4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

1700 to 1750 Timeline


Raoul Feuillet Publishes the Beauchamp-Feuillet Dance Notation 1700

In 1700 French dance notator, publisher and choreographer Raoul Auger (or Anger) Feuillet published Chorégraphie, ou l'art de d'écrire la danse. Feuillet's work included the first publication of the system of dance notation used in Baroque dance, known as Beauchamp-Feuillet notation. This notation was commissioned by Louis XIV, who had founded the Académie royale de danse in 1661, and devised in the 1680s by Pierre Beauchamp. The system was widely used throughout the 18th century.

"This manual details a dance notation system that indicates the placement of the feet and six basic leg movements: plié, releveé, sauté, cabriole, tombé, and glissé. Changes of body direction and numerous ornamentations of the legs and arms are also part of the system. The system is based on tract drawings that trace the pattern of the dance. Additionaly, bar lines in the dance score correspond to bar lines in the music score. Signs written on the right or left hand side of the tract indicate the steps" (Library of Congress, Dance Instruction Manuals, accessed 04-05-2009).

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Bernardino Ramazzini Founds Occupational Medicine and Ergonomics 1700

Title page from De morbis artificium diatriba.

Page opening from De morbis artificium diatriba.

Bernardino Ramazzini.

In 1700 Italian physician Bernardino Ramazzini issued De morbis artificium diatriba from the press of Antonio Capponi in Modena. Ramazzini's book on the diseases of workers was the first comprehensive and systematic treatise on occupational medicine; it was also the foundation work in ergonomics.

“The Western medical tradition, with its emphasis on humoral imbalance as the cause of illness, for centuries did not really favor the idea that certain diseases might be due to one’s occupation or environment. Egyptians knew that the blacksmith was ‘grilled’ by the furnace, and in Roman times Lucretius mentioned the ‘malignant breath’ of gold miners, and noted ‘how speedily men die and how their vital forces fail when they are driven by dire necessity to endure such work.’ . . . In the sixteenth century the ever insolent Paracelsus wrote a monograph on diseases of metalworkers, and the metallurgist and physician Georgius Agricola connected the injured lungs of Silesian miners to the dust they breathed, But the founder of investigation into occupational and environmental diseases is generally conceded to be the great Italian physician Bernardino Ramazzini” (Simmons, Doctors and Discoveries: Lives That Created Today’s Medicine, p. 123).

Ramazzini decided to study occupational diseases after a chance encounter with a cesspool cleaner, from whom he learned of the eye afflictions and other dangers attached to that profession. He compiled information from the available sources on the subject and also performed firsthand research, visiting workers and noting their particular illnesses and infirmities.

“In his first edition, Ramazzini addresses some forty-two groups. Miners are discussed in the first chapter, for their suffering is most pronounced and the cause is obvious. But artisans of all kinds are represented. There are chapters on diseases of apothecaries, bakers, millers, painters, and soap makers. Ramazzini details metal poisoning in metalworkers, and silicosis in stonemasons. The seventeenth chapter is devoted to tobacco workers” (Simmons, p. 125).

Ramazzini also discussed the occupational diseases of women, recommending that midwives practice cleanliness and take precautions against syphilitic infections. Ramazzini recognized that a number of workers’ diseases were caused by the taxing postures and repetitive motions required by professions such as shoemaking, tailoring and writing; he is thus considered a founder of ergonomics. He suggested ways to prevent these ailments:

“Standing, even for a short time, proves so exhausting compared with walking and running . . . It follows that whenever occasion offers, we must advise men employed in the standing trades to interrupt when they can that too prolonged posture by sitting or walking about or exercising the body in some way. . . . Those who sit at their work and are therefore called “chair-workers,” such as cobblers and tailors become bent, hump-backed, and hold their heads down like people looking for something on the ground . . . These workers, then, suffer from general ill-health caused by their sedentary life. . . . The maladies that afflict the clerks arise from three causes: First, constant sitting, secondly the incessant movement of the hand and always in the same direction . . . Incessant driving of the pen over paper causes intense fatigue of the hand and the whole arm because of the continuous and almost tonic strain on the muscles and tendons, which in course of time results in failure of power in the right hand. All sedentary workers suffer from lumbago. They should be advised to take physical exercise, at any rate on holidays. Let them make the best use they can of [exercise] one day, and so to some extent counteract the harm done by many days of sedentary life”( http://ergonomenon.com/ergonomics-articles/bernardino-ramazzini-the-first-ergonomist-and-what-have-we-learned-from-him/, accessed 06-05-2012).

Ramazzini's book was translated into English as A Treatise on the Diseases of Tradesmen (London, 1705). Through various Latin editions and translations into Italian, German, French and Dutch it was also influential in the history of economics. Adam Smith cited it in his Wealth of Nations, and Karl Marx cited it in Das Kapital.

In 1713 Ramazzini expanded his text. This revised edition was reprinted with a parallel English translation by Wilmer Cave Wright and published as De Morbis Artificum Bernardini Ramazzini Diseases of Workers (1940).

Norman, Morton's Medical Bibliography 5th ed (1991) No. 2121. Hunter, The Diseases of Occupations (1955) 30-34. Lilly, Notable Medical Books 99. Carter & Muir, Printing and the Mind of Man No. 170. Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science & Medicine (1991) No. 1776. Rosen, History of Miners’ Diseases, 108-120.

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Friedrich Ruysch's Anatomical Preparations: Surrealism Centuries Before Surrealism Became Fashionable 1701 – 1725

In Amsterdam Dutch anatomist Frederik Ruysch published Thesaurus anatomicus in ten parts from 1701 to 1716, and the first and only part of his Thesaurus animalium in 1710. An index to the Thesaurus anatomicus appeared in 1725.

Probably the most original artist in the history of anatomical preparations, Ruysch enjoyed making up elaborate three-dimensional emblems of mortality from his specimens. These fantastic, dream-like concoctions constructed of human anatomical parts are illustrated in the Thesaurus on large folding plates mostly engraved by Cornelis Huyberts, who also engraved plates for the painter Gérard de Lairesse, illustrator of Govert Bidloo’s anatomy. In their dreamlike qualities many of the plates depicting the preparations reflect surrealism centuries before surrealism became fashionable. Ruysch’s Thesaurus anatomicus and his Thesaurus animalium describe and illustrate the spectacular collections of “Anatomical Treasures” which he produced for display in his home museum between 1701 and 1716 using secret methods of anatomical injection and preservation.

Ruysch's unique anatomical preparations attracted many notables to his museum, including Czar Peter the Great of Russia, who was so fascinated with the preparations that he attended Ruysch’s anatomy lectures, and in 1717 he bought Ruysch’s entire collection, along with that of the Amsterdam apothecary Albert Seba, for Russia's first public museum, the St. Petersburg Kunstkammer. Over the years most of the dry preparations in St. Petersburg deteriorated or disappeared, but some of those preserved in glass jars remain. A few later specimens by Ruysch, auctioned off by his widow after his death, are also preserved in Leiden. Because most of the preparations did not survive, Ruysch’s preparations, and his museum, are known primarily from these publications.

Ruysch's methods allowed him to prepare organs such as the liver and kidneys and keep entire corpses for years. He used a mixture of talc, white wax, and cinnabar for injecting vessels and an embalming fluid of alcohol made from wine or corn with black pepper added. Using his injection methods Ruysch was the first to demonstrate the occurrence of blood vessels in almost all tissues of the human body, thereby destroying the Galenic belief that certain areas of the body had no vascular supply. He was also the first to show that blood vessels display diverse organ-specific patterns. He investigated the valves in the lymphatic system, the bronchial arteries and the vascular plexuses of the heart, and was the first to point out the nourishment of the fetus through the umbilical cord. Ruysch's discoveries led him to claim erroneously that tissues consisted solely of vascular networks, and to deny the existence of glandular tissue. 

Impey & Macgregor (eds.) The Origins of Museums (1985)  55-56. Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) no. 1875.  Rosamond Purcell & Stephen Gould, Finders, Keepers: Eight Collectors (1992) chapter 1 reproduces spectacular color images of Ruysch’s preparations from Czar Peter’s Wunderkammer, and Leiden.  Roberts & Tomlinson, The Fabric of the Human Body (1992) 290-98.

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Popol Vuh, The Book of the People, Known from a Single Manuscript 1701 – 2012

Between 1701 and 1703 Domincan priest, scholar and linguist Francesco Ximénez, serving in the parish at Santo Tomás Chichicastenango, a town in the El Quiché department of Guatemala, transcribed the corpus of mytho-historical narratives of the Post Classic K'iche' kingdom known as Popol Vuh (Popol Buj, "Book of the Community", "Book of the Council", "Book of the People"). All editions of this work, written in the Classical K'iche' language, are based on the single manuscript that Father Ximénez transcribed, which is preserved in the Newberry Library, Chicago. Ximénez's manuscript recorded parallel texts in K'iche' and Spanish. What Ximénez transcribed was presumably a codex written shortly after the Spanish conquest by a Quiché native, who had learned to read and write Spanish, containing cosmological concepts and ancient traditions of this aboriginal American people, their history and origin, and the chronology of their kings down to the year 1550. The fate of the original manuscript after its transcription by Ximénez is unknown.

Prior to its arrival at the Newberry, the manuscript passed through several hands. In 1855, French writer, ethnographer, historian and archaeologist Charles Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg found Ximénez's writings in the university library in Guatemala City, and perhaps absconded with the volume and took it to France. In 1861 Brasseur de Bourbourg published in Paris a French translation of the text as Popol Vuh, Le livre sacré et les mythes de l'antiquité américaine. After Brasseur's death in 1874 the Mexico-Guatémalienne collection containing Popol Vuh passed to French explorer, philologist, and ethnographer Alphonse Pinart, through whom it was sold to businessman and collector Edward E. Ayer, who donated his vast library on the history of native Americans in North and Central America to The Newberry Library in 1911. 

Father Ximénez's manuscript was reproduced online, with K'iche' text and Spanish and English translations by The Ohio State University

The first English translation of Popol Vuh was made by Delia Goetz and Sylvanus Griswold Morley from a translation into Spanish by Adrián Recinos and published in 1950 as The Book of the People: Popol Vuh. The National Book of the Ancient Quiché Maya. In 1954 this edition was reissued by the Limited Editions Club, finely printed by Saul Marks at The Plantin Press, Los Angeles. Late in 2012 I acquired copy of the the LEC edition. In their introduction to the translation (p. xv) the translators state that:

"Besides the Mansuscrito de Chichicastenango, the following are the original original Quiché documents which are preserved:

"1. The original manuscript of the Historia Quiché by Don Juan de Torres, dated October 24, 1580, which differens from the manuscript which Fuentes y Guzmán cites and which contains the account of the kings and lords, chiefs of the Great Houses, and of the chinamitales or calpules of the Quiché;

"2. The Spanish translation of the Títulos de los antiquos nuestros antepasados, los que ganaron las tierras de Otzoyá, written apparently in 1524 and bearing the signature of Don Pedro de Alvarado;

"3. The Spanish translation of the Título de los Señores de Totonicapán, dated 1554; and

"4. The Papel de Origen de los Señores included in the Descripción de Zapolitlán y Suchitepec, año de 1579.

"Despite thier brevity, these documents contain interesting accounts of the origin, political organization, and history of the Quiché people, which supplement the information given in the Popol Vuh."

♦ I had been unaware of the Popol Vuh until the later part of 2012 when various articles began appearing in the press concerning what was characterized as the 2012 phenomenon, "a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events would occur around 21 December 2012. This date was regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and as such, Mayan festivities to commemorate the end of the b'ak'tun 13 took place on 21 December 2012 in the countries that were part of the Mayan empire (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), with main events at Chichén Itzá in Mexico, and Tikal in Guatemala." Because 12-21-12 happened to be my daughter Alex's 21st birthday, the topic became a source of amusement around our house.

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"Daily Courant," England's First Daily Newspaper Begins Publication March 11, 1702

On March 11, 1702 Edward and Elizabeth Mallet began publishing the Daily Courant, England’s first daily newspaper. The Daily Courant continued publication for 30 years.

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Opticks: Isaac Newton's Theories of Light & Color . . . 1704

Isaac Newton published Opticks: Or a Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. Also Two Treatises of the Species and Magnitude of Curvilinear Figures in London in 1704. Unlike most of Newton's works, Opticks was originally published in English, with the Latin version following in 1706. The book summarized Newton's discoveries and theories concerning light and color: the spectrum of the sunlight, the degrees of refraction associated with different colors, the color circle (the first in the history of color theory), the invention of the reflecting telescope; the first workable theory of the rainbow, and experiments on what would later be called "interference effects" in conjunction with Newton's rings.  His discovery of periodicity in Newton's rings, which would later prove to be so useful to Thomas Young, led Newton to postulate that periodicity was a fundamental property either of light waves or of waves associated with light.  Nevertheless, Newton preferred the corpuscular theory of light, with which he is usually associated, because of its explanatory value for certain optical phenomena and because it a llowed him to link the action of gross bodies with the action of light. The first edition of the Opticks ends with two mathematical treatises in Latin, written to establish his priority over Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in the invention of the calculus.

Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) no. 1588. Carter & Muir, Printing and the Mind of Man (1967) no. 172.

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John Harris Issues the First English Encyclopedia Arranged in Alphabetical Order 1704 – 1710

Lexicon technicum: Or, an universal English dictionary of arts and sciences: Explaining not only the terms of art, but the arts themselves, first issued in two volumes from London from 1704 to 1710 by English clergyman and encyclopedist John Harris, was the first English dictionary of arts and sciences, and the earliest modern encyclopedia of science. Harris was the first to make the distinction between “word-books” (dictionaries) and “subject-books (encyclopedias). His Lexicon Technicum was the also first English encyclopedia to be arranged in alphabetical order, as opposed to systematic order in the tradition of the medieval encyclopedist, Isidore of Seville.

