• Bookshop: B & L Rootenberg (United States)
  • ILAB-LILA Member
  • Publishing year: 1746
  • Publisher: Printed for the author
  • Subjects: Electricite
  • Shipment weight: 1000 g
  • Publishing place: Bath

Bibliographic details

FIRST EDITION With woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces. Full black morocco, gilt titled to upper cover; some foxing. First edition of the author's rare essay on electrical induction with his descriptions of a series of experiments. Martin regarded electricity as a type of subtle matter, the various phenomena being produced by its vibrations, as first suggested by Newton in his Doctrine of Light. He explains his concepts of electric virtue, the qualities of electric fire (as opposed to fire from lightning), and the nature of bodies (including animal) that are infused with electricity. Martin ponders the uses of electricity, although admits that "at present I know so little of its use, as not to be able to form any rational conjecture about it." He notes that experiments such as the sort undertaken by him and reported in this essay must be continued. But his approach appears to be an assumption that the best use of electricity is in connection with its effect on the human body. Indeed, most of his experiments deal with the effect on humans when shocked! Martin (1705-82), was a great popularizer of science and especially Newtonian science in the eighteenth century. He published numerous catalogues, was a lecturer on natural philosophy, and inventor of microscopes and mathematical instruments.

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