London, South Kensington
8 June 2004
ACCUM, Friedrich Christian (1769-1838). A Practical Treatise on Gas-Light; exhibiting a summary description of the apparatus and machinery best calculated for illuminating streets, houses and manufactories, with carburetted hydrogen, or coal-gas; with remarks on the utility, safety, and general nature of this new branch of civil economy, London: G. Hayden for R. Ackermann, 1815. 4° (235 x 146mm). 7 coloured plates, 2 folding (neat tear along fold of first plate, some spotting and offsetting.) Contemporary black half-morocco gilt, later green slip-case dated 1818 in error (rubbed at extremities). Provenance: J. Johnson (inscription on title 'J. Johnson from James Wild').
FIRST EDITION of "the first modern technical book on this subject" (Dawson). Accum, a German scientist, was an engineer with the London Chartered Gaslight and Coke Company from its foundation in 1810. "It is said that the prompt adoption of this mode of lighting in London and other large cities was greatly due to [Accum's] Practical Treatises on Gas Light which was... speedily translated into German, French and Italian" (DNB). cf. Dawson 28 (4th edition).
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