ACADEMIE ROYALE DES SCIENCES, Paris -- Machines et Inventions approuves par l'Academie Royale des Sciences, depuis son tablissement jusqu' present; avec leur Description. Dessines & publies du consentement de l'Academie, par M. Gallon. Paris: Gabriel Martin, Jean-Baptiste Coignard, fils, and Hipployte-Louis Guerin, 1735.
Vols.I-VI only (of 7), 4 (250 x 185mm). Titles in red and black, half-titles. 430 folding engraved plates. (Some browning to text, some offsetting onto plates, about 12 plates just shaved into plate area, slight worming to about 10 plates and associated text, particularly in vol.VI). Contemporary French mottled calf, spines gilt in six compartments with red and yellow leather lettering-pieces tooled with repeat pattern of small tools around a central larger flower spray tool (corners rubbed, head of spine of vols.II and III chipped, foot of spines of vols.II and V chipped).
AN IMPORTANT PUBLICATION REFLECTING 'THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF SCIENCE IN FRANCE'. These volumes contain plans and descriptions of machines and devices that were either examined by the Academie (and approved as being of use) or were made up in model form. The editor, Gallon, spurred on by his visits to the dpt of the models maintained by the Academie at the Observatoire Royale, approached them and was granted permission to publish the present work.
The origins of the Academie can be traced to a number of men of science that had for 'some thirty years met together, first at the house of P. Marsenne, then at that of Montmort, a member of the Council of State, afterwards at that of Melchisdic Thvenot, the learned traveller... [These meetings] included Descartes, Gassendi, Blaise and Etienne Pascal... Colbert conceived the idea of giving official status to this learned club. A number of chemists, physicians, anatomists and eminent mathematicians, amomg whom were Christian Huygens and Bernard Frenicle de Bessy... were chosen to form the nucleus of the new society. Pensions were granted by Louis XIV to each of the members, and a fund for instruments and experiment was placed at their disposal. they began their session on the 22nd of December 1666 in the Royal Library, meeting twice a week. At first the academy was rather a laboratory and observatory than an academy proper. Experiments were undertaken in common and results discussed... In 1699 the academy was reconstituted by Louis Phelypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain, under whose department as secretary of state the academies came. By its new constitution it consisted of twenty-five members, ten honorary... and fifteen pensionaries, who were the working members.. Fontenelle... succeded Duhamel as secretary... The two leading spirits of the academy at this period were Clairault and Raumur.'Encyclopedia Britannica  vol.I, pp.97-8). A seventh (supplementary) volume for 1735-1754 was published in 1777. Brunet I, 27. (6)