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15 - 16 June 1998
RAUMUR, Rn-Antoine Ferchault de (1683-1757). L'art de convertir le fer forg en acier, et l'art d'adoucir le fer fondu, ou de faire des ouvrages de fer fondu aussi finis que de fer forg. Paris: P.A. Paulus-du-Mesnil for Michel Brunet, 1722.
4o (257 x 183 mm). 17 folding engraved plates by Ph. Simonneau. (A few leaves lightly browned, some very minor occasional pale spotting.) Contemporary French mottled calf, spine gilt (minor wear to extremities). Provenance: Francesco Conti (18th-century signature on title-page).
FIRST EDITION. Reaumur's work on converting iron into steel is the first reliable treatise on ferrous metal metallurgy. He "revealed for the first time hitherto secret details of the process and also came very close to the correct explanation of the nature of steel, that it is iron combined with a small quantity of carbon" (Hoover). It also contains information on rendering cast iron ductile. Reaumur's scientific interests covered a great many subjects and he made contributions to various fields including industrial technology, natural history, biology and genetics. Hoover 677; Singer, Technology III, pp. 28-29; Wolf II, p. 530; Norman 1803.
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