A clergyman educated at Oxford, Harris took an early interest in science, and was elected to the Royal Society in 1696. As a result, he had access to many of the greatest scientific minds in England, and the Lexicon technicum may be the first example of an encyclopedist relying directly on the consultation and help of experts or specialists, such as John Ray and Isaac Newton. In particular, Harris relied heavily on Newton as a source, quoting lengthy excerpts from Newton's writings under such headings as “Attraction,” “Colour,” “Fluxions,” “Gravity,” “Light,” and “Motion.” The introduction to Vol. II contains the first printing (in Latin and English) of Newton’s “De natura acidorum,” his only published work on chemistry; the articles “Quadrature” and “Curves” give the first English translations of the “Two treatises” from Newton’s Opticks.  

Babson, Newton Supplement, 55. Collison, Encyclopedias, 99. Horblit, One Hundred Books Famous in Science no. 25a. Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine, no. 992. Printing and the Mind of Man no. 171a.

(This entry was last revised on July 8, 2014.)

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"Boston News-Letter," the First "Successful" Newspaper in North America April 24, 1704

The Boston News-Letter began publication, o April 24, 1704, edited and published by John Campbell, a bookseller and postmaster of Boston. This was the first “successful” newspaper in the North American colonies.

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Edmond Halley Predicts "Halley's Comet" June 8, 1705

On June 8, 1705 English astronomer mathematician, geophysicist, meteorologist and physicist Edmond Halley issued a pamphlet of three leaves from Oxford entitled Astronomicae cometicae synopsis. The pamphlet descibed his method for computing the motion of comets and establishing their periodicity. Halley based his cometary researches upon Newton's Principia, in which Newton, applying his theory of gravitation, had established the cometary orbit as a type of conic, but Newton favored a parabolic orbit while Halley chose to consider in detail the possibility of an elliptical one. He collected and analyzed all available cometary observations from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries, and from these computed and tabulated the orbits of twenty-four comets seen between the years 1337 and 1698. Three of these orbits, belonging to the bright comets of 1531, 1607 and 1682, were so similar that Halley assigned them to the same comet, whose orbit he described as an elongated ellipse traversed in approximately seventy-five years, allowing for perturbations by the planet Jupiter. He predicted that the comet would reappear in December 1758, and it was indeed sighted on Christmas Day of that year, confirming his hypothesis of elliptical cometary orbits and providing strong independent confirmation of Newton's rules of gravitation.  The sighting, which occurred fifteen years after Halley's death, excited the entire Western scientific world, and the object was named "Halley's comet" in his honor.

The first edition of the Astronomiae cometicae synopsis was caused to be printed by Arthur Charlett, Master of University College, Oxford. A letter from Halley to Charlett, dated June 23, 1705 (Bodleian Ms. Ballard 24, fo. 27) contains Halley's thanks to Charlett "for your kind endeavours to give reputation and value to my small performance about Comets," and his request for "a few more of my papers for most of the ten you were pleased to send me, were soiled so as not to be fit to be presented to Quality" (printed in full in MacPike, Correspondence and papers of Edmond Halley, p. 125). Later the same year the work was translated into English as A Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets. . . . from the Original printed at Oxford, by John Senex in London. 

Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science & Medicine (1991) no. 978.

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Athanasius al-Dabbas Publishes the First Books Printed in Arabic in the Middle East 1706

In 1706 the first printing house in the Arab world that printed in Arabic was opened by the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan  Athanasius al-Dabbas in Aleppo, Syria. al-Dabbas founded the press in Aleppo after he had helped to print two Arabic books in Romania at the beginning of the 18th century. His Romanian experience gave him the needed insight and skill to run his own press using equipment he had received as a gift from the ruler of Walachia in Romania. Within the first year of operation al-Dabbas issued two books, a Book of Psalms and a Gospel book. 

Schnurrer, Bibliotheca Arabica (1811) p. 374. The Gospel book printed in Arabic is described and illustrated in Lehrstuhl für Türkische Sprache, Geschichte und Kultur, Universität Bamberg, The Beginnings of Printing in the Near and Middle East: Jews, Christians and Muslims (2001) No. 3.

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The Bigot Sale, the First Book Auction Conducted in Paris for Which a Catalogue was Printed July – December 1706

The sale by auction of the Bigot family library was conducted by booksellers Jean Boudot, Charles Osmont and Gabriel Martin over the remarkably long duration of five months from July to December, 1706. Prior to this auction several auction catalogues for private libraries were printed in Paris but the libraries were sold privately before auctions could occur. The Bigot sale was in five parts comprising 450 manuscripts and over 15,000 printed books. It was the first book auction conducted in Paris for which a catalogue was published and the first of the 125 auctions conducted by Gabriel Martin, which, over the course of 25 years, established Paris as the leading center for book auctions.

Bookseller, publisher and writer Prosper Marchand organized and catalogued the sale for Martin and Osmont. One of the ways in which the sale was notable was in its introduction of the classification scheme which divided information into five great divisions that Marchand borrowed from the seventeenth century astonomer, scientific intermediator, and librarian, Ismaël Boulliau (Bullialdus). Gabriel Martin promoted this scheme, which originated in the seventeenth century, and may have first been applied in the catalogue of the library of Jacques Auguste de Thou, the Catalogus Bibliothecae Thuanae (1679). The scheme categorized information into the following subject areas: theology, jurisprudence, sciences and arts (initially called philosophy in this catalogue), belles-lettres (humane letters), and history. Book auctions in France would follow this scheme throughout the 18th century, and in the early 19th century Jacques Charles Brunet elaborated on this basic scheme in his Manuel du Libraire et de l'amateur de livres (1810). See Berkvens-Stevelink, Prosper Marchand: la vie et oeuvre (1987) 11-22.

The published auction catalogue was entitled Bibliotheca Bigotiana; seu, Catalogus librorum, quos (dum viverent) summâ curâ & industriâ, ingentique sumptu congressêre vir clarissimi DD. uterque Joannes, Nicolaus, & Lud. Emericus Bigotii, domini de Sommesnil & de Cleuville. . . . 

The Library was begun by Jean Bigot in the early 17th century, and continued by his son, Louis-Emery. It eventually passed to Robert Bigot, sieur de Monville, and was sold at his death in 1706. The library included that of Jean-Jacques de Mesmes, for whom Gabriel Naudé had written Avis pour dresser une bibliothèque in 1627. 

At the auction the abbé de Louvois purchased many books for the Bibliothèque du Roi. "This was Gabriel Martin's first catalogue, and according to Bléchet, Jean-Pierre Nicéron was an editor" (North, Printed Catalogues of French Book Auctions and Sales by Private Treaty 1643-1830 in the Library of the Grolier Club [2004] no. 12).

The Bigot manuscripts were purchased for the Bibliothèque du roi. Over 150 years later they were catalogued by Léopold Delisle as Bibliotheca Bigotiana Manuscripta. Catalogue des manuscrits rassemblés aux XVIIe siecle par les Bigot, mis en vente au mois de juillet 1706, aujourdhui conservé aux Bibliothèque nationale (1877).

Albert, Recherches sur les principes fondamentaux de la classification bibliographique. . . . (1847) 17-19.

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Bernard de Montfaucon's "Palaeographia Graeca" Coins the Word Palaeography 1708

In 1708 Benedictine monk and scholar Bernard de Montfaucon, published Palaeographia Graeca in Paris. This work coined the term palaeography (paleography) and founded Byzantine (Greek) paleography in particular.

Carter & Muir, Printing and the Mind of Man (1967) No. 175.

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Johan Gottfried Zeidler Issues the Earliest Printed Technical Manual on Bookbinding 1708

In 1708 German Protestant theologian and writer Johann Gottfried Zeidler published Johann Gottfried Zeidlers Buchbinder-Philosophie oder Einleitung in die Buchbinder Kunst, darinnen die selbe aus dem Buch der natur und eigener Erfahrung Philosophisch abgehandelt wird, mit sonderbahren Anmerckungen Zweyer Wohlerfahrner Buchbinder und jegehöigen Kopffern. This work, issued with 5 plates, and 15 woodcuts in the text, and issued from Marburg, Germany, was the earliest technical manual on bookbinding. It included the earliest picture of a type holder for lettering.

Pollard, Early Bookbinding Manuals (1984) no. 16.

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The Statute of Anne: The First Copyright Statute 1709

In 1709 British parliament enacted the Statute of Anne; short title: Copyright Act 1709 8 Anne c.21; long title: An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned. Named after Anne, Queen of Great Britain, this was the first copyright statute in the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the first full-fledged copyright statute in the world. It was enacted in the regnal year 1709 to 1710, and entered into force on April 10, 1710.  

The Statute of Anne granted publishers of books legal protection for 14 years with the commencement of the statute. It also granted 21 years of protection for any book already in print. At the expiration of the first 14 year copyright term the copyright re-vested in its author, if he or she were still alive, for a further term of 14 years.

"The statute determined that the 'copy' was the 'sole liberty of printing and reprinting' a book and this liberty could be infringed by any person who printed, reprinted or imported the book without consent. Those infringing copyright had to pay a fine of one penny for every sheet of the book, one moiety of which went to the author, the other to the Crown. In today’s terms this was a considerable fine. In addition the book in question was to be destroyed. Leaving in place the existing system of registration, the statute specified that action against infringement could only be brought if the title had been entered in the register at the Stationers' Company before publication. The formal requirements of registration enabled users to locate the owners of copyrighted works. The requirement for copies of published books to be deposited in university libraries ensured that there was public access to copyrighted works.

"Authors' rights

"The statute was the first to recognise the legal right of authorship, but it did not provide a coherent understanding of authorship or authors' rights. While the statute established the author as legal owner, and so providing the basis for the development of authors' copyright, it also provided a 21 year copyright term to books already in print. At the end of the 21 years granted by the statute the concept of literary property was still a booksellers' rather than an author' concern, as most authors continued to sell their works outright to booksellers. Given that the statute primarily intended to encourage public learning and to regulate the book trade, any benefits for authors in the statute were incidental. Throughout the 18th century, at the encouragement of the booksellers, rather than the authors, an understanding emerged that copyright originated in author's rights to the product of his labour. Thus it was argued that the primary purpose of copyright was to protect authors' rights, not the policy goal of encouraging public learning" (Wikipedia article on Statute of Anne, accessed 08-06-2011).

In February 2014 a digital facsimile of the original UK Parliament manuscript copy of the act was available from Primary Sources on Copyright at this link.

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Paul Pater Issues Perhaps the Earliest Treatise on the Typography of a Nation 1710

In 1710 Paul Pater issued a small quarto book of 91 pages entitled De Germanae miraculo optimo, maximo typis literarum earumque differentiis dissertatio, qua simul artis typographicae universam rationem explicat at the press of Jo. Frider. Gleditch and Son in Leipzig.

This survey of the German printing industry discussed "where and when Printing was discovered, the manufacture of types and printing-ink, specimens of various types, early-printed books, celebrated printers, the cost of printing and the profit made by printers, ending with debates whether learned men ought to make a profit by printing, whether a type-founder makes a good printer, and whether all printing-offices should be conducted at the public expense for the public good" (Bigmore & Wyman, A Bibliography of Printing II [2001] 148).

"The third chapter treats of different types then in use in Germany and their names, and shows specimens of capitals and lower-case in roman and italic, in various weights, and in sizes from Grosse Missal-Versal to Nonpareil. These are followed by a variety of fraktur and schwabacher types, Greek, hebrew, Samaritan, Chaldaic, etc. The book is probably one of the earliest tractates on the typographical material of a nation, and gives a charactersitic collection of fonts in use in German printing-houses at the end of the seventeeth and beginning of the eighteenth century. Its title page indicates what could be done when a German printer took the bit in his teeth. . . ." (Updike, Printing Types, Their History, Forms, and Use. A Study in Survivals. Third Edition [1962] 152, with 3 full-page illustrations from Pater's book).

According to James Mosley, in his notes to the 1996 edition of Horace Hart's Charles Earl Stanhope and the Oxford University Press (1896) p. xxx, note 8:

"An 'entirely new kind of printing press' was invented by Erhard Weigel (1625-99), Professor of Mathematics at the University of Jena. With it 'one workman could exert a pressure equal to that of two study men with a press of the usual kind, using all their strength.' He laid it aside when the printers protested that it would cause unemployment( Paul Pater, De Germaniae Miraculo. . . . Dissertatio (Leipzig, 1710, pp. 14, 56.) It sounds as if some new principle was at work here, but Pater's account gives few details."

(This entry was last revised on 03-08-2015.)

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Thomas Newcomen Invents the First Atmospheric Steam Pumping Engine 1710 – 1712

Around 1710 English ironmonger, Baptist lay preacher, and inventor Thomas Newcomen developed the atmospheric reciprocating engine, which unlike the steam pump ("The Miner's Friend") developed by Thomas Savery in 1698, employed a piston in a cylinder, the vacuum pulling the piston down to the bottom of the cylinder when water was injected into it, cooling the steam. Newcomen's reciprocating engine could pump water far higher than was possible using Savery's steam pump.

