragonflies of the British Isles
Second edition, enlarged, of the authoritative guide of the period. From the library of dragonfly specialist Peter L. Miller, with his ownership signature and bookplate, two manuscript notes in ink in the text, notes and sketches of dragonfly nymphs on a blank postcard, and a dragonfly wing loosely inserted.
Miller was a lecturer in zoology at Oxford who made significant contributions to a number of fields. “At Oxford he soon became widely respected for the excellence of his research on insects, being awarded the prestigious Medal of the Zoological Society of London in 1972. Until the early 1980s he explored physiology and neural control, primarily of respiration but also of rhythmic and motor behaviour, ventilation and learning. His international standing at that time is reflected in the authorship of more than a dozen chapters on these topics in different definitive textbooks on insect physiology. During those years he also published on insect behaviour in the field and edited two symposium volumes on cell biology.
From the early 1980s Miller focused his research on dragonflies, a group of insects for which he had developed a strong affection while in Uganda. His highly developed skills - for interpreting subtle elements of behaviour, for micro-anatomical dissection and for quantifying neural processes - allowed him to reveal much of the structural and behavioural framework on which dragonfly reproduction is based. This work has far-reaching comparative value and provides a definitive reference point for future contributions to the field.
Other products of his interest in dragonflies have been his stimulation and training of postgraduate students, authorship of two editions of a book on British dragonflies - a model of its genre - and active participation in the British Dragonfly Society, as Vice President and as member of the Dragonfly Conservation Group. Increasingly in later years Miller's energies were directed towards conservation of dragonflies and their habitats, especially through facilitating involvement of young people and non-specialists.” (Peter Miller obituary, the Independent, May 6, 1996.)
In this copy Miller has made two notes in the text: On page 126, under the entry for the Downy Emerald, he wrote, “2 emerged c. 25/5/58 from [?] F. B. A. Windermere”. On page 139, under the entry for the Black-lined Orthetrum, “Nymph from F. B. A. Windermere... emerged c. 25/5/58”. The most extensive notes are on a blank postcard loosely inserted at page 181. Ink manuscript notes describe the larva (nymphs) of four dragonfly species, with pencilled drawings of three. On the back of the card are additional notes about the effect of temperature on dragonfly development, including a small bar graph showing a two-year larval cycle for a species.
The author of this guide, Cynthia Longfield (1896-1989?), was one of Britain’s leading dragonfly specialist. She spent her career as an unpaid worker at the British Museum of Natural History, where she played a major role in collecting and systemising the records of British dragonflies (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 802), and she also served as president of the London Natural History Society. The Dragonflies of the the British Isles, originally published in 1939, was “accepted immediately as the authoritative guide” (Ogilvie).
London and New York: Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd., 1949.
Duodecimo. Original green cloth, titles to spine and upper board and dragonfly device in gilt to upper board, publisher’s name and borders to boards blocked in black, pictorial endpapers. With the dust jacket with dragonfly illustration pasted-on to the front. 16 colour plates, 12 double-sided black & white photographic plates, illustrations within the text. Ownership signature of Peter L. Miller to the front free endpaper, some short notes in his hand in the text, and his and his wife’s bookplate to the verso of the same. Spine rolled, cloth lightly rubbed at the extremities, a little spotting to contents, particularly the edges of the text block. A very good copy in the rubbed, spotted, and dulled jacket with small nicks and chips from the ends of the spine panel.
(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.
Armstrong, C. C. [Mary Ann] | New Zealand Ferns
A rare, sixteen-page album of artistically arrayed and scientifically labeled New Zealand ferns by the award-winning botanical artist and entrepreneur Mary Ann Armstrong, known commercially as “Mrs. C. C. Armstrong” (1838-1910). This is a nice example of Armstrong’s work, which is notable for its elegant presentation, including the use of symmetry and sweeping arcs, and the ingenious placement of moss to “ground” the specimens. Each page is an artwork unto itself, usually featuring between three and six large fronds accompanied by carefully chosen smaller samples, all given scientific labels in a large and neat hand. The ferns in this volume are generally in excellent condition, clearly professional prepared and maintaining their fine details and sense of vitality.
Historian Molly Duggins, of the National Art School, Sydney, has done important work on Armstrong, providing a deep understanding of her work within the contexts of the international fern trade and the economic and cultural landscape of colonialism. She explains that, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, a craze for ferns swept Britain and its colonies, providing “a form of popular rational amusement that was intimately linked to scientific progress and colonisation” and that “held special significance for the colonies where the plethora of local species became a symbol of proto-nationalistic pride” (Duggins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”, Design & Art Australia Online, 2011).
In New Zealand and Australia ferns became a major commercial industry encompassing both living plants and artistically arranged pressed specimens. “Few women, however, engaged in the New Zealand fern industry as a significant and sustained business venture. The fern work produced by Mary Ann Armstrong is distinctive in this regard” (Duggins, “The world’s fernery: New Zealand, fern albums, and nineteenth-century fern fever”, New Zealand’s Empire, p. 108).
Armstrong was born in Birmingham and emigrated to Australia in 1853. Five years later she married Charles Clark Armstrong and in the early 1860s the couple moved to Dunedin, but Charles’s business ventures fared poorly and it may be that Mary, who was developing a serious interest in ferns, began selling pressed specimens to supplement the family’s income (in total there would be eleven children to feed).
