A Short Account of Experiments and Instruments, depending on the Relations of Air to Heat and Moisture.

Edinburgh: printed for William Blackwood, and J. Ballantyne & Co… 1813

8vo, pp. iv, 178, 1 leaf (description of the plate), 1 engraved plate with 10 figures of Leslie’s apparatus. Contemporary calf, flat spine gilt and with red morocco label. Armorial bookplate of William Brodie of Brodie. Plate a little foxed, bookplate offset onto front free endpaper, but a nice copy.

FIRST EDITION. This book embodies the continuation of Leslie’s important work on heat, and is “full of important and original work” (DNB). In it he describes how he successfully applied the absorbent powers of sulphuric acid to freeze water in an evacuated receiver. This is the first recorded achievement of artificial congelation, and in 1817 he developed a method for making artificial ice. The principle was exploited by Ferdinand Carré in 1860, who created the first laboratory ice machines. The way was then open for its commercial use for the long-term transportation and storage of foodstuffs, the preservation of cadavers, and numerous other applications, including, of course, cold beer.


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