Kiel: Joachim Reuman, 1672. 4to. [lii] pp., including errata leaf. FIRST EDITION. Title with woodcut device. Disbound; with slight browning, but generally an excellent copy. Item #12621
First edition of this unusual letter from Morhof to medical colleague Johann Daniel Major, recounting how an Amsterdam wine merchant had figured out how to break glasses with his voice. Morhof (1639-91) was a professor at both Rostock and Kiel, a librarian, and a member of the Royal Society. The author cites the earlier acoustic works of Boyle, Descartes, Kircher and more, including Daniel Bartoli, Rector of the Jesuit College of Rome, who is noted for providing the earliest modern exposition on the physics of sound. While Bartoli (1608-85) is generally credited as the first to mention the shattering of glass at certain pitches in his Del svono de 'tremori armonici of 1680, Morhof's original research at Kiel predates this by at least eight years.
"He was devoted to modern research, and placed his enormous learning at the service of factual knowledge." In addition, he is also remembered for his numerous alchemical and chemical writings. Major (1634-88) was the first to successfully inject drugs intravenously in humans (see G & M, 1963). This letter was reprinted into the eighteenth century.