In 1712 Newcomen and his partner John Calley produced the first working atmospheric reciprocating engine, or Newcomen steam engine, for pumping water at the Conygree Coalworks near Dudley, England. Newcomen's Dudley Castle beam engine is generally accepted as the first successful Newcomen engine. Newcomen engines were successful partly because they were very safe to operate. Since the steam was under such low pressure, there was no risk of a dangerous boiler explosion.  It is possible that Newcomen's Dudley engine was preceded by an engine Newcomen built a mile and a half east of Wolverhampton. Both of these steam engines were used to pump out water-filled coal mines. 

Because Savery held a general patent covering all imagined uses of steam power, Newcomen and his partner John Calley persuaded Savery to join forces with them to exploit their invention until the expiration of Savery's patent in 1733.

"Although its first use was in coal-mining areas, Newcomen's engine was also used for pumping water out of the metal mines in his native West Country, such as the tin mines of Cornwall. By the time of his death, Newcomen and others had installed over a hundred of his engines, not only in the West Country and the Midlands but also in north Wales, near Newcastle and in Cumbria. Small numbers were built in other European countries, including in France, Belgium, Spain, and Hungary, also at Dannemora, Sweden. Evidence of the use of a Newcomen Steam Engine associated with early coal mines was found in 2010 in Midlothian, VA (site of some of the first coal mines in the U.S." (Wikipedia article on Newcomen steam engine, accessed 10-21-2012).

A full-size working replica of Newcomen's steam engine can be seen in operation at the Black Country Living Museum, which stands on another part of what was Lord Dudley's Conygree Park. 

Rolt, Thomas Newcomen. The Prehistory of the Steam Engine (1963).

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First Publication of Newton's Early Writings on the Calculus 1711

In 1711 Isaac Newton published Analysis per quantitatum series, fluxiones, ac differentias cum enumeratione linearum tertii ordinis, edited by William Jones.

This was the first printing of Newton's tracts De analysi per aequationes numero terminorum infinitas" and Methodus differentialis, together with reprints of the tracts on quadratures and cubics first published in Opticks (1704).  De analysi, Newton's first independent treatise on higher mathematics, was written in 1669 to protect his priority in the invention of the calculus. It contains the earliest printed account of Newton's generalized binomial theorem.  In 1711, Newton permitted mathematician William Jones (one of the few allowed access to Newton's manuscripts) to publish these four tracts. Aside from his association with Newton, Jones is chiefly remembered for having introduced the symbol  Π into mathematical notation.

Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) no. 1590.

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The Newton - Leibniz Dispute over Invention of the Calculus 1712

In response to Leibniz’s appeal to the Royal Society for a fair hearing concerning the dispute over the invention of the differential calculus between Newton and himself, the Royal Society issued Commercium epistolicum D. Johannis Collins, et aliorum de analysi promota: Jussu Societatis Regiae in lucem editum in 1712. The report was hardly impartial, however, because Newton, as the president of the Royal Society, hand-picked a committee of supporters to review the case and composed its favorable findings himself.  The John Collins mentioned in the title was a bookseller, amateur mathematician and member of the Royal Society. In 1669, Collins was sent a copy of Newton's manuscript on the calculus, De analysi, portions of which Leibniz transcribed in 1676.

Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) no. 1591.

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White Kennett Issues the First Bibliography of Americana 1713

White Kennett, Bishop of Peterborough, England, issued Bibliothecae Americanae Primordia. An Attempt Towards Laying the Foundation of an American Library, in Several Books, Papers, and Writings, Humbly given to the Society for Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. . . . Published in London in an edition of 250 copies in 1713, this was the library of the first collector of historical documents on the continent of North America. It was also the first bibliography of Americana, carefully listing in chronological order books, charts, maps, and documents with a detailed alphabetical index.

Breslauer & Folter, Bibliography: Its History and Development (1984) no. 93.

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Johann Christian Koch Issues the First History of Library Classification Systems 1713

Schediasma de ordinanda bibliotheca issued in Leipzig in 1713 by the German minister and writer Johann Christian Koch, appears to be the first history of systems for organizing libraries, or of library classification systems. On the title page of this book Koch characterized himself as pastor in "Pago Lentz prope Haynam."  He was identified by Google books as "Superintendent in Bischofswerda," a small town in Germany at the western edge of Upper Lusatia in Saxony

I learned about this relatively obscure work from the introduction to Johann David Köhler's Sylloge aliquot scriptorum de bene ordinanda et ornanda bibliotheca (1728).

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Early Government Incentive for Scientific Research November 12, 1713 – 1770

On November 12, 1713 the Parliament of Great Britain passed An Act for Providing a Publick Reward for Such Person or Persons as Shall Discover the Longitude at Sea. This was duly published in 1714.

One of the most famous early examples of government incentive for scientific research, this Act of Parliament established a reward of £20,000 for anyone who could invent a reliable and practicable method of finding longitude at sea to within half a degree, with lesser prizes offered for ways of finding it to within one degree and within forty minutes. The Act also established a permanent body of Commissioners, known as the Board of Longitude, to evaluate the merits of all proposed methods, award the prizes and provide research grants of up to £2,000. Despite the incentive provided by the enormous first prize, the problem, which had baffled navigators for centuries, remained unsolved for nearly fifty years, until astronomer Johann Tobias Mayer calculated lunar tables which were accurate enough to calculate longitude at sea to within about half a degree, and John Harrison invented the first accurate marine chronometer about 1760. For his tables in 1763 Mayer's widow received £3000 of the £20,000 prize. Later, after a long struggle, John Harrison received between £8000 and £9000 of the same prize money. 

A preliminary version of Mayer’s tables was published in the proceedings of the Göttingen Scientific Society in 1753; meanwhile, Mayer continued to improve the tables until his death in 1762. In 1763 Mayer’s widow sent a copy of the improved tables to the Board of Longitude in application to the prize. The improved tables were first edited for publication by Nevil Maskelyne, the Astronomer Royal, as Tabulae motuum solis et lunae novae et correctae. . . quibus accedit methodus longitudinum promota, eodem auctore, and published in London by John Nourse in 1770. Maskelyne had tested Mayer’s earlier tables with positive results on a voyage to the island of St. Helena in 1761. He also used Mayer’s tables to compute the lunar and solar ephemerides in the early editions of his Nautical Almanac, and since Maskelyne was on the Board of Longitude we may assume that he was influential in having a portion of the prize awarded to Mayer’s widow. Appended to Mayer’s tables are two short tracts, one on determining longitude by lunar distances, together with a description of the reflecting circle (invented by Mayer in 1752), and the other on a formula for atmospheric refraction, which applies a remarkably accurate correction for temperature.

Four years earlier Maskelyne had co-authored with Yorkshire clockmaker John Harrison a technical manual on the design of the chronometer, The Principles of Mr. Harrison's Time-Keeper, with Plates of the Same. This had also been published in London by John Nourse. Harrison perfected a chronometer accurate enough to measure time at a steady rate over long periods, thus permitting the measurement of longitude by comparison of local solar time with an established standard time. Although it was soon supplanted by simpler mechanisms, Harrison's chronometer revolutionized the science of navigation, as it gave navigators their first means of observing true geographical position at any given moment during a voyage. There was no comparable advance in navigational aids until the development of radar in the twentieth century.

Harrison's chronometer was tested on two voyages to the West Indies in 1761 and 1764 and found to be well within the range of accuracy demanded by the 1714 act. In view of this success Harrison felt that he had a legitimate right to the prize money, but the Board of Longitude, on which Nevil Maskelyne sat, raised several objections, one of them being that Harrison had not given them a satisfactory demonstration of how the chronometer worked. Harrison finally agreed to dismantle the instrument before a committee chosen by the Board and to give a full account of its mechanism and manufacture; the results of this demonstration, which took place in 1765, were noted by Nevil Maskelyne and published along with Harrison's own explanation of his invention. The demonstration was ruled satisfactory, but even so Harrison was awarded only half the prize money; it was not until 1773, following the intercession of George iii, that Harrison received the balance.

Baillie, Clocks & Watches: An Historical Bibliography (1951) 140-141, Gould, The Marine Chronometer: Its History and Development (1960) 1-17. Horblit, One Hundred Books Famous in Science (1964) no. 42a. Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) Nos. 2, 995, 1468. Wepster, Between Theory and Observations: Tobias Mayer's Explorations of Lunar Motion (2010) 33-40.

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Henrich Gottleib Titz Writes about the Theuerdanck: Probably the First Monograph on a Single Rare Book 1714

In 1714 Heinrich Gottleib Titz as respondent and author, supervised by German historian Johann David Köhler at Universität Altdorf, published a thesis in Altdorf bei Nürnberg entitled Disquisitio de inclyto libro poetico Theuerdanck. This dissertation may be the first monograph on a single rare book, in this case the Theuerdanck of 1517.

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Johann Conrad Zeitner Describes Famous Proofreaders and Press Correctors 1716

Johann Conrad Zeltner published Correctorum in typogaphiis eruditorum centuria speciminis loco collecta in Nuremberg at the press of A. J. Felsecker in 1716.

"Zeltner's bio-bibliography of 100 proofreaders and press correctors from the 15th to the beginning of the 18th century includes such luminaries as Henri I Estienne (and a history of his printing house), Michael Servetus, Josse Bade, Coverdale, G.A. Bussi (who worked for Sweynheim [Sweynheym] and Pannartz), Erasmus, Plantin, Isaac Casaubon, Oporinus, Paolo Manuzio, Rabii Jacob ben-Chajim or Hayyim (for Daniel Bomberg), and Thomas Crenius the bibliographer. Each entry contains a list of the press corrector’s published writings, some of the famous books on which he worked and citations to source material. Felsecker’s typesetters here committed over 400 errors (five page errata in 68 pt. type)" (Bruce McKittrick Rare Books, Short Stack Seven [2009] no. 4).

Bigmore & Wyman, A Bibliography of Printing (1880) III: 113. The work was reissued in Nuremberg in 1720 under the following title: Theatrum virorum eruditorum qui speciatim typophraphiis laudabilem operam preaestiterunt.

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Lombe's Silk Throwing Mill: The First Factory 1718 – 1721

Lombe's Mill, a silk throwing mill built by Thomas Lombe on an island in the river Derwent in Derby, England from 1718-21, was the first successful powered continuous production unit in the world, and the model for the factory concept later developed by Richard Arkwright and others in the Industrial Revolution.

The mill seems to have been the result of early industrial espionage. Silk weaving technology had evolved in Italy since the thirteenth century. The Italians had developed two machines-- a throwing machine and a doubler-- capable of winding the silk onto bobbins while putting a twist in the thread.

"They called the throwing machine, a filatoio, and the doubler, a torcitoio. There is an illustration of a circular handpowered throwing machine drawn in 1487 with 32 spindles. The first evidence of a externally powered filatoio comes from the thirteenth century, and the earliest illustration from around 1500. Filatorios and torcitoios contained parallel circular frames that revolved round each other on a central axis. The speed of the relative rotation determined the twist. Silk would only cooperate in the process if the temperature and humidity were high, in Italy the temperature was elevated by sunlight but in Derby the mill had to be heated, and the heat evenly distributed." (Wikipedia article on Lombe's Mill, accessed 09-30-2012).

About 1715 Thomas Lombe's brother John obtained employment at one of the Italian shops where the secret silk-throwing machinery was used. As the story goes, John stole into the shops at night and carefully diagrammed them by candlelight. He brought the designs back to England in 1716. In 1718 Thomas obtained British patent No. 422 for "A New Invention of Three Sorts of Engines never before made or used in Great Britaine, One to Wind the Finest Raw Silk, Another to Spin, and the Other to Twist the Finest Italian Raw Slik into Organzine in great Perfection, which was never before done in this Kingdom."

"Little of the original mill remain. It is known from written sources that it was five storeys high rectangular in plan. It was built of brick, in flemish bond, being 33.5m long by 12m wide. It was built on a series of stone arches that allowed the waters of the River Derwent to flow through. The mill was 17m high,topped by a shallow pitched roof.The throwing machines were two storeys high, and pierced the first floor. The winding machines were situated on the top three floors. All the machines were powered by Sorocolds external undershot waterwheel- one that was 7m in diameter and 2m in width. Its axle entered the mill through a navel hole at first floor level. It drove a vertical shaft which was 0.45m square. This drove a horizontal shaft or lay shaft that ran the length of the mill. The torcitoios and filatoios took their power from this shaft. The vertical shaft was extended past the second floor by an iron gudgeon to a further vertical shaft that reached the top 3 floors to drive the winding machines. The mill needed to be heated in order to process the silk and this was explained in the 1718 patent. It was reported in 1732 that Lombe used a fire engine (steam engine) to pump hot air round the mill. The stair column was 19.5m high, its layout is not known and there is no information on how bales were hoisted between the floors" (Wikipedia article on Lombe's Mill, accessed 09-30-2012).

(This entry was last revised on 05-10-2016.)

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Jacob Christophe Le Blon Invents the Three-Color Process of Color Printing 1719 – 1725

Working in London, the painter Jacob Christoph Le Blon, a citizen of Frankfurt, secured a patent in 1719 from George I for a process which he called "printing paintings." Much as fifteenth century printers viewed printing by movable type as a less expensive way to reproduce texts that had previously been reproduced by manuscript copying, Le Blon viewed his process of color printing as a less expensive way of producing or reproducing color paintings. Prior to moving to London Le Blon worked as a miniaturist in Amsterdam, and it is thought that he might have been influenced by the anonymous third edition of Traité de la peinture en mignature issued in The Hague in 1708, which described trichromancy in terms of three couleurs primitives— yellow, red and blue.

