Report of the First and Second Meetings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; at York in 1831, and at Oxford in 1832: including its Proceedings, Recommendations, and Transactions.
Historian of Science, George Basalla’s copy
Official transactions of second meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held in 1832 also including reprints of the the association’s objects and rules from its founding in 1831 and reports from its first meeting that year.
The Report is distinguished by a large, double fold-out, hand-colored, panorama entitled “Section across Europe from the North of Scotland to the Adriatic.” It depicts the mountain, surface and geological layers of the earth’s crust known as the lithospere. The panorama or section was likely intended to accompany geologist and palaeontologist W.D. Conybeare’s present article “Report on the Progress, Actual State, and Ulterior Prospects of Geological Science.” In it he refers to a general section of Europe prepared by him in 1813 “...for the Oxford Lectures of my friend Prof. [William] Buckland…” (p388)
This copy of the Report bears the ownership inscription of George Basalla, a noted American historian of science and technology. Basalla co-edited the book Victorian Science: A Self-Portrait from the Presidential Addresses of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1970).
Contents from the proceedings of the inaugural scientific congress include a digest of a report by chemist John Dalton investigating the effect of atmospheric pressure on animals and brief notices of bird specimens exhibited by ornithologist John Gould and “Drawings of Birds for Mr. Audubon’s great work on American Ornitholgy” exhibited by Robert Havell.
The bulk of the volume is comprised of the complete scientific transactions of the 1832 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. These articles are on the progress of astronomy by G.B. Airy, on tides by J.W. Lubbock, on meteorology by James D. Forbes (inventor of the seismometer), on radiant heat by Rev. Baden Powell, on Thermo-electricity by Rev. James Cummings, on optics by Sir David Brewster, on mineralogy by W. Whewell, on geology by Rev. W.D. Conybeare, and on chemistry by James F. W. Johnson.
A final article by J.C. Pritchard is entitled “Remarks on the Application of Philological and Physical researches to the History of the Human Species.” Pritchard (1786–1848) was an important early 19th-century investigator into the study of human evolution. Pritchard’s “...merits lay in his understanding of the problems inherent to eighteenth-century theories of man, in his readiness to grapple with evidence that seemed to contradict his theories, and in his early appreciation of scientific developments on the continent, especially in the fields of linguistics and psychiatry.” (ODNB)
Description: Report of the First and Second Meetings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; at York in 1831, and at Oxford in 1832: including its Proceedings, Recommendations, and Transactions.
London, John Murray, 1833. Large folding hand-colored panoramic plates, x, , –624, [8, publisher’s adverts]pp. First edition. Orig. boards, backed with later, 19th-century[?] marbled or patterned cloth. Collates complete: A⁸ b² B⁸–Z⁸ 2A⁸–2Q⁸ B⁴ [ads, dated April 1833]. Ownership inscription: “George Basalla 1966”. Boards soiled, wear to head and tail of spine and along edges and corners; upper hinge starting; toning; good. Internally, a very good and clean copy.