WARE, Samuel.

Tracts on Vaults and Bridges. Containing observations on the various forms of vaults; on the taking down and rebuilding London Bridge; and on the principles of arches: illustrated by extensive tables of bridges. Also containing the principles of pendent bridges, with reference to the properties of the catenary, applied to the Menai Bridge. And a theoretical investigation of the catenary.

London: Printed for Thomas and William Boone… sold by Longman…1822

3 parts in 1 volume, 8vo, pp. xx, 3 leaves (errata, list of plates, and sub-title), pp. 73, and 14 folding or double-page plates; 1 leaf, pp. 71, 2 folding plates; 1 leaf, pp. 177, 4 folding plates. Pp. 43 in the second part and 35a, 145 and 177 in the third part are folding tables (versos blank). Original cloth-backed boards (neat repairs to spine). Endpapers and fore-edge margin of one plate lightly stained, otherwise a clean copy. PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed on the front endpaper “To James Rennie Esqr From the Author”, but this is surely a mistake for George Rennie as James the elder died in 1799 and James the younger would have been aged only fourteen; also pencilled inscription to G.B.(?) Rennie.

FIRST EDITION, comprising three essays by the London architect Samuel Ware (1781–1860). The first considers the behaviour of vaults and domes, and was intended to supplement Ware’s book of 1809 on the same subject. The second, responding to John Rennie’s projected design for a new London Bridge, provides technical analysis of the load bearing capacity of arches and other elements in bridge construction. The third and longest tract concerns Ware’s design for a suspension bridge over the Menai Straits and the theory of suspension bridge construction, with particular reference to Thomas Telford’s Menai Bridge (Ware believed that Telford’s design had insufficient strength and that his own design was superior and less costly). This is a nice presentation copy to a member of the most distinguished family of engineers. Skempton 1756.


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