“Active from roughly the late 1870s to the 1890s, her body of work revolves around the artistic arrangement and scientific notation of ferns in albums and framed compositions, sometimes composed into decorative, collage-like landscapes”. (Dugins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”). Though they don’t feature in this particular album, she frequently incorporated photographs of the New Zealand landscape and the indigenous Maori, depicting an exoticised New Zealand “cloaked under the mantle of romantic botanical tourism” (Duggins, “The world’s fernery”, p. 113).
In addition to albums, Armstrong produced ferns mounted on postcards and paper goods with fern transfers, supplying them to local booksellers and fancy goods shops. Other family members were involved in this extensive enterprise; when Armstrong and her husband moved to Melbourne in 1887 her son Charles remained in Dunedin, where he worked as a “scenic photographer and fern artist”. He imported ferns and fern products to Australia, and also supplied them to his mother, whose business remained active until the mid 1890s (Duggins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”).
Though Armstrong’s work stemmed from the 19th-century culture of domestic botanical art, Duggins argues that it is, “distinct from this feminine tradition in that it was displayed alongside the work of men at a series of international and intercolonial exhibitions from 1879-89... Moreover, her work was unabashedly commercial: unlike the domestic arts which were largely created and displayed within the home, Mary Ann marketed and sold her fern compositions to the general public. As an entrepreneur, she relied upon the reputation she established through her commendable exhibition record”. And “rather than wholly succumbing to decoration, a majority of Mary Ann’s compositions retained a strong scientific element that was firmly grounded in the systematic notation of each specimen. The classificatory fluctuation of her entries from horticulture to fancy goods at international exhibitions reflects this duality, indicating that her compositions straddled the divide between art and science.” (Duggins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”)
Armstrong’s albums are rare in commerce, appearing at auction only three times in recent decades (Dominic Winter in 2011 and 2008, and Christies in 2008). Institutionally, they are mainly represented in Australasian institutions: the National Library of New Zealand, the Universities of Wellington and Waikato, the National Library of Australia, and the State Libraries of New South Wales and Victoria. Examples are also held at Harvard, the University of Georgia, and UCLA.
Dunedin, NZ, [late 1870s or 1880s].
Tall quarto (370 x 280mm). Original green cloth, upper board blocked in gilt and black. The contents comprise approximately 56 fern specimens mounted on the rectos of 16 card leaves with scientific names in manuscript, the leaves bound in on linen stubs. Maker’s ticket to the front pastedown. Some wear and small bumps, and spots and marks to the binding, contents toned. 4 of the specimens are loose or have a small piece that has come loose, but are still retained, one specimen is lacking a frond. Very good condition.
Baker, J. A. | The Peregrine.
- First edition, first impression of this masterpiece of 20th century nature writing, cited by Ted Hughes, Andrew Motion, Werner Herzog, and many others as one of the most important books of its kind. Rare in such lovely condition in the dust jacket.
J. A. Baker (1926-1987) was a librarian who spent ten years tracking peregrine falcons in coastal Essex during the 1950s and 60s. This, the first of his two published works, distills his observations of the birds and their changing habitat into a lyrical account of a single year, beginning in autumn with the birds’ migration from Scandinavia and ending with their return north in spring.
“The book records these months of chase in all their agitated repetitiveness. It describes them in language so intense and incantatory, and yet also so amok with beauty, that the act of bird-watching becomes akin to a shamanic ritual... Baker's most remarkable achievement in The Peregrine, to my mind, is the quality of deep strangeness with which he invests the East Anglian landscape. His Essex - 50 miles from London, aggressively farmed, densely peopled - is somehow made as mysterious, elemental, wild and remote as anywhere in the world. Like Ted Hughes, Baker is able to evoke a deep Englishness: to make a long-inhabited landscape seem timeless and mythic” (MacFarlane, "Extreme Styles of Hunting", The Guardian, May 21, 2005).
- London: Collins, 1967.
Octavo. Original black boards, title to spine gilt, green endpapers. With the dust jacket. Spine slightly rolled, mild sunning of the upper edges of the boards, faint spotting to the edges of the text block. An excellent copy in the fresh jacket that is just a little faded along the spine panel with a very short closed split to the lower panel.
Bewick, Thomas | A History of British Birds
The seventh edition of one of the finest illustrated ornithology books ever published, the first field guide affordable to the middle class. This being the final edition to include new wood engravings, including Bewick’s last bird engraving, the Cream Coloured Plover. An attractive set, the contents fresh.
“In early May 1825, near Helpston in Northampstonshire, the poet John Clare saw a small brown bird that he could not identify. Did anyone, he asked his friend Joseph Henderson, have a copy of Bewick’s Birds? All lovers of birds in these years looked to Bewick. He spoke directly to a man like Clare, a former farm worker and lime burner who knew every inch of the fields around his home, and to Henderson, head gardener at the nearby hall. Bewick was in his seventies by then, but he came from the same world as them, growing up on a small-holding in the Tyne Valley... He was a fine naturalist himself, and his work combined keen, detailed observation with a new approach showing animals and birds in their natural settings, as part of the whole great interrelated web of nature. ‘Nature’ and God fused together in Bewick’s vision, as a rolling force that infused every aspect of life, from the habits of an ant to the vastness of the universe, ‘this sublime, this amazing, this mighty work of Suns and Worlds innumerable’. He felt its darkness as well as its beauty and his work touched the dawning Romantic age: Wordsworth was among the first to sing his praises and Charlotte Brontë placed his prints of icy seas in the hands of her young heroine, Jane Eyre” (Uglow, Nature’s Engraver, pp. xvii-xviii).