In London Le Blon formed a company called The Picture Office to produce color prints. The historian of anatomical illustration Ludwig Choulant stated that in 1721 Le Blon issued a separate print depicting the male sexual organs entitled Préparation anatomique des parties de l’homme, servants a la generation, faites sur les decouvertes les plus modernes. This print, which I have not seen, may be the first, or among the first, color-printed mezzotints ever published. In 1725 Le Blon privately published a pamphlet called Coloritto, describing the process that he had invented. This was the first published description of trichromatic color printing.

To prepare each of his three printing plates, Le Blon used the technique of mezzotint engraving in which a copper sheet is uniformly roughened with the finely serrated edge of a burring tool, and local regions are then polished, to varying degrees, in order to control the amount of ink that they are to hold. To develop his process Le Blon needed to find three colored inks of suitable transparency, and to analyze the color that was to be reproduced into its components. Sometimes he used a fourth plate, carrying black ink. This technique allowed the use of thinner layers of colored ink, reducing cost, and accelerating drying.

Choulant, History and Bibliography of Anatomic Illustration (1920) 265-66.

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Crime and Punishment during the Ancien Regime: The Arrest, Trial and Execution of Cartouche and his Cour des Miracles Gang November 28, 1721

One of the more unusual volumes that I handled during my long career as an antiquarian bookseller was a collection of 78 legal documents and other printed pamphlets relating to the arrests, trials and punishments of Louis Dominique Bourguignon, called Cartouche, and his notorious “Cours des Miracles” gang of criminals. This was bound with 62 documents, including official arrest and sentencing records, relating to crimes committed in France in the 17th and 18th centuries. One of France’s most famous outlaws, Cartouche was portrayed (and romanticized) in countless stories, plays, songs and films, including the 1962 film “Cartouche,” starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Claudia Cardinale. His crimes and those of his followers were exhaustively detailed in the collection, which consisted chiefly of documents issued by the Cour de Parlement de Paris, the ancien régime’s primary legislative and judicial body.

Cartouche was the son of a wine merchant. After expulsion from school, he became the head of a gang in Normandy, then served for a time as a police informant before joining the army. Upon leaving the army, Cartouche and some of his fellow soldiers formed a new criminal gang, headquartered in the Cour des Miracles, a notorious Parisian slum. Cartouche's Cour des Miracles gang, which appears to have had over one hundred members (both male and female), was an early example of organized crime in France: Cartouche had himself elected leader, and punished challenges to his authority with death. Members of Cartouche’s gang terrorized the city with almost daily robberies and murders; they were especially feared for their attacks on carriages traveling from Versailles to Paris.

Betrayed by one of his accomplices, Cartouche was arrested on January 6, 1721 and thrown into prison. Believing that his gang would rescue him, he at first refused to divulge any information to the authorities, even when subjected to the question extraordinaire, a particularly brutal form of judicial torture. Cartouche was scheduled to be executed on November 27, 1721, and hoped for rescue up until the last minute; however, when he finally realized his gang had broken faith with him, he begged the officiating priest for a reprieve so that he could take revenge by betraying his former associates. On November 28, after making his confession, Cartouche was broken on the wheel (rompu vif), the standard execution for robbers and brigands in 18th-century France. Document no. 6 in the collection (see list below), dated November 26, 1721, records the death sentence given to Cartouche and seven of his associates by the Cour de Parlement de Paris.

After Cartouche’s execution, most of the remaining Cour des Miracles gang members were arrested and tried for their crimes, which included murder, armed robbery, breaking and entering, stealing from churches and royal residences, receiving stolen goods, and harboring other criminals. These proceedings, which took place at the Cour de Parlement de Paris in the summer and fall of 1722, are recorded in documents in the list below.  The sentences included hanging, being burned alive, the wheel, branding, whipping, the stocks, banishment and the galleys.

Of the remaining documents in this collection, the most interesting were a defense of the notorious Marquise de Brinvilliers, executed in 1676 for poisoning her family; the arrest records of Robert-François Damiens (no. 130), drawn and quartered in 1757 for attempting to stab Louis XV, and of Damiens’s family arrested and punished for their association with him; and a record of the judgment against the famous French smuggler and bandit Louis Mandrin. The remaining documents record arrests and punishments for diverse crimes, including theft, pimping, infanticide, fraud, heresy, and refusing a dying person the last rites.

This remarkable collection on crime may have been assembled by Pierre Théodore Noël du Payrat, seigneur de Razat (1761-1832), jurist, King’s counsel, acting procurer general of the Parlement of Paris, delegate from the Dordogne to the États généraux in 1789, and member of the Council of Five Hundred. Noël de Peyrat’s descendants still maintain the Chateau de Razat and its important library of books on jurisprudence. 


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Martin-Dominique Fertel Issues the First Major French Manual on Printing and the First Book on Book Design 1723

In 1723 printer and bookseller Martin-Dominique Fertel issued La Science pratique de l'imprimérie contenant des instructions très faciles pour se perfectionner dans cet art. On y trouvera une description de toutes les pieces dont une presse est construire, avec le moyen de remedier à tous les défauts qui peuvent y s. from Saint-Omer, France.  

This was the first major manual on printing published in French, and the first book on book design in any language, though the author probably did not think of it as a design manual per se. The four parts of Fertel's work cover type and composition, imposition and press correction, accentuated letters and punctuation, and press work.  Fertel (1648-1752) had a shop in St. Omer from 1713 until his death in 1752. After becoming a printer in 1704 he travelled for about 10 years through France, Italy and Flanders, familiarizing himself with printing techniques and products. Not finding a printing manual anywhere, he decided to print his own.

Barber, French Letterpress Printing (1969) 8.

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James Jurin Issues One of the Earliest Applications of Statistics to a Socio-Medical Problem 1723

In 1723 English physician and scientist James Jurin published A Letter . . . Containing, a Comparison Between the Mortality of the Natural Small Pox and that Given by InoculationIn this work, which is one of the earliest applications of statistics to a particular socio-medical problem, Jurin proved statistically that the fatality of inocculated smallpox is very much less than the fatality of natural smallpox.

J. Norman (ed.) Morton's Medical Bibliography 5th ed (1991) no. 1689.

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The Bernard-Picard Collaboration: the First Global View of Religion 1723 – 1743

Between 1723 and 1743 Dutch bookseller and publisher Jean-Frédéric Bernard of Amsterdam published Ceremeonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde in seven small folio or large quarto volumes plus two supplementary volumes, with an allegorical frontispiece representing all the religions of the world, and over 266 plates by French engraver Bernard Picard

The Bernard-Picart collaboration was the most famous encyclopedic work on religion of the 18th century. It was later called the first global vision of religion. The publisher, Bernard, compiled this work from many sources, including the writings of R. Simon, J. Abbadie, Dupin, Thiers, P. le Brun, Boulainvilliers, Reland, Banier, Mascrier, Du Tilliot, etc.; the illustrations were prepared by Bernard Picard, described by Benezit as “le représantant le plus remarquable de la gravure hollandaise du premier tiers du XVIIIe siècle, influence par l’École française.” The first seven volumes described and illustrated in detail the various religious customs, ceremonies and costumes of both the ancient and modern world: the first and second volumes dealt with the Jews and Roman Catholics; the third with the religions of the Americas and India; the fourth with the Protestant religions; the fifth with Protestants and Greek Orthodox; the sixth with Anglicans, Quakers and Anabaptists; and the seventh with Islam, African religions and the religions of the Far East. Two supplementary volumes entitled Superstitions anciennes et modernes (1733-36) contained descriptions and illustrations of religiously oriented rites and festivities such as the Greek Bacchanals, the worship of Priapus, carnival, etc. The remaining two volumes discussed the superstitions of the world.

Between 1733 and 1739 Picart's work was translated into English and published in seven volumes in London by William Jackson for Claude du Bosc as Ceremonies and Religious Customs of the World. The English edition included 233 engraved plates. 

Brunet I, 1742. Cohen-De Ricci 134-35. Hunt, Jacob, & Mijnhardt, Bernard Picart and the First Global Vision of Religion (2010).

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Abraham de Moivre Formulates the Theory of Annuities 1725

In 1725 French Hugenot mathematician and demographer exiled in England, Abraham de Moivre published from London Annuities upon Lives: Or, the Valuation of Annuities upon any Number of Lives; as also, of Reversions. Using the mortality statistics gathered by Edmond Halley in the 1690s, Moivre formulated the theory of annuities, deriving his formulas from a postulated uniform rate of mortality and constant rates of interest on money. "Here one finds the treatment of joint annuities on several lives, the inheritance of annuities, problems about the fair division of the costs of a tontine, and other contracts in which both age and interest on capital are relevant. This mathematics became a standard part of all subsequent commercial applications in England" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography).

Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) no. 1530.

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Luigi Marsigli Issues the First Book Entirely Devoted to Marine Science and First Oceanographic Study of a Single Region 1725

In 1725 Italian count Habsburg general, military engineer, scientist and virtuoso, Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli published Histoire physique de la mer in Amsterdam. This work, illustrated with an engraved frontispiece and 52 engraved plates, and a glowing introduction by physician Herman Boerhaave, was the first book devoted entirely to marine science, and the first oceanographic study of a single region. Marsigli conducted an intensive investigation of the Gulf of Lyon in the south of France, taking soundings to obtain a profile of the sea floor, analyzing the relationship of the lands under and above water, studying the water's physical properties (temperature, density, color) and its motions (waves, currents, tides), and describing the marine life of the region. Marsigli was the first to give an account of formation of the continental shelf and slope, and the first to class corals as living beings rather than as inorganic mineral formations. His belief that the land and the sea bed formed a continuous structure was confirmed when he discovered rock strata dipping below sea level at the coast. Marsigli's work prefigured the systematic oceanographic exploration that would begin fifty years later with Captain James Cook's voyage in the Endeavor.

Deacon, Scientists and the Sea 1650-1900 (1971) 170-185. Stoye, Marsigli's Europe 1680-1730 (1994) 295-96. Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) no. 1445.

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Johann Joseph Fux Describes Baroque Counterpoint 1725

In1725 Austrian composer, music theorist and pedagogue Johann Joseph Fux published in Vienna Gradus ad Parnassum, a treatise on counterpoint in the Palestrina style of Renaissance polyphony.

Fux divided Gradus ad Parnassum into two parts:

"In the first part, Fux presents a summary of the theory on Musica Speculativa, or the analysis of intervals as proportions between numbers. This section is in a simple lecture style, and looks at music from a purely mathematical angle, in a theoretical tradition that goes back, through the works of Renaissance theoreticians, to the Ancient Greeks. The words of Mersenne, Cicero and Aristotle are among the references quoted by Fux in this section.

"The second part, on Musica Pratica [or practical performance], is the section of this treatise where the author presents his instruction on counterpoint, fugue, double counterpoint, a brief essay on musical taste, and his ideas on composing Sacred music, writing in the Style A Cappella and in the Recitativo Style. This part is in the form of a dialog, between a master (Aloysius, Latin for Luigi, who is meant to represent Palestrina's ideas) and a student, Josephus, who represents Fux himself, a self-admitted admirer of Palestrina. At the outset Fux states his purpose: "to invent a simple method by which a student can progress, step by step, to the heights of compositional mastery..." and he gives his opinion of contemporary practice: "I will not be deterred by the most passionate haters of study, nor by the depravity of the present time." He also states that theory without practice is useless, thus his book stresses practice over theory" (Wikipedia article on Johann Fux, accessed 09-04-2010).

Leopold Mozart is said to have taught his son Wolfgang from Gradus ad Parnassum. JS Bach and Beethoven both held it in great esteem, and Haydn meticulously worked out each of its exercises. Translated into the vernacular, Fux's work remains useful for the study of counterpoint. See The Study of Counterpoint from Johann Joseph Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum. Translated and edited by Alfred Mann (1943, 1965). (The paperback copy that I consulted was from its 34th printing.)

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Jonathan Swift Creates a Fictional Device that Resembles a Modern Computer 1726

In Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift describes a fictional device called The Engine, which generates permutations of word sets. It is possibly the earliest literary reference to a fictional device resembling aspects of a modern computer.  Though Swift does not reference the medieval Ars generalis ultima (Ars magna) of the Spanish philosopher Ramon Llull (Lull), called by Leibniz, the ars combinatoria in Leibnitz's De arte combinatoria, the passage is considered a parody of Llull's method.

Swift wrote:

“... Every one knew how laborious the usual method is of attaining to arts and sciences; whereas, by his contrivance, the most ignorant person, at a reasonable charge, and with a little bodily labour, might write books in philosophy, poetry, politics, laws, mathematics, and theology, without the least assistance from genius or study.” He then led me to the frame, about the sides, whereof all his pupils stood in ranks. It was twenty feet square, placed in the middle of the room. The superfices was composed of several bits of wood, about the bigness of a die, but some larger than others. They were all linked together by slender wires. These bits of wood were covered, on every square, with paper pasted on them; and on these papers were written all the words of their language, in their several moods, tenses, and declensions; but without any order. The professor then desired me “to observe; for he was going to set his engine at work.” The pupils, at his command, took each of them hold of an iron handle, whereof there were forty fixed round the edges of the frame; and giving them a sudden turn, the whole disposition of the words was entirely changed. He then commanded six-and-thirty of the lads, to read the several lines softly, as they appeared upon the frame; and where they found three or four words together that might make part of a sentence, they dictated to the four remaining boys, who were scribes. This work was repeated three or four times, and at every turn, the engine was so contrived, that the words shifted into new places, as the square bits of wood moved upside down."

