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GALVANI, Luigi (1737-1798). De viribus electricitatis in motu musculari commentarius. [In: De Bononiensi Scientiarum et Artium Instituto atque Academia Commentarii, vol. VII, pp. 363-418]. Bologna: Typographia Instituti Scientiarum, 1791.
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GALVANI, Luigi (1737-1798). De viribus electricitatis in motu musculari commentarius. [In: De Bononiensi Scientiarum et Artium Instituto atque Academia Commentarii, vol. VII, pp. 363-418]. Bologna: Typographia Instituti Scientiarum, 1791.

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GALVANI, Luigi (1737-1798). De viribus electricitatis in motu musculari commentarius. [In: De Bononiensi Scientiarum et Artium Instituto atque Academia Commentarii, vol. VII, pp. 363-418]. Bologna: Typographia Instituti Scientiarum, 1791.

Rare first edition, first issue (the paper was later issued as an offprint, known in only a dozen copies) of this momentous paper ‘showing that electric currents could produce measurable biologic phenomena ... a foundation for the study of electrophysiology’ (Grolier/Norman). The paper aroused great interest and controversy. Galvani believed that 'animals possess in their nerves and muscles a subtle fluid quite analogous to ordinary electricity' (DSB). In the course of his experiments, Galvani hit upon by accident the phenomenon of 'galvanism', the production of an electric current between two metals in a moist environment. Volta's repetition of Galvani's experiments, the effects of which Volta interpreted correctly as the result of contact electricity, led to his invention of the voltaic pile and the first continuous and controllable electric current. Dibner 59; Fulton & Stanton Galvani 1; Garrison-Morton 593; Grolier/Horblit 37a; Grolier/Norman 50; Osler 1242; PMM 240.

Large quarto (292 x 210mm). 4 folding engraved plates by Jacopo Zambelli. Galvani’s work within the volume of the Commentarii, with the engraved title vignette showing the Bologna Institute of Sciences and Arts and numerous folding plates (Galvani: occasional very light foxing, including to the first plate, but clean and wide-margined). Later vellum, with the original gilt lettering-piece laid on.
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