BROOK, Abraham.

Miscellaneous Experiments and Remarks on Electricity, the Air-Pump, and the Barometer: with the description of an electrometer of a new construction…

Norwich: Printed by Crouse and Stevenson for J. Johnson…London, 1789

4to, pp. xiii, (iii), 211, 2 leaves (index), 3 engraved plates (1 folding). Contemporary tree calf (some stains, tips of corners slightly worn), flat spine gilt and with red morocco label. Endpapers browned and foxing on the folding plate, otherwise a very good copy. Signature of John DeLisle, 1796, at head of title and a few manuscript marginalia of the period.

FIRST EDITION. “Abraham Brook (fl. 1749–1789), bookseller and natural philosopher,…was the author of Miscellaneous experiments and remarks on electricity, [in which he] explained that he had been interested in electrical experiments since 1749, but hitherto had not seen a friction machine that could produce as much electrical power as the one he had constructed after his friend the Revd. William Morgan had read Volta’s works to him. The said electrometer…was a device to measure quantitatively the repulsive force that these friction machines exerted on a suspended ball, by gearing that suspension to a pointer on a dial. Brook considered that it would be useful for graduating existing electrometers, such as that of Edward Nairne, one of the leading makers of such apparatus…” (ODNB). Much of Brook's knowledge seems to have come from his wide circle of scientifically minded acquaintances. He attended meetings at the Royal Society and had a paper on his electrometer published in the Philosophical Transactions in 1782, but he was not a Fellow. Nothing is known of his personal life, nor of the date and place of his death. Wheeler Gift 553. A scarce provincially published collection of scientific experiments.


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