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Sultan Ahmet III Permits Printing of Secular Topics in Istanbul While Protecting its More than 4000 Scribes 1727

With the support of the Grand Vizier, Ibrahim Müteferrika addressed a petition to the Sultan of Constantinople (Istanbul) in the form of an essay entitled Wasilat al-Tiba'a, (Vesiletu-t Tibaa) The Utility of Printing, in which he showed the losses to Islamic learning from the absence of print and the great benefits that printing would bring to Muslims in general and Ottomans in particular. Müteferrika, the founder of the first Turkish printing press, was born in Hungary and trained as a Calvinist minister.  Between 1692 and 1693 he fell into the hands of Ottoman troops, was enslaved, and then converted to Islam. He quickly rose within the Ottoman administration; Sultan Ahmet III promoted him to his personal corps of guards, which was called the Müteferrika.

Convinced by Müteferrika's essay, Sultan Ahmet III issued a firman (ferman) authorizing Sait Efendi and Müteferrika to open a printing house in Istanbul for printing in Arabic type. The authorization was limited only for books on practical or secular subjects. This edict protected the more than 4,000 professional scribes of Istanbul, whose work consisted almost entirely of copying the Qur'an, the collections of Islamic canonical traditions, and legal texts.

Müteferrika's press, called the Dârü’t-tıbâ’ati’l-ma’mûre, but more widely known as the Basma Khāne (printing house), the first of its kind in the Islamic world, operated between 1729 and 1742, producing 17 titles in 22 volumes, with a total press run for all the tiles combined of 12,200-13,700 copies. The titles issued included geographies, histories, and dictionaries. Müteferrika took an active role in the production process by editing, writing, and translating as he saw fit. 

Meteferrika's essay was translated into English by Christopher M. Murphy and published in Atiyeh (ed) The Book in the Islamic World. The Written Word and Communication in the Middle East (1995) 286-92.  The Firman of Ahmed III was also translated into English and published in Atiyeh's book on pp. 284-85. 

(This entry was last revised on 01-12-2015.)

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Johann David Köhler Issues the First Anthology of Library Classification, Organization and Cataloguing Schemes 1728

Sylloge aliquot scriptorum et bene ordinanda et ornanda bibliotheca published in Frankfurt in 1728 was the first anthology of library classfication, organizational, and cataloguing schemes. It was edited by German historian and university librarian at Altdorf bei Nürnberg Johann David Köhler. In this anthology Köhler reprinted several treatises, which were presumably little known and difficult to find:

Jean Garnier, Systema bibliothecae collegii Parisiensis Societatis Iesu, Paris, 1678.

In this plan for arranging the library in the Collège de Clermont, Garnier proposed four general classes: Theology, Philosophy, History and Law.

Fréderic de Rostgaard, Projet d'une nouvelle method pour dresser le catalogue d'une bibliotheque selon les matieres avec le plan. Seconde edition augmentée de quelques articles tres-necessaires & mise en meilleur ordre. Paris, 1698.

Giusto Fontanini, Dispositio catalogi bibliothecae Josephi Renati Imperialis S.R.E. Diaconi Cardinalis S. Georgii. Secundum scientiarum, facultatum, artium et rerum classes. Rome, 1719.

Daniel William Moller, Commentatio de technophysionameis sive Germanice von Kunst-und Naturalien-Kammern. Altdorf, 1704.

Johann Jacob Moser, Bibliotheca manuscriptorum maxime anecdotorum eorumque historicorum. Nuremberg, 1722.

Issues of Köhler's work were published with and without the final text by Moser.

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Ibrahim Müteferrika Issues the First Book Printed by Muslims Using Movable Type 1729

In 1729, two years after he received permission to print, Ibrahim Müteferrika founded the first printing press in Turkey, in his home at Constantinople. According to extant Ottoman documents, during the intervening two years Muteferrika cut his own punches and cast his own Arabic type, a typeface different from European typefaces of the period, closer to Naskh (Naskhi, Nesih) the standard book hand of the Muslim world. Muteferrika's first publication—the first book printed in Arabic by Muslims— was a Turkish translation of an Arabic dictionary in two thick volumes, the first containing 666 pages and the second containing 756 pages. The edition consisted of 1000 copies.

"Known as the Sahah ('The Correct"), it was composed in the 10th century by al-Jawhari, and is one of the classics of Arabic lexiocography. It contains more than 22,000 root words, and each usage is illustrated by quotations from the poets" (http://muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=988, accessed 06-10-2012). 

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Mark Catesby Publishes the First Natural History of North American Flora and Fauna 1729 – 1747

In 1729 Mark Catesby published the Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands in London "Printed at the Expence of the AUTHOR: and Sold by W. INNYS and R. MANBY, at the West End of St. Paul's, by Mr. HAUKSBEE, at the Royal Society House, and by the AUTHOR, at Mr. BACON'S in Hoxton." This splendid set of 2 folio volumes was the first natural history of North American flora and fauna, with 220 plates engraved by Catesby and colored under his supervision, systematically illustrating American birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and mammals for the first time. Catesby was the first to place his birds and animals in their natural habitats, a style of representation that would later be used by Alexander Wilson and John James Audubon. He was also the first to abandon the Native American names for his subjects, trying to establish scientific names based on generic relationships. Linnaeus would use Catesby’s work as the basis for his system of binomial nomenclature for American species in the tenth edition of Systema naturae (1758).

Having studied with the naturalist, John Ray, Catesby made his first trip to America to visit his sister who lived in Williamsburg, Virginia. He returned to England in 1719. On this visit Catesby became intrigued with the strangeness and variety of American plants, birds and animals, and decided to return again to the New World for another extended trip. For this second visit he acquired a number of sponsors for whom he was to collect and sketch botanical samples. Amongst his sponsors were William Sherard and Sir Hans Sloane. Catesby returned to America in 1722, settling in Charlestown, Carolina, and moving to Bermuda in 1725 as the guest of Governor Phenny. On this trip he collected  botanical samples for his sponsors, but he also sketched painted the birds, plants and animals that he saw on his wanderings throughout rural Southeastern America.

In 1726 Catesby returned to London and sought funding to produce and publish his researches by subscription.  “Catesby worked as a horticulturist first in the nursery of Thomas Fairchild, which passed to the hands Stephen Bacon in 1729, and then in Christopher Gray's nursery in Fulham. His work as a horticulturist and his reputation as an importer of exotic species helped him to generate subscribers for the Natural History as many of his clients read Catesby's work as an 'illustrated catalogue' of the exotic plants Catesby sold.

“Catesby's connections within the Royal Society proved indispensable in financing his American expedition, and they served him equally well in his publication of Natural History; Twenty-nine of his one hundred and fifty-four subscribers were members.Three individual members of the Royal Society were instrumental to producing and publishing the Natural History. Peter Collinson, a wealthy businessman with a keen interest in natural history, lent Catesby "considerable Sums of Money...without interest" and was the main financial supporter of Catesby's work. Sir Hans Sloane, by this time President of the Royal Society, continued to aid Catesby through his own financial support and by helping him enlist subscribers. For help with the Latin names of his subjects, Catesby turned to botanist William Sherard, who had been central in sending Catesby to America in the first place.

“Catesby wanted to send his watercolors to Paris or Amsterdam to be engraved for printing, but the cost was prohibitive. And so, by now in his mid-forties, the self-taught artist endeavored to learn etching. The print maker Joseph Goupy taught Catesby to etch his own plates. His lack of experience and expertise actually served as asset, freeing him to innovate. Instead of the traditional "Graver-like manner" he opted to ‘omit their method of cross-Hatching and to follow the humour of the Feathers, which is more laborious, and I hope has proved more to the purpose’. Each copy was then hand-coloured, though Catesby did have some assistance with this.

“As Catesby sorted through his paintings, deciding which to reproduce, he organized his materials into two volumes. The first hundred images of birds, frequently posed with the plants on which they feed or in which they dwell, would make up Volume I. Volume II was divided into sections treating fish, amphibians, mammals and insects, again, often with related plants. Volume II included plates treating only plants and ended with an appendix, which depicted some animals and plants Catesby was unable to see in person. As a preface to the second volume Catesby wrote a collection of essays discussing the geology, climate and peoples of "Carolina and the Bahama Islands."

“Each volume consists of five parts, each of which Catesby presented to the Royal Society upon completion. While the publication date on the title page of the first volume is 1731, he presented parts I-V between 1729 and 1732. Between 1734 and 1743 he presented parts VI-X, followed by the Appendix in 1747. Catesby sold the sections separately for two guineas a piece. A complete set, at twenty-two guineas, was one of the most expensive works of the 1700s. The order in which these sections of appear vary from copy to copy of the first edition as patrons had the works bound themselves. While Catesby's original proposal for publication stated that a smaller uncolored set would also be available for a single guinea a section, no known black and white copies exist” (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ma02/amacker/etext/pre_3.htm, accessed 12-28-2008).

In February 2014 all the images and captions from Catesby’s work could be viewed at the website created by Kristy Amaker at this link.

In 2007 The Catesby Commemorative Trust produced a beautiful film about Catesby's life and work entitled The Curious Mister Catesby.

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Ibrahim Müteferikka Issues the First Illustrated Book Printed by Muslims 1729

In 1729 printer and publisher Ibrahim Müteferikka issued his second book from his press in Constantinople. A maritime history of the Turks by the Ottoman writer Hajj Khalifa, this work was 150 pages long. As with the Arabic-Turkish dictionary he printed the same year, Mutteferikka issued 1000 copies of this work. Containing five illustrations, including a map, it was the first illustrated book printed by Muslims using movable type, and also the first book printed by Muslims containing a map:

"one showing the two hemisphere, another showing the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, another the islands under Ottoman rule, the fourth a map of the Adriatic and its islands, the fifth a double mariner's compass, beautifully engraved, with the names of the winds in Turkish, Persian and other languages. These illustrations testify to Ibaham Muteferrika's skill as a map maker and engraver.

"The Maritime Wars also contains information on cities, ports, borders, islands and sites of improtant naval battles; it give an account of Ottoman naval battles in the Archipelago, the Black Sea, the Red Sea, Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Venice, lists famous Ottoman admirals, including Piri Reis, and describes different methods of navigation" (http://muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=988, accessed 06-10-2012).

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Isaac Greenwood Issues the First American Textbook on Mathematics 1729

In 1729 Isaac Greenwood, first Hollisian Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Harvard, anonymously published Arithmetick Vulgar and Decimal: with the Application Thereof, to a Variety of Cases in Trade, and Commerce.  The book was first issued by "T. Hancock at the Sign of the Bible and Three Crowns in Annstreet" in Boston. This was the first textbook on arithmetic written in English by a native American.  

The Hollisian Professorship of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy was the first professorship on a "profane" topic established at Harvard, which was then a theological college.  Unfortunately, Greenwood was an alcoholic, and was removed from his position in 1737 on the grounds of "intemperance."

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Jacques Vaucanson's Automata: Complex Enough to Provide a Credible Imitation of Life 1731 – 1742

It took Jacques Vaucanson took the seven years between 1731 and 1738 to design and construct his first automaton, or android— The Flute Player. Vaucanson's Flute Player was most probably the first automaton to perform a series of mechanical procedures long enough and complex enough to provide a credible imitation of life. When finally completed the automaton was "a life-size figure of a shepherd that played the tabor and the pipe and had a repertoire of twelve songs." Vaucanson presented The Flute Player at the Académie Royale des Sciences in 1738, and published a pamphlet in Paris entitled Le mécanisme du fluteur automate, presenté a messieurs de L'Académie Royale des Sciences. Avec la description d'un canard artificial, mangeant, beuvant, digerant & se vuidant, épluchantses aîles & ses plumes, imitant en div. maniers un canard vivant. . . .

Vaucanson completed his Canard digérateur or Digesting Duck, an automaton that imitated or simulated the process of eating kernels of grain, of digestion, and of defecation in 1738.

"The duck had over 400 moving parts in each wing alone, and could flap its wings, drink water, digest grain, and defecate. Although Vaucanson's duck supposedly demonstrated digestion accurately, his duck actually contained a hidden compartment of 'digested food', so that what the duck defecated was not the same as what it ate; the duck would eat a mixture of water and seed and excrete a mixture of bread crumbs and green dye that appeared to the onlooker indistinguishable from real excrement. Although such 'frauds' were sometimes controversial, they were common enough because such scientific demonstrations needed to entertain the wealthy and powerful to attract their patronage. Vaucanson is credited as having invented the world's first flexible rubber tube while in the process of building the duck's intestines. Despite the revolutionary nature of his automata, he is said to have tired quickly of his creations and sold them in 1743" (Wikipedia article on Jacques Vaucanson, accessed 05-20-2013).

Vaucanson's Canard digérateur was the first automaton to simulate biological processes. In 1742 Vaucanson's flute-player and his duck were exhibited at the Opera House in the Hay-Market in London. In association with that exhbition. Vaucanson's booklet describing the automata was translated into English by J. T. Desaguliers and published as An Account of the Mechanism of an Automaton, or Images Playing on the German Flute

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Edward Cave Founds "The Gentleman's Magazine," the First General-Interest Periodical and the First to Use the Word "Magazine" to Indicate a Storehouse of Knowledge January 1731

Printer, editor, and publisher of St. John's Gate, LondonEdward Cave founded The Gentleman's Magazine: or, Trader's monthly intelligencer in January, 1731.

