A History of Inventions and Discoveries. Translated from the German, by William Johnston.

London: Printed for J. Bell…1797

3 volumes, 8vo, 1 leaf, pp. ii (contents), (v)–xii, 488; 2 leaves, pp. 443; 2 leaves, pp. 491. Contemporary mottled calf, flat spines gilt with green morocco labels. A fine and fresh set. Old stamp of a Scottish library on front pastedowns.

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of the first reliable history of inventions and discoveries. It was not designed as a complete history of technology (a term coined by Beckmann), but rather as a collection of historical descriptions of individual inventions. The text, written in a very readable style, is supplied with numerous full and accurate references in the footnotes, which has ensured the book’s historical value to the present day.


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