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Essays on the Microscope; Containing a Practical Description of the Most Improved Microscopes; A General History of Insects, their Transformantions, Peculiar Habitats, and Oeconomy

by Adams, George

  • Hardback
  • Used Book Availability : SOLD
  • This title has been delisted and is no longer available to purchase - please use the search field above to check if another copy is in stock, or contact us to record your interest in this title, if another copy becomes available we will let you know
  • Catalogue No : 37135
  • Published : 1798
  • Cover : Hardback
  • Pages : xvii, [7], [1-]724, 15, [1]


An account of the various species, and singualar properties, of the Hydrae and Vorticellae: a description of three hundred and eighty-three Animalcula: With a concise catalogue of interesting objects: a view of the organization of timber, and the configuration of salts, when under the microscope. Second edition, with considerable additions and improvements by Frederick Kanmacher.

The allegorical frontis, after T.S. Duché, 'Truth discovering to Time, Science instructing her children on the Improvements on the Microscope' is a later issue dated 1801 (published by F. Kanmacher and W. & J. Jones). Plates 2, 7, 23 and 24 are double plates (A + B). 27 plates are dated 1787 and published by George Adams (from the first edition), 4 are dated 1797, published by W. & S. Jones, & F. Kanmacher, and one is undated (possibly shaved to bottom edge). 16-page catalogue bound at rear, 'A Catalogue of Optical, Mathematical, and Philosophical Instruments, made and sold by W. and S. Jones, [No. 30,] Lower Holborn, London ... 1814.' (W. & S. Jones acquired the stock and copyright of Adams' books from his wife following his death in 1795. They moved to 30 Lower Holborn around 1800).

Nissen ZBI, 24; Horn-Schenkling, 39.

George Adams, Jr. (1750-1795), was the son of the well-known English scientific instrument maker of the same name. His father George Admas Sr. (1720-1773) was mathematical instrument maker to George III and published 'Micrographia illustrata; or, The Knowledge of the Microscope Explain'd' (1746). He invented the lucernal microscope, a type of projection microscope where the image is projected on a screen by a large oil lamp, as to make it easier to draw or trace the image. George Adams, Jr. succeeded his father in the business, and as mathematical instrument maker to the King, and published a number of scientific works, including the current title, 'Essays on the Microscope' (first published 1787). The second edition was published posthumously by F. Kanmacher and W. & S. Jones.

The book contains chapters on the history of the microscope; the most improved microscopes; use and utility of microscope in the study of natural history, introducing the reader to the Linnean system in relation to insects, their transformations, and anatomy; natural history of freshwater Hydra; Infusoria; timber as viewed by the microscope; crystallization of salts; description of minute and rare shells; instruction for collecting and preserving insects, and more.


4to, cont. tree calf, rubbed and scuffed, wear to corners, spine ends chipped with some loss, joints starting to split; leather title-piece to spine. Small institutional ink stamp to pastedowns and title-page; a few marginal ink annotations; some foxing to plates, scattered light foxing to text. One page lightly creased.

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