Skip to main content

Lexicon Technicum: or, an Universal English Dictionary of Arts and Sciences explaining not only the Terms of Art, but the Arts Themselves ... [With:] A Supplement to Dr. Harris's Dictionary of Arts and Sciences ... By a Society of Gentlemen

London: Daniel Brown [et. al.], 1704-1710; London: for the authors and sold by M. Cooper [et. al.], 1744. Together, 3 volumes, folio. [Lexicon:] Titles printed in red and black, text in two columns. Engraved portrait frontispiece, 14 engraved plates (8 folding) and numerous woodcut in-text illustrations. List of subscribers. [Supplement:] Titles printed in red and black, text in two columns. 6 engraved folding plates and numerous woodcut in-text illustrations.

Early uniform speckled calf, expertly rebacked to style, spines with raised bands in six compartments, red and green morocco lettering pieces

First edition of the first English encyclopedia, complete with the supplement: a landmark in the history of technology and including the first publication of Newton's only published work on chemistry.

John Harris (1667?-1719), clergyman, mathematician, secretary of the Royal Society, produced the first English encyclopedia arranged in alphabetical order. Indeed, the work is considered the first technical encyclopedia in any language. Including over 8000 entries, for its content Harris drew on the works of Newton, Tournefort, John Ray, Halley, Robert Boyle, and others. Most notably, the second volume contains Newton's "De natura acidorum", his only published work on chemistry. Although originally written in 1692, the work appears here in print for the first time and Newton is listed as a subscriber.

"John Harris, clergyman, mathematician, and (from 1709) secretary of the Royal Society, produced the first English encyclopaedia arranged in alphabetical order. He was the first lexicographer to distinguish between a word-book (dictionary, in modern parlance) and a subject-book (encyclopaedia proper)... His Lexicon Technicum appears to be the first technical dictionary in any language. The most famous of his contributors was Isaac Newton" (PMM).

"The first English dictionary of arts and sciences, and the earliest modern encyclopedia of science" (Norman). Rarely found complete with the separately-issued supplement.

ESTC T142411 and T101515; Goldsmiths' 4039; Tomash & Williams H21; PMM 171a; Henderson p.65 no. 62.0; Babson (Supplement) p. 54; Grolier/Horblit 25a; Norman 992.

Item #37860

Price: $27,500.00

See all items in Miscellany
See all items by