Strasbourg: Freres Gay, 1782. 8vo. [viii], 168,  pp. FIRST EDITION. With engraved headpiece and 4 folding engraved plates. Contemporary half-calf over marbled boards, spine label and gilt design. Oval library stamp "Det Kongelige Garnisonsbibliothek Kiöbenhavn" on title, withdrawn stamp. Item #12857
First and only edition of this work on fire-resistant structures, dedicated to M. de la Porte, royal counsellor and intendant for Lorraine and Barrois. Chapter one describes what fire is and how wood burns, opening with a reference to the researches into the nature of fire by Marat (who was to send everything up in flames before very long). Piroux's discussion of the nature of fire is framed in terms of the phlogiston theory. He then moves to the subject of stoves and chimneys, emphasizing the importance of regular chimney cleaning, but also of doing away with chimneys plastered with clay over wood and their replacement with chimneys of mortared bricks. Potential hazards presented by the construction of floors, walls and staircases are discussed, as are means of amelioration such as the invention of a fire-proof floor. The dangers of wooden cladding and of flammable roof materials are exposed. The four plates illustrate desirable means of construction for a hearth positioned on a floor, of floor supports, for a bergerie, and for a roof.
Piroux (fl. 1781-1791) had won the prize offered by the Académe Royale for the discovery of a means of preventing fires and of keeping fires from traveling to neighboring structures. The title page to this work describes Piroux as a lawyer and architect, but according to Lynn he was the "lieutenant of police in Nancy" (that in connection with the title L'Art de voyager dans l'air et de s'y diriger, ascribed to him by Querard).