Newcastle: for R. E. Bewick, sold by him, Longman and Co., 1832.
2 volumes, octavo (211 x 129 mm). Mid-19th century calf, spines elaborately gilt in compartments with floral tools, brown morocco labels, double gilt fillets, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers and edges. Wood engravings throughout. Bindings a little rubbed with a few small scuffs and abrasions, including a one and a half cm abrasion affecting a title label on volume I, light spotting to the title of volume II but otherwise the contents are clean and fresh. Very good 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.
Coupin, H. & John Lea | The Romance of Animal Arts & Crafts
- A handsomely bound copy of this illustrated book on structures built by animals, including insect and bird nests, burrows and tunnels, homes bored into rock and wood, and constructions of mud and natural cements. Originally published in 1906 or 07.
- Being an Interesting Account of the Spinning, Weaving, Sewing, Manufacture of Paper and Pottery, Aeronautics, Raft-Building, Road-Making, and Various Other Industries of Wild-Life. With Many Illustrations. London: Seely, Service & Co. Limited, 1927. Octavo (187 x126 mm). Contemporary red half calf prize binding for the City of London Freeman's School, spine gilt in compartments, crest to upper board gilt, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. Frontispiece and 15 plates, 2 illustrations within the text. Prize bookplate. Spine a little faded, a little rubbing at the extremities, light spotting to edges of text block. An excellent copy.
Day, Lewis F. | Nature and Ornament
First editions, first printings of this uncommon two-volume set on designing from nature by Lewis F. Day (1845-1910).
"Day took from his early training a special interest in stained glass design, gradually acquiring a wider reputation as a designer for textiles, pottery, carpets, wallpapers, silver, and many other branches of manufacture. His designs were always carefully adapted to the material in which they were to be carried out, and to the processes of manufacture which had to be employed. He belonged to the same school of artist–craftsmen as William Morris and Walter Crane, and his influence on contemporary ornament, if not so fully recognized as that of those two artists, was considerable. An important educator in design, many of the best-known designers of his day were taught by him and benefited from his belief in natural forms of ornament and high standards of craftsmanship" (ODNB).
- Nature the Raw Material of Design [with] Ornament The Finished Product of Design. London: B. T. Batsford, 1908 & 1909. 2 volumes, octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spines and upper boards in white, patterned endpapers. Illustrations throughout. Contemporary ownership inscription to each half title. Volume I with minor bumping of the corners, partial fading of the spine and upper board, and a couple of small spots; spines rolled, spotting to edges of text block and particularly to the preliminaries. A very good set.
Emiliani, Cesare | Ancient Temperatures
- Offprint of an early popular article on ancient climate by one of the founders of the field, Cesare Emiliani (1922-1995).
During the late 1950s Emiliani studied the tests (shells) of marine amoebas called foraminifera that are found in samples taken from the floors of the deep oceans. He realised that the oxygen isotope composition of the tests was influenced by atmospheric conditions at the time they were alive and that the deep-sea cores could be used to chart climate going back millions of years. This work laid the foundations for modern analysis of past climates. It also established that the ice ages were a cyclic phenomena; contributed to our understanding ocean floor spreading and plate tectonics; and provided influential support for the hypothesis of Milutin Milanković that climate changes in the deep past had been driven by long-term alterations in the Earth’s orbit and geology. Emiliani remained a leading figure in the study of Earth’s climate history through the 1990s, and was awarded both the Vega Medal and the Alexander Aggasiz Medal.
...Reprinted from Scientific American, February 1958. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1958.
12 page pamphlet, stapled. Illustrations throughout. Very faintly toned at the extreme edges of the spine and wrappers. A superb copy.
Feynman, Richard | "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!"
First edition, first printing and a beautiful copy in excellent condition. The orange dust jackets and boards of this book are notoriously prone to fading, but this one is remarkably bright and attractive.
Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman is one of the most popular scientific memoirs of all time. In a series of humorous short stories the famous physicist describes his childhood and developing interest in science, his college education and time on the Manhattan Project, and his career at Cornell and Caltech. Among the memorable episodes are Feynman's description of an anatomical chart as a "map of the cat", his safe cracking escapades at Los Alamos, the tragic death of his first wife, and his exasperated reaction to winning the Nobel Prize. More troublingly, Feynman writes about sexist behaviours such as adopting the behaviours of an aggressive pick-up artist, and using strip clubs as informal offices.
- Adventures of a Curious Character, as told to Ralph Leighton. Edited by Edward Hutchings. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1985. Octavo. Original red cloth backed boards, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. Spine slightly cracked between the front free endpaper and the half title. An excellent copy in the bright jacket with just a few minor nicks at the top edges.
Fuller, R. Buckminster | Nine Chains to the Moon
First edition, first printing of the author’s first book. Presentation copy with a warm and lengthy inscription from the author to fellow architect Robert George Cerny (1908-1985), dated November 22, 1959. Fuller begins, “To Bob Cerny, with whom it has been my privilege and pleasure to work on the emergent....”. Unfortunately, the combination of Fuller’s messy handwriting and unique vocabulary and syntax make it difficult to grasp the full meaning of the inscription, and it’s unclear how the two knew each other.
