[Japan]: ca. 1898-1912.
Copper mining at Ashio in Tochigi Prefecture began about 1600 and production continued until 1973; in the late 19th century, it produced 39 percent of Japan’s copper output. At the end of that century, it was decided to build a railway connecting the mine to major rail lines to facilitate transportation of the outbound copper ore and inbound supplies (horses had carried or pulled everything before). The engineering problems were considerable: the line runs along the Watarase River through a deep valley subject to frequent flooding. The railway was finished in 1911-12.
The collection contains a series of letters containing reports on design and construction, printed documents regarding the stock company formed to finance the building of the railway (“Ashio Tetsudo Kabushikigaisha”), reports from engineers regarding preparations, further reports regarding expected capacity needs for the railroad line, six photographs of the construction, and a very fine and large (1820 x 760 mm.) manuscript diagram on four joined sheets of tissue paper showing the route through the valley and elevations. This large diagram has been heightened in color (green, blue, red, and brown).
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[Japan]: ca. 1898-1912.
38 pp. 8vo, disbound. London: Printed for the Author, [Preface dated 1 January 1794].
First edition and rare. Hodskinson, who lived at Arundel Street, London, was a surveyor for forty years and had closely studied agricultural problems. Finding other writers too theoretical and wordy, his “aim has…been to be as simple, as concise, and as intelligible as possible.”–from his Preface.
Fine copy. Stamp of the Lawes Agricultural Trust on front endpaper.
Forty parts in 12 vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers, new stitching. At the beginning of each part: Cixi: Prefaces dates 1776 & 1788.
A valuable and influential dictionary of synonyms and antonyms in the Chinese language. Li, a native of Cixi, served as a magistrate in Wangjiang County. Originally published in 39 parts, this edition has the valuable supplement — the 40th part — by Huai Guan, painter and librarian, who lived in Hangzhou, near Cixi.
This is an encyclopedic work, encompassing synonyms and antonyms in all disciplines, including science, politics, history, gastronomy, costumes, technology, books and bibliography, transportation, weaving, military history, agriculture, antiquities, music, religious texts, pharmacology...
33; 29; 30; 31; 30; 28 folding leaves. Six vols. 8vo, orig. pale brown wrappers, orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers (in Manchu & Chinese), new stitching. Jingdu: Long fu si Ju zheng tang, 1890.
First edition of this Manchu–Chinese dictionary of terms and phrases, arranged by subject, starting with astronomy and continuing through geography, architecture, medicine, anatomy, rituals, religion, music and musical instruments, literature, education, bibliography, military words, livestock, veterinary medicine, agriculture, natural history, gastronomy, measurements, numbers, transportation, etc., etc. At this time, Manchu was the imperial language of the Qing dynasty.
x, 557,  pp. 8vo, cont. green sheep-backed green boards maroquiné, single gilt fillet round sides, flat spine gilt. Sion: A. Advocat, 1812.
First edition of this uncommon account of the mountainous canton of Valais (then known as the “département du Simplon”) in Switzerland. Schiner, a physician on the medical faculty at Montpellier, describes the geography, natural history, most notable buildings, costumes, cuisines and wines, commercial activities, roads, climate, structure of government, the mountains and glaciers, forests, etc., etc. The author also discusses the prevalence of goiter amongst the population, along with other diseases common to the canton.
Fine copy, signed by Prince Dietrichstein on the free front endpaper.
14 sheets, ranging from 2000 x 377 mm. to 670 x 385 mm. (the 12 drawings) to 567 x 380 mm. (the furnace), plus the wrapper. All on fine thin paper. [Japan: ca. 1855-63].
With the first demonstration of steam power in Japan, thanks to Commodore Perry’s visit in July of 1853, the feudal domains immediately began to organize the construction of a fleet of large Western-style warships. By the August 1853 arrival in Nagasaki of the Russian Admiral Yevfimy Putyatin, who gave a demonstration of a steam engine on his ship, the Palladia. Hisashige Tanaka (1799-1881), the founder of the future Toshiba Corporation and the “Thomas Edison...