Lexicon Technicum: or, An Universal English Dictionary of Arts and Sciences: explaining not only the Terms of Art, but the Arts Themselves. The Fourth [Second] Edition

Published: London: Printed for D. Browne, J. Walthoe, J. Knapton, D. Midwinter, B. Cowse, T. Ward, E. Symon, E. Valentine, J. Clark, S. Tooke, and B. Motte

Date: 1725 - 1723

folio 2 vols. [928]; [392], 44, [242], 120, [50]pp., portrait plus 14 plates (6 folding), contemporary calf with nesting dyed panels on sides defined by double blind fillets and with blind tooling at corners etc., some minor marginal spotting or damp marks, closed tears (no loss) in Oooo3 and Kkkkk4, narrow strip of leather torn from rear cover of one volume, very handsomely and sympathetically rebacked and refurbished at edges and corners. Nice copy.

The oval stamp (a bishop inside a lettered border) of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on the title pages.

First published in 1704-10, and the first general scientific encyclopaedia in any language. As he outlines in his preface, Harris (ca. 1666-1719) drew for the work upon many of the greatest contemporary authorities - on Newton in physics, astronomy, and mathematics; on John Ray and Joseph Tournefort in botany; and on Halley, Boyle, Nehemiah Grew, John Woodward, John Wilkins, and William Derham for other subjects. In vol. II was printed for the first time Newton's only independent chemical paper, De Natura Acidorum (1692), together with an English translation by Harris. Newton's important mathematical papers which were appended, in Latin, to the first edition of his Optics (1704) but which were dropped from later editions of that work, made their first appearance in English in vol. II of this work. Vol. II also includes an interesting early account of Savery's "fire engine" [ie. steam engine], and the famous folding plate illustrating its use. The combination in this set of vol. I in fourth edition and vol. II in second edition was usual for copies sold at this time. This was the last edition in its original form, for afterwards it was reissued with all the articles arranged under one alphabetic sequence, and not as in these early editions in two, one for each volume. This edition is greatly expanded by the addition of extensive mathematical tables.


Offered by P & B Rowan