Nine Chains to the Moon is a collection of forty-four essays on various topics in the history of science and technology, many of them exploring progressive design and the concept Fuller called “ephemeralization”, or doing more with less, which he believed would create higher living standards despite population growth. The title, a metaphor for co-operation, refers to the notion that if all the humans on Earth stood on each other’s shoulders, they could reach the Moon. The book has been described by one fan as “an outlandish collection of essays in feverish celebration of the technical and design possibilities of the twentieth century” (Taylor, http://www.nous.org.uk/Nine.html, accessed August 4, 2020). Fuller’s elaborate writing style (also in evidence in the inscription in this volume) put off most critics, with the Kirkus reviewer left “puzzled, confused and doubting” by the “vast areas where I cannot follow him, where mathematical and physical abstractions leave me floundering, where meaning is lost -- for me -- in a thicket of verbiage”.
The recipient of this copy, Bob Cerny, was a modernist architect based in Minneapolis and St. Paul. he graduated from the University of of Minnesota School of Architecture in 1932. “The school’s architectural program, like others across the country, had fallen under the sway of Modernist ideas in the 1930s. The austere Bauhaus strain of Modernism rather than Wright’s more dynamic style prevailed, and once graduates established practices in Minnesota after the war, they filled the state with all manner of Modernist buildings. These homegrown architects—among them Carl Graffunder, Robert Cerny, Jack Liebenberg, and the firm (now HGA) founded by Richard Hammel, Curt Green, and Bruce Abrahamson—rarely achieved national recognition. Even so, their work, usually quite restrained, was of consistently high quality” (Millett, “Minnesota Design”, Metropolis, March 1, 2018). Among Cerny’s most prominent designs was the 1950s Gateway Center in Minneapolis, one of the largest mid-century “urban renewal” projects.
Philadelphia & New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1938.
Octavo. Original copper cloth, titles to spine and upper board in black, map free endpapers. Illustrations within the text, folding chart at rear. Cloth rubbed, bumped, and scuffed with some spots and marks particularly to the lower panel, rodent damage to the lower edge and gutter of the rear endpapers and folding chart, and the same along the bottom edges of the final 25 leaves of contents, lighting toning of the contents. A very good copy.
Gibson, Charles R. | Our Good Slave Electricity
First edition, first printing. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "With the author's best wishes, December 1916, Chas. R. Gibson".
This charming volume on electricity was described by The Nation as an "exquisitely clear book for childish beginners". It was written by science populariser Charles R. Gibson, best known for his Romance of Modern... series on various subjects in engineering and technology.
Gibson himself was described as "Among writers for boys on science, easily the most skillful... He writes so clearly, simply and charmingly about the most difficult things that his books are quite as entertaining as any ordinary book of adventure. Mr. Gibson has a first-rate scientific mind and considerable scientific attainments. He is never guilty of an inexact phrase, certainly, never an obscure one or a misleading analogy. We could imagine him having a vogue among our young folk comparable with that of Jules Verne" (The Nation).
- London: Seeley, Service & Co., Limited, 1915. Octavo. Original green cloth elaborately blocked in red, black, and gilt. Frontispiece and 7 plates from photographs, 15 engravings within the text. Contemporary ownership signature to the verso of the front free endpaper. Boards a little bumped and rubbed, gilt to spine dulled, some spotting to contents. A very good copy.
Gould, Stephen Jay | Ontogeny and Phylogeny
First edition, first printing of the author’s first book.
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century. His theory of “punctuated equilibria” radically revised the idea that evolution is a slow and constant accumulation of changes, pointing out that instead it often occurs in rapid bursts of speciation followed by periods of stasis. He was a prominent defender of the teaching of evolution in schools, and a leading critic of the field of sociobiology, which he saw as providing a pseudoscientific basis for discrimination. But he was best known as a popular science writer, penning numerous books and a series of 300 essays for a general audience.
Gould's first book, Ontogeny and Phylogeny, was written at the suggestion of Ernst Mayr as a way to become comfortable with long-form writing before tackling The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, his magnum opus on punctuated equilibria. It explores the relationship between embryonic development and evolution, and includes analyses of disproven theories, such as Haeckel’s hypotheses that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Of all Gould’s books, Ontogeny and Phylogeny is “the one with the most impact... to say that this work is a hallmark in this area of evolutionary theory would be an understatement. it proved the catalyst for much of the future work in the field, and to a large degree was the inspiration for the modern field of ‘evolutionary developmental biology’. Gould’s hope was to show that the relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny is fundamental to evolution, and at its heart is a simple premise—that variations in the timing and rate of development provide the raw material upon which natural selection can operate” (MacNamara, “Heterochrony, Disparity and Macroevolution”, Paleobiology 31(2), 2005, pp. 17-26).
Cambridge, MA & London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1977.
Octavo. Original brown cloth, titles to spine in silver, green endpapers. With the dust jacket. Frontispiece and illustrations throughout the text. Small, faint ink stamp to the half title. Cloth lightly rubbed at the extremities. An excellent copy in the jacket with some dampstain and cockling affecting the upper and lower panels.
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.
