17 June 2008
FRANKLIN, Benjamin. Maritime Observations: In a Letter from Doctor Franklin, to Mr. Alphonsus Le Roy. Extract from: Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. Vol.2. Philadelphia: Printed by Robert Aitken, 1786.
4o (258 x 217 mm). 2 folding engraved maps (some offsetting, some minor spotting). Contemporary paper wrappers, stitched, uncut and unopened (rear wrapper detached); cloth slipcase.
FIRST EDITION of Franklin's observations taken during his numerous transatlantic voyages. During his travels he noted changes in atmospheric conditions and water temperatures, as well as the fact that similar ships taking different routes across the Atlantic crossed at differing speeds with the shortest route not always being the fastest. Franklin was observing the Gulf Stream, and he enlisted the help of his cousin, Nantucket sea captain Timothy Folger, to assist him in charting it. An extremely accurate map of the Gulf Stream is included in this extract, as are Franklin's theories on the motion of a ship, his suggestions for preventing fire on board, and numerous other maritime related ideas and notes. RARE: According to American Book Prices Current, no copy of this work has sold at auction in at least the last 30 years. Ford 372.
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