STRADA, Jacobus de (c. 1523-1588) and Octavius de STRADA. Kunstliche Abriss allerhand Wasser, Wind, Ross und Handt Mühlen. Frankfurt: Paul Jacobi for the author, and sold by Lukas Jennis, 1617 - 1618.
2 parts in one, 2° (285 x 175mm). Part I: engraved title by Matthias Merian, 4 ll. letterpress dedication (with engraved armorial) and address to the reader, 50 double-page engraved plates by B. Schwan and E. Kieser; II: engraved title by Merian, 8 ll. dedication with engraved armorial) and explanation of the plates by B. Bramer, 50 double-page engraved plates by Schwan and Kieser; on guards. (Washed, repaired tear without loss in pl. 10 and with minor loss in pl. 84.) Modern vellum ruled in gilt, leather spine label. Provenance: some early annotations washed M Höhm (20th-century stamp on title).
First German edition of Strada's work on engineering designs, mills, pumps, and other machinery, published simultaneously with a French language issue. Jacobus de Strada was a slightly older contemporary of Ramelli, whose own work on mechanical engineering was published in the year of Strada's death. It is clear that each man's work was independent; Beck suggests that Strada may have been aware of Ramelli's publication and decided against publishing his own designs in deference to the Italian. For whatever reason, publication was posthumous, edited by his grandson Octavius, and the 30-year delay resulted in Strada's designs losing their innovative edge. Nonetheless, the work shows Strada's close attention to detail and illustrates a wide range of machinery and engineering. One mill (plate 90) is described as best for producing ink black and is also ideal for such things as mustard, where the operator needs a certain distance from the burning dust. Cf. T. Beck, Beitraege zur Geschichte des Mashinenbaues, chapter 23.