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    Sale 5442

    Landmarks of Science & Medicine from the Library of Andras Gedeon

    23 April 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 226

    RÖNTGEN, Wilhelm Conrad (1845-1923). Eine neue Art von Strahlen, offprint from: Sitzungsberichte der Würzburger Physik.-medic. Gesellschaft, 1895 [no. 9]. Würzburg: Stahel, 1895. Part I only (of II), 8° (229 x 151mm). With the final blank (very lightly spotted, one light crease from top to bottom throughout). Original yellow printed wrappers (lightly soiled, a few short tears), in a morocco-backed cloth box. Provenance: R. Hagenbach, stud. chem. (signature on front wrapper).

    Price Realised  

    RÖNTGEN, Wilhelm Conrad (1845-1923). Eine neue Art von Strahlen, offprint from: Sitzungsberichte der Würzburger Physik.-medic. Gesellschaft, 1895 [no. 9]. Würzburg: Stahel, 1895. Part I only (of II), 8° (229 x 151mm). With the final blank (very lightly spotted, one light crease from top to bottom throughout). Original yellow printed wrappers (lightly soiled, a few short tears), in a morocco-backed cloth box. Provenance: R. Hagenbach, stud. chem. (signature on front wrapper).

    FIRST EDITION OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE X-RAY, offprint issue. Although it had certainly manifested itself to earlier experimentors, the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum known in Germany as Röntgenstrahlen was not taken note of, i.e., 'discovered', until 1895. To ensure priority for his discovery, Röntgen immediately submitted a 'preliminary' paper on the 'new kind of rays', which he had dubbed 'X rays' because of his uncertainty as to their origin, to the editors of the Physical and Medical Society of Würzburg in the last week of December, 1895. The present offprint was printed at the same time as the journal number, which 'probably was not actually published until January 1896' (Grolier Medicine): 'By 1 January 1896 Röntgen was able to send reprints [i.e., offprints] and, in some cases, photographs to his friends and colleagues... The Wiener Press carried the story of the discovery on 5 January, and on the following day the news broke around the world. The world's response was remarkably swift, both the general public and the scientific community reacting in their characteristic ways. For the former, the apparent magic caught the imagination, and for the latter, Crookes tubes and generators were promptly sold in large numbers' (DSB). Four later issues of the offprint were published in 1896, reimposed to allow for a title-page at the beginning instead of a final blank. Dibner, Heralds of Science 162; Garrison-Morton 2683; Grolier/Horblit 90; Grolier Medicine 83A-B; PMM 380 (the last three references are to the periodical issue); Norman 1841.


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