FARADAY, Michael (1791-1867). Experimental Researches in Electricity. London: Richard and John Edward Taylor (volume 3 Richard Taylor and William Francis), 1839-1855.
3 volumes, 8 (218 x 128mm). With advertsisements to volumes 1 and 3 as described by Horblit. 17 engraved plates, including 13 folding. (Some marginal dampstains to vols. 1 and 3, also affecting plates in vol. 3, vol. 1 title reinforced.) Modern half calf, vols. 2 and 3 uncut. Provenance: Dr. John Ayrton Paris (1785-1856, presentation inscription from the author on title of first two volumes).
PRESENTATION COPY OF THE FIRST COLLECTED EDITION, 'encompassing the entire range of Faraday's remarkable achievement, including his discovery of electromagnetic induction' (Norman). 'Faraday was both one of the greatest physicists of the nineteenth cnetury and one of the finest experimenters of all time' (PMM). He discovered almost incidentally the principle of the electric motor, the dynamo, and the transformer, which forms the basis for so much of modern life: electric light and power, telephony and television.
Faraday's introduction to the field of science was fortuitous. Forced to contribute to the family income from a young age, he was apprenticed as a bookbinder; one of his master's customers offered him tickets to a lecture by Humphrey Davy at the Royal Institution, and the rest, as they say, is history. It was through these papers that his major discoveries relating to electricity and magnetism were first published. These papers, along with pertinent papers and letters published in other scientific journals, were collected in three volumes published in 1839, 1844 and 1855.
ASSOCIATION COPY, inscribed 'To Dr. A. Paris from his obliged friend, the author'. John Ayrton Paris was a noted medical doctor and president of the Royal College Physicians, whose Pharmacologica went through 9 editions, being constantly revised by the author. In 1831 he published The Life of Humphrey Davy, Faraday's mentor. Dibner 64; Horblit 29 ('Faraday's magnum opus'); Norman 762; PMM 308. (3)