London: Thomas Harper for Nathaniel Brookes, 1650. Two parts in one. 8vo. [xvi], 272; [iv], 141 (i.e. 147) pp. FIRST EDITION. Frontispiece portrait of Moore by Stone, separate title for each part, 3 folding tables, decorated initials and tables. Full contemporary calf, morocco spine label; without the fly-leaf, occasional browning and (contemporary) ink-smudge. Preserved in a red morocco slipcase. From the libraries of Harrison Horblit and Erwin Tomash with their small book labels on the paste-down. Item #17285
First edition, rare, of the author’s first work of mathematics. This is a reissue of the title, the only difference being the words “in two books” appearing on line 2 instead of line 5 (our copy also contains a cancel title of first issue; see ESTC). This is Moore’s celebrated work in which he provides a short introduction to mathematics and proceeds to explain in detail various aspects, always utilizing practical applications. As a mathematician he is best known as the first to use the notation cot. However, he is famous for his support of the sciences which made numerous mathematical and astronomical advances possible. Though debates at the time on the nature of mathematics raised questions about the value of instruments, they remained essential to his work as a teacher, as Surveyor of the Fens and as Surveyor-General of the Ordnance, where he gained great success by keeping the sea out of Norfolk, surveying the coasts and constructing a map of Cambridgeshire, and helping to survey London after the great fire.
Moore (1617-1679) had a remarkable career, and was one of the first to make a substantial fortune from the practice of mathematics. Influenced bv Oughtred, he became mathematics teacher to the Duke of York, a major contributor to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, and a patron of John Flamsteed, to whom he provided instruments (sextant and clocks) to carry out his astronomical observations on longitude. In addition, Moore was a noted surveyor who took part in the survey of London after the Great Fire. He was appointed Surveyor of Ordnance in 1669, and thereafter became a Fellow of the Royal Society, and later its vice-president. His main interest was in the development of the mathematical and related sciences, and the Tower of London, where he lived, became the center of scientific observation in the city of London. Moore was a mentor to many future scientists, especially the young John Flamsteed and Edmund Halley, whom he helped with books and instruments.