London: John Murray, 1828. 8vo. xix, [i], 88 pp. FIRST EDITION. Original cloth-backed boards, spine label; overall in superb condition. From the libraries of the Essex Institute, Francis Peabody Library, and Arnold Thackray, with both bookplates present. Item #14732
First edition and considered “very scarce and not in the usual chemical bibliographies” (Neville). Noted as a significant book in the development of the theory of chemical combination, in which the combining weights of the known elements are presented in tabular form. It is also important because it gave an experimental basis to Dalton’s atomic theory and brought the use of equivalent weights into practice.
Brande (1788-1866), apprenticed as an apothecary, studied medicine, but his main interest was chemistry. He succeeded Sir Humphry Davy to the chair of chemistry at the Royal Institution, and was director of their laboratory and mineralogical collection. At the Royal Institution, Brande devoted himself to chemical investigation, lectures, and writing, as well as editing the Quarterly Journal of Science and Art, where he was assisted by Michael Faraday. “Never a major researcher in the sense of Davy or Faraday, he was an effective lecturer and writer of several important textbooks, all of which went through several additions” (ODNB, II, pp. 1124-1126).