WATSON, Richard.

Chemical Essays. Cambridge: Printed by J. Archdeacon…For T. & J. Merrill, and J. Deighton… 1781 [–1786]; [With:] Chemical Essays. Volume V.

London: Printed for T. Evans,… .1787

5 volumes, small 8vo, pp. (xii), 349, 1 folding table; 2 leaves, pp. 368; pp. (viii), 376; 2 leaves, pp. xviii, 1 leaf, pp. 354, (50); (viii), 375. Contemporary speckled half calf, green morocco labels on spines. A little dust-soiling, head of spine of vol. 5 chipped, but a nice set.

First editions of volumes 1 and 2, fourth edition of volume 3, third edition of volume 4. An attractive set of Watson’s Chemical Essays (4 volumes), together with the first edition of the fifth volume which was published with the London editions. “These five volumes collect all of the printed works by Watson on chemical subjects. Vols. I–IV contain a total of 36 essays not published in journals, while vol. V includes four papers previously published in the Philosophical Transactions and his three separate works…” (Cole). “Watson is best known for his Chemical Essays, some of which are still valued for their lucidity, in particular his account of the phlogiston theory,…which has frequently been cited. He also described the classic experiment in which hot water in a tightly stoppered flask can be made to boil by pouring cold water over the air space” (DSB). The fifth volume contains his important investigation of the phenomena of solution and his anticipation of Blagden’s Law. See Cole 1342. Duveen p. 610 (one volume in second edition). No edition in the Neville catalogue, but the online catalogue has a set also with one volume in second edition. Most sets are mixed editions, as complete sets of first editions are really quite rare.


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