Jeans, James | The Mysterious Universe
- First edition, first impression of this elegant Art Deco style volume on cosmology, uncommon in the dust jacket. Author James Jeans (1877-1946) was a respected Cambridge mathematician and astronomer, best known for his work on rotating, gravitational bodies, " a problem of fundamental importance that had already been tackled by some of the leading mathematicians" (ODNB), and the motions, structures, and life-cycles of stars and stellar clusters. "In 1928 Jeans's academic work Astronomy and Cosmogony came to the attention of S. C. Roberts, the secretary of Cambridge University Press, who appreciated the general interest of its subject matter and the attraction of Jeans's writing style. He persuaded Jeans to write a popular account, The Universe Around Us, which was published by the press in 1929" (ODNB). Jeans's popularity as a writer "depended partly on his topic—new, thought provoking views of the universe—and partly on his style, which combined an authoritative knowledge of the subject with a vivid turn of phrase" (ODNB). The present volume was the second of Jeans's works for a general readership, and is an expanded version of the Rede Lecture he gave at Cambridge in 1930. It includes chapters on the origin of our solar system, "the new world of modern physics", the relationship between matter and energy, relativity theory, and the structure of the universe, and is illustrated throughout by stylish Art Deco woodcuts. The book proved to be so popular that Jeans's conclusion, ‘the Great Architect of the Universe now begins to appear as a pure mathematician’, has often been quoted (ODNB). An attractive copy of this under-appreciated book.
- New York & Cambridge: The Macmillan Company; Cambridge University Press, 1930. Octavo. Original black cloth, titles to spine and upper board in red, pictorial endpapers. With the dust jacket. Frontispiece and 6 woodcut plates, woodcut head-pieces, diagrams within the text. Cloth generally fresh, with just a little wear at the tips, contents faintly toned. An excellent copy in the very good, price-clipped jacket that is a little rubbed and toned with some nicks and short splits repaired with tape on the verso.
Jeans, James | The Universe Around Us
Second printing, in the rare and evocative Raymond McGrath-designed dust jacket.
Author James Jeans (1877-1946) was a respected Cambridge mathematician and astronomer, best known for his work on rotating, gravitational bodies, "a problem of fundamental importance that had already been tackled by some of the leading mathematicians" (ODNB), and the motions, structures, and life-cycles of stars and stellar clusters.
"In 1928 Jeans's academic work Astronomy and Cosmogony came to the attention of S. C. Roberts, the secretary of Cambridge University Press, who appreciated the general interest of its subject matter and the attraction of Jeans's writing style. He persuaded Jeans to write a popular account, The Universe Around Us, which was published by the press in 1929" (ODNB). Jeans's popularity as a writer "depended partly on his topic-new, thought provoking views of the universe-and partly on his style, which combined an authoritative knowledge of the subject with a vivid turn of phrase" (ODNB).
As Jeans describes it in the introduction, The Universe Around Us is “a brief account, written in simple language, of the methods and results of modern astronomical research, both observational and theoretical. Special attention has been given to problems of cosmology and evolution, and to the general structure of the universe.”
The dust jacket designer, Raymond McGrath (1903-1977) was a printmaker, illustrator, architect, and interior designer whose first commission was the interior of the BBC’s Broadcasting House in 1930. He later completed commissions for Imperial Airways and the War Artists’ Advisory Committee, and spent the latter part of his career as Senior and the Principal Architect at the Office of Public Works in Dublin.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1929.
Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. 24 plates, illustrations and diagrams within the text. A few small spots to the cloth, light dampstain affecting the edge of the upper board, partial toning of the free endpapers, some faint toning of the contents. A very good copy in the rubbed, tanned, and price-clipped jacket with slight dampstain corresponding to that on the cloth, a chip from the head of the spine panel, and some smaller chips and short closed tears.
Kent, Elizabeth | Flora Domestica, or The Portable Flower-Garden
The uncommon first edition of this “engaging book about container-gardening” that was “addressed to town-dwelling 'lovers of nature'” (ODNB).
“Although she had only a dame-school education, Elizabeth Kent had clear intellectual interests, and studied languages and botany. The marriage of her older sister Marianne to Leigh Hunt brought her into lifelong contact with the Romantic writers, including Mary Shelley. She was Hunt's confidante and later his principal correspondent during Hunt's stay in Italy, 1822–5; his sonnet 'To Miss K.' (1818) asks 'what sylvan homage would it please your Leafyship to have?'... Elizabeth Kent combined her literary and botanical interests by writing about plants, producing books and essays meant to excite an interest in flowers among those who were otherwise 'deterred by the terms of science which met them at the threshold'.” Flora Domestica “lists flowers, shrubs, and small trees that can be grown in pots and tubs, gives horticultural tips about soil, cultivation, and watering, and includes anecdotes on topics such as the introduction of species into Europe. Kent cites many verses by classical and contemporary poets, including Keats, Shelley, and Charlotte Smith. Her book represented the contemporary Romantic suburban aesthetic, and was widely praised by Byron, Coleridge, and Clare... Elizabeth Kent also integrated botany into her other activities. She wrote a series of introductory articles for young people on Linnaean botanical nomenclature and systematics in the Magazine of Natural History (1828–30), and advertised lessons for young ladies 'in the science of botany' (The Times, 7 Aug 1828). She wrote a section on botany in The Young Ladies' Book (1829), and updated Galpine's Synoptical Compendium of British Botany (1834) and Irving's Botanical Catechism (1835).
