BAZAINE, P[ierre] D[ominique].

Mémoire sur la Théorie du Mouvement des Barques à Vapeur et sur leur application à la navigation des canaux, des fleuves et des rivières.

St. Petersbourg: à l'imprimerie de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences,1817

4to, 1 leaf, pp. 79, and 3 folding engraved plates (including one very long, signed P. Maslovsky). Title guarded at an early date (printed as a singleton and not conjugate with any other leaves), lower blank corner of pp. 41/42 torn off, paper slightly browned in the margins. Contemporary green straight-grained morocco (neatly rebacked, unlettered), gilt border on sides, marbled endpapers.

FIRST EDITION. Probably the first book published in Russia on steam navigation. In 1816 the Russian government addressed the important question of the navigation of the Volga, to which all the officers of the department of internal communication were required to turn their attention. The principal problem was that of navigating upstream. Shortly afterwards General de Bétancourt began a project, in which Bazaine was included, to use steamboats for that purpose. As a contribution to that project, Bazaine wrote the present, highly technical, memoir. It is in any case an early work on steam navigation; for comparison the first regular steam ferry service in Great Britain began only four years earlier, in 1813. At the time, Bazaine was a colonel in the department of internal communication, but later became major-general, professor of mechanics, and Director of the institute of communications. As a cadet he had been sent to Russia by Napoleon at the request of Tsar Alexander to form a corps of engineers. In the war of 1812 they were sent to the interior, but escaped to Siberia where they were picked up by the circumnavigator Krusenstern” (Roberts & Trent p. 26, note to another book by Bazaine).


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