London: John and Arthur Arch, et al. 1807. Two volumes .4to. vii, [i], 628; [iv], 580 pp. FIRST EDITION. With 15 engraved plates. Full calf, rebacked with the original spine laid down, covers and spine slightly worn; text in excellent condition with only a few light spots on first title. Bookplates of High Legh Library and Arnold Thackray in each volume. Item #14823
First edition. According to the preface, the author’s intention was to give a “faithful and sufficiently detailed description of all the important facts hitherto discovered in the sciences of chemistry and mineralogy, enlarging more particularly on those parts which are of particular interest to the manufacturer and practical chemist.” Indeed, according to Duveen, the work “was published at an interesting period, and gives a very full account of the state of chemistry at the beginning of the 19th century.” Included are descriptions of processes such as the smelting of copper, iron and tin, as well as the making of vitriol, salt, and other substances derived from the author’s own experiments. Many of the great chemists throughout history are cited, especially with respect to the language they used to describe various material and procedures, including Bergman, Scheele, Black, Priestley, Kirwan, and many more.
Arthur Aikin (1773-1854) was an English chemist, mineralogist and scientific writer who studied under Joseph Priestley. He was one of the founders of the Geological Society of London in 1807 and was its honorary secretary in 1812-1817. His brother Charles (1775-1847) was a physician and a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.