Ogilvie p. 690
...with Directions for the Treatment of Plants in Pots; and Illustrations from the Works of the Poets. London: for Taylor and Hessey, 1823.
Octavo (214 x 130 mm). Recently rebound to style in brown half calf, title to spine gilt, raised bands, floral tools in blind to spine compartments, marbled sides and edges. Lacking the original front and rear blanks. Light rubbing and some mild scuffs to the binding, a little spotting and offsetting to the contents. A very good copy.
Mann, Michael E. | The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed on the front free endpaper, “3/24/2012, To John & Louis, thanks for all you’re doing, Michael Mann”.
This "important and disturbing account" of climate change science and politics is by leading researcher Michael Mann of Penn State’s Earth Science System Center (Kirkus Reviews).
Mann was the leader of the team that produced the 1999 “hockey stick graph” showing the dramatic rise in atmospheric temperature of the past century as compared with the previous thousand years. Mann’s work is central to the current understanding of anthropomorphic climate change, he has published four books and more than two hundred papers, and has been involved with numerous high-profile government and scientific organisations. Mann has also been on the receiving end of the climate change disinformation campaign, most notably in 2009 when his email was hacked and cherry-picked statements were released to make it look as though his results were fabricated. Following this, the Republican Attorney General of Virginia demanded, and was denied, access to his papers and Mann was also forced to sue several news organisations for defamation.
This volume covers the basics of climate science, Mann’s personal experiences in the field, including the development of the hockey stick graph, and the aggressive disinformation campaigns waged against climate scientists by fossil fuel companies, politicians, and the right-wing media.
...Dispatches from the Front Lines. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012.
Octavo. Original red boards, titles to spine in black. With the dust jacket. A fine copy in the jacket.
Max Rigo Selling Company | International Aviation Meet. Grant Park Chicago. Panoramic Post Card.
A striking, oversized panoramic postcard photomontage depicting one of the most important aviation events prior to the First World War, the August 1911 International Aviation Meet at Grant Park in Chicago.
The Chicago meet was the largest airshow held up to that time, only eight years after the first powered flight by the Wright Brothers. Over the course of nine days thirty-three amateur and professional aviators competed for cash prizes totalling just over $100,000, watched by an estimated 300,000 spectators. Lincoln Beachey, the world’s premiere stunt pilot, set a world altitude record of 11,642 feet and two pilots, William R. Badger and St. Croix Johnstone, died in crashes.
This postcard is a fantastical composite image depicting the airshow, incorporating photographs of the lakefront buildings, Grant Park, railway tracks, and crowd shots, and all merging into painted backdrops and “crowds”. Fourteen planes are visible in the sky, and while most are painted, a few may have originally have been photographs. Another three are depicted on the ground or taking off, surrounded by people. This copy of the card was posted by “Laurie” of 1859 Sedgwick St, which is adjacent to Lincoln Park on the north side of town, and the recipient was “Miss Florence Ort” of Defiance Ohio. Laurie has additionally annotated the image, labelling for her friend Michigan Avenue, the famous Blackstone Hotel, opened just two years previously, the Auditorium theatre, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Chicago, IL: Max Rigo, 1911.
Folding panoramic postcard (290 x 195 mm). Professionally mounted, glazed, and framed using archival materials. Composite photographic image depicting the Chicago lakefront and early planes. The sender’s and receiver’s details filled out in black ink, and four landmarks noted on the image in the same hand. Marks from stamp, some toning and spotting of the verso, creasing and wear, particularly near the original folds (which are fragile) and at the corners and slightly affecting the image, small tape repair to one corner on the verso. Very good condition.
Mid-century teaching collection of cooking ingredients
A remarkable, home-made collection of 160 samples of cooking ingredients housed in individual glass vials in a portable case, together with a binder of typed notes on the properties and uses of each ingredient. The collection is in excellent condition, with all the fragile glass vials intact and most of the ingredients in good condition, save for a few with mould and one, the french yeast, which is empty and may have leaked.
The collection dates from the mid-20th century, likely the 1950s, and was probably connected with a high school home economics class or a culinary or catering school. Neither the creator nor the institution is named, and it is unclear whether it was designed by a teacher for use in the classroom or compiled by a student as a major project. The largely well-preserved samples include herbs and spices, flours, nuts, beans, grains, infusions, cake decorations, and dried and crystallised fruits and flowers. The accompanying notes have been typed by hand on ruled paper, and are organised by fabric tabs corresponding to the organisational scheme of the samples in the case. The text seems to have been taken largely from reference sources, most notably Margaret Grieve’s A Modern Herbal, originally published in 1931, though none are specifically cited by the creator.
The text emphasises the culinary, practical, and nutritional aspects of the ingredients collected here. The entry for cocoa describes the processing of chocolate nibs into culinary chocolates and lists the constituents of cocoa powder, “Fat 50% (about 30% left in commercial powder), Starch: 16%, Theobromine (an alkaloid): 2-4%, Caffeine, Sugar, Colouring matter and Ash”. Camomile tea is “made from the dried flowers and is reputed to be very good for the complexion. It is so much drunk by American women after lunch instead of coffee that it is now obtainable at most fashionable English hotels. A teaspoonful of the dried flowers is allowed for every cup of water. The boiling water is poured on the flowers, as on tea”. Potato is “useful as a thickening agent for soups, stews, broths, etc. Also for croquettes, rissoles. Can be used for making scones, and potato cakes”.
