Observations on different Kinds of Air. By Joseph Priestley, LL.D.F.R.S. (Caption title: "Read March 5,12,19,26,1772").

(London, 1772).

4to. Bound in a fine recent brown hmorocco in old style, gilt back. In: Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society pp. 147-264 (vol. 62) and 1 folded engraved plate (P.Basire Sc.). A fine large copy, broad margins, printed on good paper, clean and fine throughout.

First edition of this important tract, which marked an epoch in the history of chemistry. As it is Priestley's first extensive work on Gases, it foreshadowed his identification of Oxygen.

"The paper here, for which the Royal Society awarded Priestley the Copley medal announced the discovery of hydrochloric acid and nitric oxide and the use of the latter in measuring the purity of air, which led through the work of Cavendish, Fontana and others to exact eudiometry. Priestley also observed that plants consume carbon dioxide and gave out oxygen, thereby purifying air which has been vitiated by combustion, respiration and putrefaction, and that this action takes place only under daylight." (Printing and the Mind of Man No. 217).
"In this paper he also announced two new gases that he had obtained - nitrous oxide and carbonic oxide; these won him the Royal Society's Copley medal. Two years later his experiments in heating red oxide of mercury produced "dephlogisticated air" which was announced in 1775 and identified by Lavoisier as oxygen." (Dibner Heralds of Science No. 40).
The work contains a proposal to saturate water with carbonic acid under either atmospheric or increased pressure, which led to the creation of the mineral-water industry.
The Centenary of the discovery of oxygen was celebrated at Priestley's American home at Northumberland, Pennsylvania, and was followed in 1876 by the foundation of the American Chemical Society. (PMM).

Honeyman No. 2535 - The Barchas Collection No 1718.

Order-nr.: 29076

DKK 25.000,00