Statica de' Vegetabili, ed Analisi dell' Aria. Tradotta dall’ Inglese con varie Annotazioni.
20 engraved plates. 4 p.l., 368 pp. 8vo, cont. Italian mottled sheep (binding a little wormed), spine gilt, red morocco label on spine. Naples: G. Raimondi, 1756.
First edition in Italian of Hales’s founding work on plant physiology. He studied the movement of sap in plants, and discovered what is now known as root pressure. Hales also determined the amounts of water that plants used and the influence of light and air on them. In that respect he discovered that plants take carbon dioxide from the air as an essential nutrient. “His work was so great an advance that it stands alone in its time, and deserves close attention.”–Morton, History of Botanical Science, pp. 246–54.
In the long chapter on the analysis of the air, Hales also recounts his experiments with a closed-circuit rebreathing apparatus, with which he tried to remove the “noxious vapours” (i.e. carbon dioxide) from the air with various filters. This work led to his invention of artificial ventilation, and facilitated the work and discoveries of Black, Lavoisier, and Priestley.
A very good copy.
❧ Neville, I, pp. 580-81. See Dibner, Heralds of Science, Horblit, and Printing and the Mind of Man for the first edition, in English, of 1733.
Item ID: 3247