Medical uses are included where relevant: “Gelatine is known as a protein saver; it has stimulating properties, and helps the flow of gastric juice and thus indirectly aids digestion”, and there are occasional cultural and historical asides. Clary sage “was first brought into use by the German Wine Merchants, who employed it as an adulterant, infusing it with Elder Flowers and then adding the liquid to the Rhenish wine”. “The French use Dill seeds for flavouring sauces, but their use of them does not appeal to us in this country.”
Descriptions are generally at an introductory level, as to be expected from material taken directly from reference works such as encyclopaedias. Ginger, for example, is described as “the underground stems and root of a plant with a hot, spicy flavour. When preserved or crystallised, it is used as a sweetmeat... or as an ingredient of cakes, ginger-bread or biscuits”. Occasionally entries are more technical, such as those for the raising agents. Baking powder “consists of an acid (cream of tartar or tartaric acid) and an alkali (bicarbonate of soda) use (sic) in the proportion of twice the amount of acid to alkali... Immediately it is moistened, the alkali and acid combine to form a salt, and the gas, carbonic acid gas is given off”.
Though most of the samples are fairly standard ingredients found in British kitchens, others are less familiar, or used in unexpected ways. Mate tea, still many decades out from its status as a hip lifestyle drink, is included, the notes merely stating that it is “obtained from a shrum (sic) grown in Paraguay”. Raspberry leaves are “supposed to keep up the strength of the expectant mother”. The “pawpaw melon tree is a native of tropical America but is cultivated in China and other parts of the Tropics. The flavor is that of a bad melon and a white juice exudes from the rind and this juice should not be taken unless under medical supervision.”
Interestingly, the entry for raisins states that, “in latter years there has been a scarcity of this type of dried fruit as it has not been imported in large quantities nor very frequently”, probably due to rationing.
United Kingdom, [c. 1950].
Naugahyde case with handle and steel fittings, containing 160 glass sample bottles sealed with corks and held in place by metal spring clips, typed labels in red and black ink. Accompanied by a Twinlock ring binder of typed notes on the contents and their uses, the leaves on lined paper with fabric tabs at the fore-edge. The original key attached with string to the handle. Steel fittings of the case are rusted, small corroded spot behind one vial (french yeast), possibly where the ingredient has leaked, otherwise all the vials are intact and full. Mild toning of the notes and light rubbing at the tips of the ring binder. Excellent condition.
Moore, Harold | Metals and Alloys
First edition of this uncommon mid-century children’s book, stylishly illustrated throughout with diagrams depicting atoms and molecules, the microscopic structure of metals and alloys, and industrial processes.
“The Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project operated via sections based at the Project's headquarters at Chelsea College, London, developing content and methods of presentation for teaching science subjects at various levels. The Publications Department produced materials for these projects in physical science, physics, chemistry and biology at different levels. Many were published jointly by Longman and Penguin, with Penguin handling most of the production and design and Longman handling distribution, sales and some editing” (King’s College London archives catalogue, reference GB0100 KCLCA CNU/PBN).
...Chemistry Background Books. London & Harmondsworth, Middlesex: for the Nuffield Foundation by Longman/Penguin Books, 1968.
Sextodecimo. Original limp, plastic coated wrappers printed in grey, black and red. Illustrated throughout. Wrappers a little rubbed and faintly toned, contents fresh. An excellent copy.
Moss, Norman | Men Who Play God The Story of the Hydrogen Bomb and How the World Came to Live with It
First US edition, first printing, originally published in the UK in the same year. A bright, fresh copy in an unusually nice example of the dust jacket.
Men Who Play God, by prominent British reporter Norman Moss, covered all aspects of the development, potential use, and socio-political ramifications of thermonuclear weapons, first tested by the United States in 1952. On its publication it was described as “compelling reportage, responsible, and highly readable” by Kirkus Reviews. Moss has since written two further books on nuclear weapons, The Politics of Uranium (1982) and Klaus Fuchs: The Man Who Stole the Atom Bomb (1987).
...The Story of the Hydrogen Bomb and How the World Came to Live with It.
New York and Evanston: Harper & Row, 1968.
Octavo. Original black cloth, titles to spine and Harper & Row logo to upper board gilt, light blue endpapers. With the dust jacket. Bookplate. An excellent, fresh copy in the bright jacket that is just a little rubbed at the head of the spine panel.
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.
NASA | From Here, Where? A Source Book in Space Oriented Mathematics
First edition and an excellent copy of this book of space-related mathematics for high school teachers.
This volume was published as part of NASA’s drive to incorporate space science into American curriculums during the Space Race. As Michael J. Vaccaro, chairman of the Committee on Space Science Oriented Mathematics, writes in the introduction, “Surrounded by a changing world, the teacher of today must relate new knowledge and new experiences to his students. However, there is a gap between teacher needs and available textbook material. This problem is particularly acute in the areas affected by our efforts in the scientific exploration of space due to the exponential growth of scientific and technical information. Until the results of this research can be incorporated into textbooks for classroom use, supplemental material must provide a partial solution to meeting these needs.” The contents begin with lesson plans on the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems, the solar system, and observing the stars and planets, and go on to cover basic rocketry, gravity and motion, navigation, and studying the weather from space.
...for Secondary Levels. Prepared from materials furnished by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in cooperation with the United States Office of education by a Committee on Space Science Oriented Mathematics. Washington D. C.: NASA and the US Office of Education, 1965.