A "repository of all things worth mentioning," this was the first general-interest periodical in the modern sense, and the first to use the word magazine to indicate a storehouse of knowledge. With its title reduced to The Gentleman's Magazine, the work continued publication uninterrupted until 1922. It was also the most important periodical of 18th century England, reflecting the diversity of Georgian life, politics and culture, and at the price of 6d per issue, it was an outstanding bargain. It covered current affairs, political opinion, lead articles from other journals, miscellaneous information such as quack cures and social gossip, prices of stocks, science and technological discoveries, notices of births, deaths, and marriages, ecclesiastical preferments, travel, parliamentary debates, and poetry. Writers such as Dr Johnson, John Hawkesworth, Richard Savage, and Anna Seward were just a few of the thousands who contributed to it.  Because the periodical covered such a wide range of topics, and continued uninterrupted for so long it became a kind of comprehensive reference on various aspects of culture.

"Prior to the founding of The Gentleman's Magazine, there had been specialized journals, but no such wide-ranging publication (though there had been attempts, such as The Gentleman's Journal, which was edited by Peter Motteux and ran from 1692 to 1694).

"Samuel Johnson's first regular employment as a writer was with The Gentleman's Magazine. During a time when parliamentary reporting was banned, Johnson regularly contributed parliamentary reports as 'Debates of the Senate of Magna Lilliputia'. Though they reflected the positions of the participants, the words of the debates were mostly Johnson's own" (Wikipedia article on The Gentleman's Magazine, accessed 03-07-2009).

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Benjamin Franklin & Friends Found the Library Company of Philadelphia, the First Lending Library in America July 1, 1731

On July 1, 1731 Benajmin Franklin and a group of his Philadelphia friends seeking social, economic, intellectual and political advancement, formed a discussion group called "the Junto," also known as "The Leather Apron Club."  An offshoot of the Junto was the Library Company of Philadelphia, founded by Franklin and his friends to provide reference material to support research on subjects under discussion:

"In colonial Pennsylvania at the time there were not many books; Books from London booksellers were expensive to purchase and slow to arrive. Franklin and his friends were mostly of moderate means, and none alone could have afforded a representative library such as a gentleman of leisure might expect to assemble. By pooling their resources in pragmatic Franklinian fashion, as the Library Company's historian wrote, 'the contribution of each created the book capital of all.' The first librarian they hired was Louis Timothee, being America's first.

"Thus fifty subscribers invested 40 shillings each and promised to pay ten shillings a year thereafter to buy books and maintain a shareholder's library. Therefore, 'the Mother of all American subscription libraries; was established, and a list of desired books compiled in part by James Logan, 'the best Judge of Books in these parts,' was sent to London and by autumn the first books were on the shelves" (Wikipedia article on Library Company of Philadelphia, accessed 11-27-2011).

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The Capitoline Museums, the First Public Museums, Open in Rome 1734

First open to the public in the Palazzo Nuovo in 1734 under the auspices of Pope Clement XII, the Capitoline Museums on the Capitoline Hill in Rome are considered the first public museum, defined as a museum where art could be enjoyed by ordinary people and not only by the owners of the art.

The Capitoline Museums remain the greatest museums of ancient Rome, and are significant not only for their content, but for their building design, and for their significance in the preservation of such a remarkable quantity of the most spectacular and historically important Roman antiquities. Their formation began in 1471 when pope Sixtus IV donated to the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the hill four bronze statues that had formally been housed in the pope's Lateran residence. These included the She-wolf, the Sinario (boy pulling a thorn out of his foot), the Camillus, and the bronze head of Constantine with hand and globe. The She-wolf, placed on the facade of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, became the symbol of the city of Rome. The colossal bronze portrait of the emperor Constantine with the palla Sansonis was placed in the external portico. Later, in 1537 Paul III Farnese commissioned Michelangelo to transfer the equestion statue of Marcus Aurelius from the Lateran to the Capitoline and to design a place for it in the center of the piazza. This ancient bronze had probably avoided the fate of other ancient Roman bronzes—mostly being melted down for medieval military use—because during the Middle Ages the statue was thought to represent Constantine, the first Christian emperor. 

The story of Michelangelo's design of the Capitoline Museums and the piazzo is well-documented. Significantly the building project was not completed until 1667. 

Carole Paul, The First Modern Museums of Art (2012)

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Carl Linnaeus Issues "Systema Naturae" 1735

In 1735 physician Carl Linnaeus of Stockholm, Sweden published his Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis or translated: "System of nature through the three kingdoms of nature, according to classes, orders, genera and species, with [generic] characters, [specific] differences, synonyms, places." 

Linnaeus issued  the first edition of this work as a series of large charts printed on both sides of seven sheets, or as a series of charts printed on one side only of twelve sheets. It was the first statement of the Linnean classification system.

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Albinus & Ladmiral Issue the First Full Color Printing by the Three-Color Process to Illustrate a Medical or Scientific Book 1736 – 1741

In 1736 physician and anatomist Bernhard Siegfried Albinus of Leiden published Dissertatio de arteries et venis intestinorum hominis. Adjecta icon coloribus distincta containing a color mezzotint printed by the painter Jan Ladmiral. This was among the earliest applications of full color printing, and the first use of the three-color printing  process in a medical or scientific book. Between 1736 and 1741 Albinus issued six pamphlets, each containing a color mezzotint by Ladmiral, forming the first series of full-color anatomical color-printed illustrations ever made.  Besides the previously mentioned pamphlet of 1736, the dissertations included De sede et causa coloris Aethiopum et caeterorum hominum (1737), a treatise on the anatomy and color of human skin; Icon durae matris in coava superficie visae (1738), on the anatomy of the brain; Icon durae matris in convexa superfice visae, ex capite (1738); Icon membranae vasculosae (1738), on the vascular membranes; and Effigies penis humani (1741), on the anatomy of the penis. These six images are  the only color prints produced by Jan Ladmiral, who had learned the process of color printing from the artist Jacob Christoph le Blon, the inventor of the process for printing color mezzotints using the three primary colors.  

♦ Probably the most unusual set of Albinus's pamphlets with color plates by Ladmiral is the collection bound in human skin in 1910 by Paul Kersten for the German collector Hans Friedenthal, and preserved at the Lane Medical Library at Stanford University.

The first medical book with illustrations printed in color by any method was Aselli's De lactibus (1627) which contained 4 folding woodcuts printed by the chiaroscuro process.

Choulant, History and Bibliography of Anatomic Illustration (1920) 265-66 for Le Blon, and 267-69 for Ladmiral.

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Leonhard Euler Publishes the Problem of the Konigsberg Bridges: The Birth of Network Science 1736

In 1736 Swiss German mathematician and physicist Leonhard Euler, working at the Imperial Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, published "Solutio problematis ad geometriam situs pertinentis," Commentarii Academiae Scientiarum Imperialis Petropolitanae 8 (1736) 128-40. This negative solution to the Seven Bridges of Königsberg problem represented the beginning of graph theory, topology and network science.

An extended English translation of Euler's paper appeared in Biggs, Lloyd & Wilson, Graph Theory 1736-1936 (1977) 1-20.

Lima, Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information (2011) 74-75.

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Pierre-Simon Fournier le Jeune Publishes the Point System or Typographic Unit 1737

In 1737 Parisian printer and type-founder Pierre-Simon Fournier le Jeune published Tables des proportions des differens caracteres de l'imprimerie, describing his point-system, or typographic unit for the sizes of type. According to Fournier's system, type sizes were multiples of a unit which he termed a "point typographique" based on a scale of 144 points. Fournier's point system underwent numerous revisions through the nineteenth century.

(This entry was last revised on 06-01-2014.)

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Thomas Osborne Issues "The British Librarian", the First Periodical Published in English on Rare Books & Manuscripts 1737 – 1738

From January to June, 1737 London rare book dealer and publisher Thomas Osborne published six issues of The British Librarian: Exhibiting a Compenious Review or Abstract of our most Scarce, Useful and Valuable Books in all Sciences as well in Manuscript as in Print. The six issues were collected and republished as a book in 1738. The British Librarian was the first periodical published in English on rare books and manuscripts, and it may be the first periodical on these topics in any language, as the antiquarian book trade was beginning to become organized around this time. Notably, the earliest recorded full-fledged rare book catalogue— as distinct from an auction catalogue— was also issued in 1738.

The anonymous author of the periodical, William Oldys, included descriptions of unique manuscripts, of examples of early printing such as several works printed by William Caxton, and of other works which were considered rare and collectable at the time. He sometimes included details of bindings, and of private collections. While Oldys' descriptions lean toward the verbose, and there is a certain lack of analysis, the periodical provides valuable insight into how rare books were appreciated and marketed in the first half of the eighteenth century. It is especially helpful since, as Oldys remarks, booksellers' catalogues and library catalogues of this period were primarily listings, and almost never annotated.

William Oldys devoted his life to antiquarian and bibliographic pursuits, compiling valuable notes on Langbaine's Dramatick Poets (1691), writing an important "Life" of Sir Walter Raleigh (published in the 1736 edition of Raleigh's History of the World), and amassing a library of historical and political works. In 1731 Oldys sold his library to Edward Harley (1689-1741), second Earl of Oxford probably the greatest English collector of printed books and manuscripts of his time. From 1738 to 1741 Oldys served as the Earl's librarian, but had to give up the post upon his patron's death. In 1742 The Earl of Oxford's immense library of printed books was purchased by bookseller Thomas Osborne, publisher of The British Librarian and one of England's first rare book dealers. Osborne hired Oldys and Samuel Johnson to prepare a descriptive catalogue of the Harleian collection prior to its sale; the resulting Catalogus bibliothecae Harleianae was issued in four volumes plus a supplementary fifth volume of books from Osborne's stock, between 1743 and 1745. Oldys and Samuel Johnson also worked together on The Harleian Miscellany, an annotated reprint of selected tracts and pamphlets from the Harleian library edited by Oldys and Johnson, and published by Osborne.

After the death of Harley ", . . Oldys worked for the booksellers. His habits were irregular, and in 1751 his debts drove him to the Fleet prison. After two years' imprisonment he was released through the kindness of friends who paid his debts, and in April 1755 he was appointed Norfolk Herald Extraordinary and then Norroy King of Arms by the Duke of Norfolk" (Wikipedia article on William Oldys, which derives material from the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica).

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Johan Adam Schmid Issues the First "Full-Fledged Antiquarian Bookseller's Catalogue" 1738

In 1738 German bookseller Johann Adam Schmid issued from Nuremberg the first "full-fledged" antiquarian bookseller's catalogue describing books which were significant, rare and desirable to collectors, with printed prices listed for each book:

Bibliotheca anonymiana, sive catalogus bibliotheca locupletis, Raritate, selectu, Ligatura Librorum splendidissimae. . . cum Notis literariis perpetuis aequissimoque Librorum pretio.

The anonymous owner of the collection was Adam Rudolph Solger, deacon of St. Lawrence's, Nuremberg, and later head of the Nuremberg church administration and librarian of the City Library. Solger sold his first library, of which this is the catalogue, after being stricken by the death of his daughter. Blogie V, col. 745.

Breslauer & Folter, Bibliography: Its History and Development (1984) No. 99.

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Cruden's Concordance, Possibly the Largest Task of Compilation Ever Undertaken by One Man 1738

In 1738 bookseller and biblical scholar Alexander Cruden published in London A Complete Concordance to the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament" In Two Parts. . . . ,  a concordance to the King James Bible.  Below the main title its title page advertised the special features of the book, "containing," it said:

"I. The Appellative or Common Words in so full and large a manner, that any Verse may be readily found by looking for any material Word in it. In this Part the various Signiications of the principal Words are given, by which the plain Meaning of Many Passages of Scripture is shewn; And also an Account of several Jewish Customs and Ceremonies is added, which may serve to illustrate many Parts of Scripture.

"II. The Proper Names in the Scriptures. To this Part is prefixed a Table, containing the Significations of the Words in the Original Languages from which they are derived.

"To which is added A CONCORDANCE to the Books, called APOCRYPHA.

"The Whole digested in an Easy and Regular Method, which, together with the various Significations and other Improvements now added, renders it more useful than any Book of this Kind hitherto published."

This immense task Cruden completed single-handedly, beginning in 1735. It has been called the largest task of compilation ever undertaken by one man. The Authorized King James Version of the Bible is, according to Julia Keay, 774,746 words long;  Cruden's Concordance is roughly 2,370,000 words. Not only did Cruden compile his concordance alone, but he was forced to finance its publication alone, and he published the first edition himself.

Before Cruden's work concordances were unsystematic, more popular aids rather than scholarly tools. Cruden produced the most consistent and complete concordance before the introduction of computerized indexing. Cruden also invented a new method of presentation, which showed the surrounding sentence rather than just the verse reference. This provided the literary context, and made the concordance significantly easier to use, as the reader did not have to constantly flip back to the Bible only to find a reference was an irrelevant match.

Cruden dedicated his work to Queen Caroline (wife of George II) with a verbose 4-page dedication after the title page, and on November 3, 1737 he presented an early copy of the first edition to the Queen. However, Queen Caroline died some days later without awarding Cruden any money for his work, so Cruden had to go into debt to finance the printing. According to the imprint on the title page, the first edition was sold by no less than 17 booksellers, including Cruden, suggesting a large printing. A peculiarity of the first edition  is that there is no pagination or foliation in the more than 1000-pages printed in 3 columns in small type.  

Cruden's Preface placed his work in historical context begining with the first concordance of the Bible by "Hugo de S. Charo," who, Cruden reminded his reader, "for carrying out this great and laborious work the more successfully, we are told he employed five hundred Monks of his order." He then discussed concordances that followed, including those by Robert Estienne, Isaac Nathan ben Kalonymus, and others.  

Cruden dedicated the second edition of his Concordance to King George III, and presented a copy to the King on 21 December 1761. The King awarded Cruden £100 for his efforts. The third edition was published in 1769. After the slow success of the first edition, the second and third made Cruden considerable profit.  Since then Cruden's Concordance has never been out of print; several editions are in print today.

