AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Transactions, of the American Philosophical Society, Held at Philadelphia, for Promoting Useful Knowledge
Philadelphia: William and Thomas Bradford, 1771. Quarto. xxvii, , xxiii-xxviii, xix, 116, 72, 117-340pp. plus seven folding plates (but lacking the map portion of plate 7). Blindstamp of University of Pennsylvania Library and inscription ("John Cox 1816") on titlepage. "Members Elected" leaf bound in after p.xxii (first series), 72pp. appendix between pp.116-17. Map portion of plate 7 (Fig. 1) has been excised, leaving Fig. 2 intact. Mild foxing throughout. Two small closed tears to plate 4, one small closed tear to margin of plate 5, text only slightly affected.
Modern three-quarter calf and marbled boards, raised bands, gilt morocco label.
Provenance: Harrison D. Horblit (bookplate on front pastedown)
Rare first edition of volume one: the Horblit copy.
The rare first issue of volume one of the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, with content not appearing in the 1789 re-issue. This first edition was partially destroyed during the Revolution, and publication of the Transactions was suspended from 1772 to 1785. The more common second edition of volume one was issued in 1789 to assist in completing extant sets. This first volume contains a vast amount of important early American scientific and natural history research. This "volume was the first indication to many that the society was more than a name. In America, it sold well and became a source of pride to the members...The European reception of the volume surpassed the hopes of the most sanguine promoters...That so new a society was able to issue a journal within so short a period after its foundation was, by contrast with the many European academies that had never published papers, remarkable in itself. The chorus of praise swelled on every hand" - Hindle. This volume is notable for containing research by Moses Bartram on American silk worms, John Lorimer on the climate of West Florida, and John Ellis on foreign plants which might be usefully grown in America. Also included are contributions by John Morgan on sunflower seed oil and an "Essay on the Cultivation of the Vine, and the making and preserving of Wine, suited to the different Climates in North America," by Edward Antill.
Evans 11959; Sabin 1181; ESTC W15742; Rink 5; Meisel, American Natural History II, pp.9-17; Hindle, The Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, p.143.