Large octavo, 192 pages. Original green wrappers printed in black. Illustrations and diagrams throughout the text. Lightly rubbed at the extremities, spine toned. An excellent copy.
Newbigin, Marion I. | Ordnance Survey Maps
The rare first edition, and an unusually nice copy, of this popular work on ordnance survey maps by a female geographer.
Author Marion Isabel Newbigin (1869-1934) was “a strong feminist” who earned both her bachelor’s and doctorate at the University of London and succeeded J Arthur Thompson as lecturer in biology and zoology at the School of Medicine for Women in Edinburgh (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 937). “Her studies on coloration in plants, crustaceans, and fish resulted in several publications. She became editor of the Scottish Geographical Magazine in 1902 and served until her death in 1904. “Her interests in geography were very broad, and she published widely in the area. She was an examiner in geography for many institutions and served as president of the geographical section of the British Association in 1922” (Ogilvie).
...Their Meaning and Use, with Descriptions of Typical Sheets. Edinburgh & London: W. & A. K. Johnston, Limited, 1913.
Octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spine and upper board, and silhouette of the British Isles to upper board, in black, floral-patterned endpapers. Frontispiece and 1 plate, 3 illustrations within the text. 1 leaf of integral as at rear. Cloth very lightly rubbed with a few faints marks and spots, spine a little rolled, light spotting to edges of text block and occasionally to contents. An excellent copy.
Pagé, Victor W. (ed.) | Henley's ABC of Gliding and Sailflying
First UK edition, originally published in the US in the previous year. An attractive copy and uncommon in the jacket.
The earliest successful glider was created by the British aeronautical designer Sir George Cayley and flown in 1853, initiating a wave of research into both unpowered and powered flight, and gliders had become relatively sophisticated by the time the Wright Brothers flew the first powered aircraft in 1903. It wasn’t until the 1920s, however, that gliding became an organised sport, making this an early popular guide for the beginner. Heavily illustrated, it contains information on the mechanics of flight; the different types of gliders, including powered gliders and water gliders; glider design and construction; and detailed chapters on key components such as brakes, control cables, fuselage, and wing frames.
London: Chapman & Hall, Ltd., 1931.
Duodecimo. Original blue cloth, title to spine gilt, publisher’s logo to upper bard in blind. With the dust jacket. Photographic frontispiece, illustrations throughout the text. Ownership inscription dated 1943 to the front free endpaper. Cloth very lightly rubbed at the extremities but otherwise bright and fresh, faint partial toning to the endpapers, faint spotting to the endpapers and edges of text block. An excellent copy in the rubbed and tanned jacket with some spots and marks and an over-price ticket to the spine panel.
Patterson, Flora W. & Vera K. Charles | Mushrooms and Other Common Fungi
First edition of this well-illustrated guide to mushroom identification for the amateur collector.
The first female mycologist to work at the United States Department of Agriculture, Flora Patterson (1847-1928) exhibited “the tenacity, audacity, and perspicacity of a true scientific visionary” (Reynolds, “Flora Patterson”, Women in Microbiology, p. 219). She initially studied fungi as a childhood hobby, then attended several universities as a non-traditional student, taking a plant pathology course at Iowa State and completing her education at Radcliffe College, from where she was able to work in the Harvard Grey Herbarium.
At the USDA Patterson “published on edible and poisonous mushrooms and on fungus diseases of economic importance, working and publishing with the mycologist Vera Charles” (Ogilvie, p. 990). Patterson directed the US National Fungus Collections for nearly thirty years, growing it from 19,000 to 115,000 specimens. She was in charge of identifying fungal diseases of agricultural importance, and made numerous important contributions in this area, including the identification of chestnut blight and pineapple rot. Her involvement in Japan’s gift of cherry trees to the US led to the passage of the Plant Quarantine Act of 1912.
Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office for the United States Department of Agriculture, 1915.
Octavo. Original cream wrappers printed in black. 38 plates from photographs. Wrappers faintly toned, mild dampstain affecting the lower corner of the wrappers and text, with some abraded areas where the corners of the leaves have stuck together, not generally affecting text. Very good condition.
Pauling, Linus | The Architecture of Molecules
First edition, first printing of this classic of science illustration.
Linus Pauling was one of the 20th century's most versatile scientists, making important contributions in chemistry, physics, and biology & physiology. He had a special interest in molecular structures, and his 1954 Nobel Prize in chemistry cited his "research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances" (Nobel prize biography). The similarly versatile scientific illustrator Roger Hayward first worked with Pauling in 1946, when he illustrated Pauling's General Chemistry, the first of four books on which the two collaborated. But it was this volume, conceived as an introduction to molecular structure for older children, which was the most successful. It comprises 57 beautiful full-page colour illustrations, from the simple two-atom hydrogen molecule to complex structures such as polypeptide chains and hemoglobin, alongside Pauling's clear and concise explanations of the concepts underlying chemical bonding and how a molecule's structure affects its function. A very attractive copy.
San Francisco & London: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1964.
Quarto. Original grey cloth, titles to spine and upper board in orange and black, colour pictorial endpapers. With the dust jacket. Colour illustrations throughout. Some dark grey spotting of the cloth. A very good copy in the jacket that is lightly rubbed and creased at the extremities with some small splits and light spotting on the spine panel and lower panel.