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.