Keay, Alexander the Corrector. The Tormented Genius whose Cruden's Concordence Unwrote the Bible (2004).

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Bernard de Montfaucon Issues the First Continent-Wide Union Catalogue of Manuscripts 1739

In 1739 French scholar and Benedictine monk Bernard de Montfaucon published Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum Manuscriptorum nova in Paris. A catalogue of all the manuscript collections in France and Italy with which Montfaucon was familiar, plus small sections on manuscripts in libraries in Germany, Netherlands and England, this 1669-page work in 2 folio volumes was the first attempt at a continent-wide catalogue of manuscripts. Its emphasis was on medieval and Renaissance texts.

Montfaucon began with a list of all the libraries, institutional and private, for which he published holdings. These included the well-known collections and those of medieval monasteries such as Bobbio, Corbie and Fulda, but also including lesser-known monastic libraries. Then he published a 250-page index of authors and codices.  The work then listed the manuscript contents of libraries by country beginning with Italy and the Vatican Library. The work ended with another 160-page index of authors and "rerum" (things). The comprehensive indices make it possible to locate manuscript texts by author and subject. As such it remains the most useful tool for checking the distribution of manuscript texts in European libraries, and their survival in institutions up to the first third of the eighteenth century.

Carter & Muir, Printing and the Mind of Man (1967) no. 175, note.

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William Ged's Issues an Incunabulum of Printing from Stereotype Plates 1739

Scottish goldsmith and printer William Ged first published Belli Catilinarii et Jugurthini Historiae by Galius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust) in 1739. This small 12mo consisted of only a title leaf and 150 pages of Sallust's text printed in very small type. The imprint on the title page read:

"Edinburghi, Gulielmus Ged, Aurifaber Edinensis, non Typis mobilis, ut vulgo fieri solet, sed Tabellis seu Laminis fusis, excudebat, MDCCXXXIX." (Edinburgh: Printed by William Ged, Goldsmith of Edinburgh, not from movable type, as is commonly done, but from cast plates."

This book was probably the first book to announce in print that it had been published from metal plates rather than individual movable types. Ged reprinted this edition once, in 1744. A manuscript note in a copy of that printing in my possession reads that copies printed in 1739 were for presentation; only in 1744 were copies offered for sale.

Ged is thought to have begun experimenting with stereotype printing plates asround 1725. About 1727 Ged successfully made plates reproducing pages of type.  The earliest known specimen of stereotype printing from his process is a Form of Prayer for June 11, 1728. With a stationer, William Fenner, he went into partnership with John James and his brother Thomas to exploit the invention, and in 1730 they applied to Cambridge University for the use of their privilege of printing Bibles and prayer books.  They were granted a license and Ged began casting plates, but they ran into many difficulties and no book completely printed by this process is known.

In 1833 Ged returned to Scotland, and in 1836 Ged published proposals for issuing an edition of Sallust to be printed by a new process, the nature of which he did not reveal. At his death in 1749 Ged left a memoir entitled, Biographical Memoirs of William Ged; Including a Particular Account of his Progress in the Art of Block-Printing, which was first published in London, 1781. This was first reprinted in 1818 by the Newcastle printer and historian of stereotyping Thomas Hodgson in an edition limited to 160 copies, and it was later reprinted in Kubler, Historical Treatises, Abstracts & Papers on Stereotyping (1936).

Clair, A Chronology of Printing (1969) 101, 104. Printing and the Mind of Man. Catalogue of the Exhibitions (1963) nos. 311-313, includes a stereotype plate from his edition of Sallust presented to Faculty of Advocates in the hope that they might grant patronage to his invention in 1740. 

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Johan Christoph Wolf Issues the First Bibliography of the History of Printing 1740

Monumenta typographica, quae artis hujus praestantissimae originem, Laudem et abusum posteris produnt by the German Christian Hebraist, polyhistor, and book collector, Johan Christoph Wolf, was posthumously published in Hamburg by Christian Herold in 2 thick volumes in 1740. In this work Wolf reprinted roughly 50 texts of varying lengths and significance to do with the history of printing and typography, some of which are very obscure and difficult to find elsewhere. He prefaced the set with a 96-page bibliography of the history of printing— the first bibliography on this subject. That such a specialized bibliography could extend to 96 pages by 1740 is a reflection of the amount of scholarly interest in the history of printing that had developed in the 200 years since Gutenberg's invention. A special feature of Wolf's bibliography was his thematic index indicating, among other things, which authors believed that Laurenz Janszoon Coster was the inventor of printing, and those who credited Gutenberg, indicating that this was still a major topic of historical pre-occupation at the time.

Bigmore & Wyman, A Bibliography of Printing III, 91-92 list all the separate works published in the set, but appear to confuse the author with the German mathematician philosopher Christian Wolff

According to the Wikipedia, the author of Monumenta typographia, Johan Christoph Wolf, collected a library of 25,000 volumes.

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Christoph Ernst Prediger Issues the First Exhaustive Manual on Bookbinding 1741 – 1753

From 1741 to 1753 Christoph Ernst Prediger, a bookbinder in Anspach (Ansbach), Germany, published in 4 volumes, each extensively illustrated, Der in aller heut zu Tag üblichen Arbeit wohl anweisende accurate Buchbinder und Futteralmach welcher lehret, Wie nicht nur ein Buch auf das nettest zu verfertigen, sonder auch wie solcher sein gebührende Dauer hält . . .

"Vol. 1 is an exhaustive manual of bookbinding and box-making, with tables showing the cost of materials, the time taken over the various processes and the cost of different styles of binding. The other three volumes deal with more specialised work such as the binding of school books, and there is inevitably a good deal of repetition. Volume III has an appendix on apprenticeship regulations" (Pollard, Early Bookbinding Manuals [1984] no. 22).

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Filed under: Bookbinding

Rumphius's "Herbarium Ambonense" is Posthumously Published 1741 – 1750

Het Amboinsche kruidboek or Herbarium Amboinensea catalogue of the plants of Ambon in the Maluku Islands of Indonesia, by Georg Eberhard Rumphius, a German-born soldier and botanist employed by the Dutch East India Company, was edited by Dutch botanist and physician Johannes Burman, and posthumously published in Amsterdam in a 6-volume bilingual Dutch and Latin from 1741 to 1750. The work, which provided the basis for all future study of the flora of the Moluccas, described 2000 species. It presented descriptions of the plants and their habitats, and their economic and medicinal uses, and also recorded native plant names in Malay, Latin, Dutch, and Ambonese—and often in Macassarese and Chinese as well.

That this large work was ever published was truly remarkable, considering the hardships that its author faced during its composition, and the complications that occurred after its completion. Even after going blind in 1670 due to glaucoma, Rumphius persisted in the composition of his manuscript with the help of his wife, Suzanna. However, on February 17, 1674 his wife and a daughter were killed by a wall collapse during a major earthquake and tsunami. His son Paul August made many of the plant illustrations and also the only known portrait of Rumphius. Other assistants included Philips van Eyck, a draughtsman, Daniel Crul, Pieter de Ruyter, a soldier trained by Van Eyck, Johan Philip Sipman, Christiaen Gieraerts, and J. Hoogeboom. 

On January 11, 1687, as the project finally neared completion, a great fire in the town destroyed Rumphius's library, numerous manuscripts, original illustrations for his Herbarium Amboinense, volumes of the Hortus Malabaricus, and works by Jacobus Bontius. Persevering, Rumphius and his helpers first completed the manuscript and illustrations in 1690, but the ship carrying the manuscript to the Netherlands was attacked by the French and sank, forcing them to start over from a copy that had fortunately been retained. The Herbarium Amboinense finally arrived in the Netherlands in 1696. However by then "the East India Company decided that it contained so much sensitive information that it would be better not to publish it." Rumphius died in 1702, so he never had the satisfaction of knowing that his work was published. When the East India Company lifted theembargo was in 1704, no publisher could be found for work the work. Finally, 39 years after Rumphius's death, the work finally appeared in print through the efforts of Johannes Burman who translated it into Latin, and oversaw its publication in a bilingual Dutch and Latin edition. 

In 2011 Yale University Press issued an annotated English translation of the complete work in six volumes by E. M. Beekman, as The Ambonese Herbal, complete with all 811 original illustrations. 

In May 2015 a digital facsimile of the complete set of six volumes was available from Botanicus.org at this link.

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"American Magazine" & "The General Magazine," the First Magazines Published in North America: Both Very Short-Lived January 1741

The first two magazines in North America both began publication in January 1741. Benjamin Franklin was the first to conceive the idea of publishing a magazine in the American colonies. However, Andrew Bradford's American Magazine, or Monthly View of the Political State of the British Colonies, published in Boston, beat Franklin to press by three days. Franklin's publication, issued in Philadelphia, was called The General Magazine, and Historical Chronicle for all the British Plantations in America. Bradford's magazine continued publication for three months; Franklin's for six months.

Note: The online editions of both periodicals, to which I have linked above, contain detailed introductions, which provide extensive background.

Lomazow, The Great American Magazine. Vol. 1. The Eighteenth Century (2005). 

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Johann Peter Süssmilch Proves the Need for a Healthy and Industrious Population 1742

German army chaplain, statistician and demographer Johann Peter Süssmilch issued Die göttliche Ordnung in den Veränderungen des menschlichen Geschlechtsfrom Berlin in 1742. In this work he showed the necessity of a healthy and industrious population for the survival of a nation.

J. Norman (ed.) Morton's Medical Bibliography 5th ed. (1991) No. 1691.

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Johann Christoph Heilbronner Publishes One of the Earliest Histories of a Science 1742

In 1742 German mathematical historian and theologian Johann Christoph Heilbronner issued Historia matheseos universae a mundo condito ad seculum from Leipzig. Heilbronner’s work, of which an abbreviated German edition ("Erster Theil") was published in 1739, was the first to use the term “mathematical history.” It is one of the earliest histories of any science, predating Jean-Etienne Montucla's Histoire des mathématiques, which began publication in 1758. Perhaps mathematics was the first science to be studied historically since it was the first scientific subject required in all curricula—a requirement since the medieval quadrivium, and perhaps earlier. 

Heilbronner’s complete Latin edition, containing about 1000 pages (roughly 800 more pages than the abbreviated German edition) contains chapters on mathematics and its uses, 602 biographies of famous mathematicians, bio-bibliographies of mathematical textbook writers, a chapter on Chinese mathematics, and a special study of arithmetic, including sections on arithmetical writers and even arithmetical poetry and divination. Of particular interest is a section listing mathematical manuscripts in important Italian, French, German and British libraries; some of the materials cited here may no longer be extant

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Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici Founds the Greatest Museums of Florence February 18, 1743

By the terms of the Patto di famiglia, Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, Electress Palatine and last of the political, banking and royal House of Medici, bequeathed the Medici art collections, assembled since the 16th century, including the contents of the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and the Medici villas, and her Palatine treasures, to the Tuscan state, on the condition that no part of it could be removed from "the Capital of the grand ducal [sic] State....[and from] the succession of His Serene Grand Duke."

"Anna Maria Luisa's single most enduring act was the Family Pact. It ensured that all the Medicean art and treasures collected over nearly three centuries of political ascendancy remained in Florence. Cynthia Miller Lawrence, an American art-historian, argues that Anna Maria Luisa thus provisioned for Tuscany's future economy through tourism. Sixteen years after her death, the Uffizi Gallery, built by Cosimo the Great, the founder of the Grand Duchy, was made open to public viewing" (Wikipedia article on Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, accessed 09-29-2010).

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Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis' Pioneer Theory of Epigenesis and Biparental Heredity 1744 – 1745

Pierre Louis Maupertuis

Venus Physique by Maupertuis

Dissertation physique a l'occasion du negre blanc by Maupertuis

In 1744 French mathematician, philosopher and man of letters Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis issued anonymously Dissertation physique a l'occasion du negre blanc in Leiden through an unidentified publisher. This small book on human heredity was inspired by the appearance in Paris of a young albino negro. The case prompted Maupertuis to search for other cases of abnormal traits being passed down in a family from one generation to the next.  The following year he explored the issue of human heredity more fully in his Venus physique which incorporated a reprint of the 1744 Dissertation.

Issued anonymously in 1745, and without publishing location or the name of its printer, Venus physique refuted the preformationist theories of embryonic development held by most of his contemporaries in favor of the then-discredited epigenetic hypothesis, which Maupertuis had adopted after considering the obvious facts of biparental heredity.  Maupertuis rejected all vitalist or spiritual interpretations of the hereditary mechanism, arguing that biparental heredity required corporeal contributions from each parent. This argument was based on research that Maupertuis performed shortly after his arrival in Berlin in 1740, when he began collecting the pedigrees of the polydactylous Ruhe family. These pedigrees showed that the abnormal trait could be passed either by the male or female parent and that the trait tended to weaken and disappear over time as polydactylous individuals continued to marry normal spouses.  According to Glass, Maupertuis's theories of biparental heredity and epigenesis substantially anticipated those of Darwin, Mendel and de Vries nearly a century and a half later.

J. Norman (ed) Morton's Medical Bibliography 5th ed (1991) no. 215.1.

Glass, "Maupertuis, pioneer of genetics and evolution," Forerunners of Darwin 1745-1859, ed. Glass, Temkin & Straus (1968) 51-83.

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Eliza Haywood's "The Female Spectator", the First Periodical Written for Women by a Woman April 1744 – May 1746

English writer, actress and publisher Eliza Haywood wrote The Female Spectator. This monthly periodicalpublished in London, written in answer to the contemporary London journal, The Spectator by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, was the first periodical written for women by a woman.

