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technology - 12 titles

Author:  Francesco Lana Terzi (1631-1687)
Title/Imprint: Prodromo, overo, Saggio di Alcune Inventioni Nuove Premesso all'Atre Maestra
Ii Rizzardi: Brescia , 1670

This book contains illustrations of numerous inventions, experiments, and instruments and is of importance primarily for having the earliest depicition of a concept for an aerostatic flying machine. Lana Terzi's contraption was designed to use four evacuated thin copper spheres. He reasoned incorrectly that the weight of the surrounding air would be enough to make the spheres buoyant.

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Author: 
Title/Imprint: Collection of Printed Acts of Parliamement… Relating to… the Contest for the Invention of a Method of Accurately Measuring Longitude at Sea
, between 1751 and 1806

The great problem of determining the longitude of a ship at sea was greatly stimulated by these Acts of Parliament setting up a prize for the first person to demonstrate a successful procedure. Although not the only working method developed, John Harrison's accurate chronometers were the long-term solution to the problem.

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Author: 
Title/Imprint: Biblia Latina [A Noble Fragment : Being a Leaf of the Gutenberg Bible]
Johann Gutenberg (1397-1468): Mainz , 1450-55

The Gutenberg Bible represents the landmark publication of the first book made with movable type. Very few libraries own a complete or even nearly-complete copy. Around 1920, the book dealer Gabriel Wells purchased an incomplete copy of a Gutenberg Bible and took it apart, selling each leaf individually as A Noble Fragment, along with an essay by A. E. Newton. Our copy of this work contains a leaf with text from the First Book of the Maccabees.

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Author:  Humphry, Sir Davy (1178-1829)
Title/Imprint: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, vol.106
pp.1-23, 24-25, plate; London , 1816

A major problem for coal mining around 1800 was the dangerous situation caused by using flame lamps in places were there could easily be explosive methane gas. A disastrous explosion in 1813 caused Davy to create a safety lamp that would lower the ignition point of methane. This article is the first account of Day's important invention.

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Author:  Giovanni Branca (1571-1640)
Title/Imprint: Le Machine, Volume Nuovo et di Molto Atrificio da Fare Effeti Maravigliosi Tanto Spiritali Quanto di Animale Operatione
Iacomo Martuci: Rome , 1629

This set of 77 full-page illustrations of many varied machines is noted for containing the earliest representation of the use of steam as a motive power, in this case to move a turbine wheel.

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Author:  John Henry Knight
Title/Imprint: Notes on Motor Carriages with Hints for Purchasers and Users
Hazell, Watson & Viney, Ltd.: London , 1896

The development of the automobile is of great historic importance in the history of technology. Of all the early works written on the subject, this book by Knight had a great impact on both the makers and the users of automobiles.

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Author:  Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778)
Title/Imprint: Le Antichità Romane
4 v., 218 [i.e. 219] leaves of plates (part folded, part double) : ill., port., plans ; 55 cm. (fol.); Angelo Rotilj: Rome , 1756

Piranesi traveled to Rome in 1740 as a draftsman to the Venetian ambassador and soon developed his distinctive stching style that produced thousands of beautiful copper engravings of Roman antiquities. In this series of prints, his most famous work, he was able to capture the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient Romans.

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Author:  Roberto Valturio (d.1483)
Title/Imprint: De Re Militari
[524] p. : ill. ; 36 cm. in box 38 cm. (fol.); Joannes Nicolai: Verona , 1472

Valturius was an assistant to Sigismondo Malatesta, the famous feudal ruler of the Italian city-state of Rimini. Warfare being a common pastime of these petty tyrants, Valturius produced this book which is considered to be the first printed work to contain illustrations of a scientific or technical nature.

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Author:  Thomas Savery (1650?-1716)
Title/Imprint: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, vol.21
p.228, plate; London , 1699

This brief article discusses the first example of a machine powered by steam, Savery's steam pump. Savery built a model of this machine and demonstrated it before the Royal Society in 1698. The first satisfactory engine went into operation at a coal mine in 1712.

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Author:  Thomas Wilson
Title/Imprint: A Comparative Statement of the Effects of Messrs. Boulton and Watt's Steam Engines, with Mr. Newcommen's and Mr. Hornblower's
W. Harry: Truro , 1792

The early steam engines of Savery and Newcomen reached a new level of potential through the efficient improvements of James Watt. This work is representative of Watt's great achievement by going into detail on the various designs of steam engines, showing that Watt's was the best.

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Author:  Thomas Tredgold (1788-1829)
Title/Imprint: A Practical Treatise on Rail-Roads and Carriages, Shewing the Principles of Estimating Their Strength, Proportions, Expense, and Annual Produce
Josiah Taylor: London , 1825

This book is, along with one by Nicholas Wood (also in the Dibner Library), the first comprehensive study of railroad engineering. It came out in 1825, the same year that the first railway for public traffic, the Stockton and Darlington Railway, opened.

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Author:  Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851)
Title/Imprint: Historique et Description des Procédés du Daguerréotype et du Diorama
Alphonse Giroux et cie: Paris , 1839

The invention of the daguerreotype marked the beginnings of practical photography, a major historical moment. This book was the first work that explained in step-by-step detail the process that was used to produce the daguerreotype images.

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