Vegetable Staticks: Or, An Account of some Statical Experiments on the Sap in Vegetables: Being an Essay towards a Natural History of Vegetation. Also, a Specimen of an Attempt to Analyse the Air, By a great Variety of Chymio-Statical Experiments.

19 engraved plates. 4 p.l., ii-vii, [2], 376 pp. 8vo, cont. calf (expertly rejointed), double gilt fillet round sides, spine gilt, red morocco lettering pieces on spine. London: W.& J. Innys, 1727.


— . Statical Essays: containing Haemastaticks; or, an Account of some Hydraulick and Hydrostatical Experiments made on the Blood and Blood-Vessels of Animals...To which is added, an Appendix, containing Observations and Experiments relating to several Subjects in the first Volume...With an Index to both Volumes. xxii, [26], 361, [23] pp. 8vo, cont. calf (upper joint with a tiny split at head), double gilt fillet round sides, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: W. Innvs, R. Manby, & T. Woodward, 1733.

First editions and a very fine, fresh, and crisp set in matching bindings; these are great classics of experimental science. This set belonged to the great biologist Abraham Trembley (1710-84), who is best known for his pioneer studies of hydra; he has been called “the father of experimental zoology.” He has signed the title-page at the foot of Vol. I (along with the maiden name of his wife, Strassen).

In the first volume, Hales “studied the movement of sap in plants and discovered what is now known as root pressure. He measured the amount of water lost by plants through evaporation and related this to the amount of water present in a given area of soil in which the plants were growing. He estimated rain and dewfall in this connexion, measured the rate of growth of shoots and leaves, and investigated the influence of light on plants. He experimented on gases and found that they were obtainable from plants by dry distillation. He was the first to realize that carbon dioxide was supplied to plants by the air and formed a vital part of the plant’s food supply. These experiments led the way to those of Ingenhousz and de Saussure, while his ideas on combustion and respiration facilitated the discoveries of Black, Lavoisier and Priestley...

“The second volume contains the studies in blood pressure which make Hales one of the founders of modern experimental physiology. The application of the principle of the pressure-gauge or manometer enabled him to measure blood pressure during the contraction of the heart. He computed the circulation rate and estimated the velocity of the blood in the veins, arteries and capillary vessels and by showing that the capillary vessels are liable to constriction and dilation he made an important contribution both to the study of physiology and the practice of the physician of today...Hales’s work marked the greatest advance in the physiology of the circulation between Harvey and the introduction of the mercury manometer and other instruments for the measurement of blood pressure by J. L. M. Poiseuille in 1828.”–Printing & the Mind of Man 189.

Uniformly bound sets of first editions are of great rarity.

❧ I & II: Horblit 45a & b. I: Dibner, Heralds of Science, 26. II: Garrison-Morton 765–“the single greatest contribution to our knowledge of the vascular system after Harvey, and led to the development of the blood-pressure measuring instruments now in universal use.”.

Price: $20,000.00

Item ID: 1491