"Haywood anonymously published a monthly journal entitled The Female Spectator. It was the first magazine by and for women, and was extremely popular. It was a collection of essays that allegedly originate in letters from readers. The essays provide an ideal forum of disscussion which gave Haywood direct contact to her public and vise versa. Haywood concerned herself with how women might operate better in a society that held restrictions upon them. She knew the difficulties of female life within a patriarchal system, but she wrote to show how not to accept such difficulties as definitive of women's possibilities. Haywood's explicit recommendations  [were] to women urge them to work within the existing system, gain an education, and a strong sense of personal power.

"As Haywood began finding her authoral voice, she created the magazine as a product of four women. She created those women as voices that would relate to the public and help her reach her moral purpose of the magazine. First, was Mira, a lady descended from a family to which "wit" was hereditary . . . . She married a gentleman that was ever so deserving of a great wife, and together, they live in perfect harmony. Next, is a widow of quality, who is able to find innocence and honour in most situations. She was called the wise widow . . . . The third was the daughter of a wealthy merchant, charming, but endued with so many accomplishments, that to those who know her truly, her beauty is the least distinguished part of her . . . . The fourth was the "Female Spectator" herself . . . . Within the pages of The Female Spectator, gambling, lying, jilting, scandal bearing, and the like are discussed as they affect women. Current affairs, wars, and politics, were not a part of the magazine. Naturally, the focus was on women and their concerns, principally courtship and marriage" (http://www.umich.edu/~ece/student_projects/female_journalism/femalespectator.htm accessed 02-23-2009).

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Benjamin Franklin Issues the First American Trade Catalogues April 11, 1744

In a Guide to American Trade Catalogues 1744-1900 (1960) page x Lawrence B. Romaine stated that the earliest American trade catalogue was the following list of books for sale issued by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia in 1744:

A Catalogue of Choice and Valuable Books, Consisting of Near 600 Volumes, in Most Faculties and Sciences, viz: Divinity, History, Law, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Poetry, etc., Which Will Begin to be Sold for Ready Money Only, by Benjamin Franklin, at the Post Office in Philadelphia, on Wednesday, the 11th day of April 1744, at Nine a Clock in the Morning and for Dispatch, the Lowest Price is Mark'd in Each Book. The Sale to Continue Three Weeks, and No Longer; and What Then Remains Will be Sold at an Advanced Price. Those Persons that Live Remote, by Sending their Order and Money to Said B. Franklin, May Depend upon the Same Justice as if Present.

The 16-page pamphlet was divided into sections, following the traditional method of classifying the books by size: Books in folio, Books in quarto, Books in octavo, books in duodecimo, and, as a final item, a pair of globes 16 inches in diameter made by in London by J. Senex. (This information comes from Romaine p. 71.)

When I wrote this entry in November 2014 I could not find a digital facsimile of the rare original. I did note that a facsimile edition of the copy in the Curtis Collection of Philadelphia Imprints at the University of Pennsylvania Library was issued in 1948 with an introduction by Carl van Doren.

Romaine page 358 also cited a pamphlet written and printed by Franklin on the Franklin Stoves issued the same year: An Account of the New Invented Pennsylvanian Fire-Places (Philadelphia, 1744). Though Romaine cited some disagreement in 1960 as to whether this was actually a trade catalogue, its commercial purpose seems to have become widely accepted, as per the introductory comments to the above linked-to copy of the text from the website of the National Archives.

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John Newberry Issues the First Printed Book Specifically for the Amusement of Children: No Copies of the First Edition Survive June 18, 1744

In 1744 printer and publisher John Newbery of London announced the availability of A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, intended for the Amusement of Little Master Tommy and Pretty Miss Polly with Two Letters from Jack the Giant Killer by M. F. Thwaite and John Newbery. The first edition appears to be known only from an advertisement in the Penny London Morning Advertiser published on June 18, 1744. If copies were issued at that time they appear to have been read out of existence.

This small book, of which very few copies of early editions survived, is generally considered the first book for children in the modern sense. It consists of simple rhymes for each of the letters of the alphabet. To market the book to the children of the day the book could be purchased alone for 6d., or with a ball (for boys) or a pincushion (for girls) at a cost of 8d. 

The book includes a woodcut of stoolball and a rhyme entitled "Base-Ball." This is the first known instance of the word baseball in print. In the book "Base-Ball" refers to the game Rounders, which had been played in England since Tudor times.

The book was very popular in England, and was first published in Colonial America in 1762. 

♦ A facsimile of the edition printed in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1787 by Isaiah Thomas is available the Library of Congress website. In 1966 Oxford University Press issued a facsimile of the earliest known complete copy of an edition— that of London, 1767, preserved in the British Library. The facsimile included an introductory essay and biibliography by M. F. Thwaite, and an index to the introduction and bibliography. Thwaite wrote in his introduction, p. 3:

"The world of the day probably had little idea that this small work was in any way notable, or that it marked a new era in literature for the young. But there was one word in the advertisement which might have struck them an unusual. It was a word which was to open up new realms to young minds. To avow 'amusement' as a principal end in a book for boys and girls indicated that a revolution had taken place. In the past children's books had been reluctant to admit this feature, but in this new century of reason it was to be demonstrated that pleasure should be an important element, even though still firmly leashed to the old purposes of morality and instuction. Newbery was therefore only expressing the new spirit abroad. Before 1700 books for the young had been dominated by religious teaching, moral lessons or scholastic purpose. Now amusement was to be an equally desirable aim. And no one in those formative years of children's book-making was to follow it so well or to carry it so far as John Newbery."

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Antoine Deparcieux Issues the First "Correct" Life Tables 1746 – 1760

In 1746 French mathematician and statistician Antoine Deparcieux issued in Paris Essai sur les probabilités de la durée de la vie humaine. He published a supplement to this work entitled Addition à l'Essai sur les probabilités de la durée de la vie humaine in 1760. These works on annuities and mortality were the first correct "life tables."

J. Norman (ed) Morton's Medical Bibliography, 5th ed. (1991) no. 1691.1

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Bernhard Siegfried Albinus' Cool, Elegant Aesthetic of Anatomy 1747

In 1747 Dutch physician and anatomist Bernhard Siegfried Albinus published Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani in Leiden at the printing office of Johan & Hermann Verbeek. The plates in this large folio work are unsurpassed for their cool, elegant aesthetic and scientific accuracy. They were drawn and engraved by Jan Wandelaar, a pupil of the engravers Jacob Fokema and Guillem van der Gouwen, and the painter Gérard de Lairesse, who prepared the drawings for Govert Bidloo's atlas (referenced in this database). Prior to working for Albinus, Wandelaar worked for anatomist Friedrik Ruysch. Albinus, however, provided Wandelaar with the opportunity for the full expression of his talents as a draftsman and engraver. For many years Wandelaar worked nearly exclusively for Albinus, and lived in Albinus' house, illustrating the long series of superb books which Albinus produced. Choulant states that when Wandelaar died Albinus fell into a severe depression, from which he only gradually recovered. The Tables of the Skeleton and Muscles of the Human Body represents the apogee of an exceptional collaboration between physician and artist which lasted from 1721 until the artist's death in 1754, and resulted in a series of unsurpassed publications.

Roberts and Tomlinson described the innovative method that Wandelaar and Albinus devised for the transfer of the most accurate and proportional images of the anatomy to the drawings, using two nets, or grids, of small cords. The first plates are finished representations of the skeleton and are each accompanied by an outline-plate of the same size. The following 9 plates represent complete finished musclemen, each with an additional outline plate. The 14 plates following these represent special muscles and parts of muscles. Each of the very numerous figures on these last 14 plates is supplied with an outline-drawing unless the letters are engraved directly upon the finished figures. There are a total of 40 plates.

The 3 finished plates of the skeleton and the 9 finished muscle men are some of the most beautiful plates in the history of engraving. Wandelaer placed each figure in a carefully chosen landscape setting, and the artistic results are so pleasantly successful that the anatomical figures, although composed of many separate parts, appear to be actually stepping out of the picture.

Choulant, History and Bibliography of Anatomic Illustration (1920) 276-83. Roberts & Tomlinson, The Fabric of the Human Body (1992) 320-339. J. Norman (ed) Morton's Medical Bibliography (1991) No. 399. Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) No. 29. Sappol, Dream Anatomy (2006) 118-19.

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Hannah Glasse's "The art of Cookery", Probably the Most-Widely Read English Cookery Book of the 18th Century 1747

In 1747 English writer on cookery, Hannah Glasse published The Art of Cookery. This work became one of the most widely read cookbooks in England and America for about 100 years.

"Hannah wrote mostly for domestic servants (the "lower sort", as she referred to them), writing in a conversational style familiar to anyone who has learned a recipe at the elbow of a parent or grandparent. The food is surprisingly recognizable, with staples such as Yorkshire pudding and gooseberry fool still known and eaten today, and there are even early traces of the Indian food that eventually became naturalized in the UK. She showed marked disapproval of French cooking styles and in general avoided French culinary terminology" (Wikipedia article on The Art of Cookery, accessed 06-07-2009).

"By the time Hannah Glasse published her first cookery book in 1747 the urban middle classes were almost universally literate and had cash to burn. They were also acutely aware that fortunes were easier to earn than respectability and social status. Prosperous merchants, lawyers, shopkeepers and tradesmen were desperate in the mid-18th Century to show off their new wealth and to establish themselves within society. Hannah Glasse gave them the ticket to social respectability by providing middle class women with a no-nonsense cookery books that gave them the ticket out of the kitchen and into a life of leisure. Even if the women of London’s burgeoning mercantile class could not quite replicate the life of leisure led by the gentry and nobility, they were now about to eat in the style of those much higher up the social scale. Hannah was providing a guide to life.

"Between 1700 and 1789 over 500,000 copies of some 300 cookery books were published. The vogue for complicated books published by men was completely overtaken by the simple approach pioneered by Glasse and many female contemporaries. The success of the Art of Cookery is testament not only to the aspirational desires of the middle classes and the increased purchasing power of women, but also to the fact that a much wider spectrum of British society was beginning to enjoy eating. Discarding the extravagance and pomp of court food and French culinary techniques saw British cooking get back to basics – good ingredients, simple techniques, and quality dining available for all" (Wikipedia article on Hannah Glass, accessed 06-07-2009).

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"Descriptions des Arts et Métiers": Mechanical and Industrial Arts of 18th Century France 1749 – 1814

In 1749 French scientists René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur and Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau issued the first volume of Descriptions des arts et métiers faites ou approuvées par Messieurs de l'Académie royale des Sciences from Paris. Eventually comprising 72 works in 114 parts printed in folio format, with over 2100 engraved plates and plans, the work was completed 65 years later, in 1814. 

This series was the most important and the largest work on the mechanical and industrial arts of eighteenth century France, and one of the earliest projects of its kind undertaken in any country. Although encyclopedic in scope, the work was not conceived in parallel to Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie, but in response to the perceived function of the Académie royale des sciences. A statement was published in 1699 in Histoire, an organ of the Académie, that outlined the motives and aims behind a proposed Description des arts et métiers:

“When this work is completed, it will be easy for each craft to compare the practices in vogue in France with those pursued in other countries; and from this comparison, the French and the inhabitants of these foreign lands will profit equally” (quoted in Cole and Watts, p. 7).

Each article had sections on materials, tools and apparatus, processes and methods, and illustrations of the métier. The wide range of crafts and industries covered nearly every aspect of French industrial and artisan life: coal-mining, fishing, textile manufacture, carpentry and cabinet-making, masonry, glass-blowing, ceramics, candle- and soap-making, barbering and wig-making, papermaking and bookbinding, iron- and tinsmithing, among other fields. Although the work was very much a separate enterprise, the Arts et métiers inspired many articles in the Encyclopédie, and can be said to complement the latter work. Both were essential to any well-balanced library in France and abroad.

The two principal figures involved in the Arts et métiers were René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur  and Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau. The former was elected to the Académie at age 25, and had a prodigious output, submitting memoir after memoir on a variety of subjects, mostly relating to pure mathematics and pure science, but including his celebrated description of English steel production. Duhamel de Monceau, who succeeded Réaumur, was interested in applied sciences, in particular chemistry, botany and mechanics. Réaumur died before the first cahier of the Arts et métiers appeared, and Duhamel du Monceau assumed control of the project some time after Réaumur’s death in 1757. Other contributors included François Bedos de Celles, Fredrik Chapman, Charles Romme, Michel Ferdinand d’Albert d’Ailly, duc de Chaulnes, the Abbé Jean-Antoine Nollet, Jean-Jacques Perret, Charles-René Fourcroy de Ramecourt, August-Denis Fougeroux de Bondaroy, François-Alexandre Pierre de Garcault, Jérome le Français de Lalande, Jean Jacques Paulet, Jeanne-Marie Roland de la Platière, Nicolas Christien de Thy, comte de Milly (1728-84) and others. The Académie and the authors of the Arts et métiers sought help from men with practical experience whenever possible.

Though it was written by the elite rather than the artisan class, the combination of the best scientific minds and the best practical minds of the era produced an invaluable reference work and an unparalleled social record of the artisan classes, and recorded for posterity manufacturing methods that would soon disappear with the coming of the Industrial Revolution. Like Diderot’s Encyclopédie, the Arts et métiers is one of the greatest productions of the French Enlightenment, and a benchmark in social and scientific history.

Arthur H. Cole and George B. Watts, The Handicrafts of France as Recorded in the Description des Arts et Métiers (1952).

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