HORNE, Henry.

Tratado del Hierro, y Acero, con observaciones practicas, especialmente en punto de refinar las barras de acero por medio de la fusion para las obras mas delicadas… Se añade la quarta memoria de Mr. De Reaumur y el extracto de las demás del mismo autor, que componen el arte de convertir el hierro en acero: traducido por Don Antonio Smith.

En Madrid: Por D. Pedro Marin.1775

8vo, 8 leaves (including the first blank), pp. 27, 99, 86, 1 leaf (blank), 3 folding engraved plates. Half-title, woodcut ornaments and initials. Contemporary red morocco, triple gilt fillet on sides, flat spine gilt in compartments, green morocco label, inner gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, gilt edges. Minor abrasion on upper cover, but a lovely, fresh copy printed on superb paper. Bookplate of Dr. J. Rodriguez Chavez.

FIRST EDITION IN SPANISH, and the first Spanish book on making steel. This was an important book for the industry of Spain. In addition to a translation of Horne’s Essays concerning Iron and Steel (1773), this edition also contains Spanish versions of Réaumur’s fourth memoir on converting iron into steel, as well as other extracts from his L’Art de convertir le Fer Forgé en Acier (1722), illustrated with the three plates. Réaumur’s book was the first comprehensive book devoted to the manufacture of iron and steel, and laid the foundations of the steel industry in France. Horne’s book is an important account of crucible steel, and of its introduction by Benjamin Huntsman in Sheffield. His steel paved the way for all the modern steel casting and alloying processes, without which the developments of the nineteenth century would not have been possible. Friedrich Engels even attributed the development of England’s industrial might to Huntsman’s discovery, by virtue of the high quality tools and machinery that it created. The Huntsman method remained the only way of producing steel ingots until Bessemer's invention in 1856 enabled steel to be made in bulk.


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