17 June 2008
HUGGINS, William (1824-1910). On the Results of Spectrum Analysis applied to the Heavenly Bodies. A Discourse Delivered at Nottingham, Before the British Association, August 24, 1866. London: W. Ladd, .
Small 8o (180 x 120 mm). Advertising slip for lantern slides illustrating Huggin's lecture and 2-page advertisement at end. 17 ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHS MOUNTED IN TEXT. Original plum flexible cloth, gilt-lettered on front cover (rebacked); modern quarter leather portfolio case. Provenance: Franklin Institute Library (library labels on front pastedown and free endpaper, perforated stamp on title-page and p. 49, ink stamp on title-page and a few leaves).
FIRST EDITION OF HUGGINS'S SCARCE PHOTOGRAPHICALLY ILLUSTRATED WORK explaining his pioneeringuse of the spectroscope and his method of analyzing the results of his observations. New discoveries in astronomic research in the 19th century necessitated the advancement of instruments used by scientists for observations. Working in collaboration with his friend William Allen Miller (1817-1870), a professor of chemistry at King's College, London, and an experienced spectroscopist and photographer, Huggins was able to perfect a spectroscope attached to his telescope that brought the spectral lines of bright stars into view. Huggins' developments pushed the boundaries of astronomical research and he is generally considered the founder of celestial spectroscopy. RARE: according to American Book Prices Current, only one other copy has sold in the last 30 years: the Plotnick copy, sold Christie's New York, 4 October 2002, lot 138.
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