London: Printed for Smith, Beck, and Beck [and published by] John Van Voorst, 1865. First Edition. Hardcover. Quarto size, 153 pp. plus Plates. Very good. Item #CNFBV123
Richard (1827-1866) and Joseph Beck were founders of R and J Beck (est. 1843), the firm which manufactured and sold optical instruments such as microscopes and, later, cameras. They were nephews of the famed Joseph Jackson Lister (1786-1869) who developed the achromatic lenses for use in microscopes which, for the first time, allowed resolution detailed enough to adequately reveal plant and animal cell structure.
At the time this book was published (1865) James Smith had joined the company (hence the name change to "Smith, Beck, and Beck"). According to Wiki "Smith is credited with helping to raise the status of the use of microscopes within scientific research."
In the Introduction Richard Beck explains that "[t]he publication has been much delayed by various causes...[i]t may, however, be mentioned that a considerable amount of matter is now included in the work, which it could not have contained at a much earlier issue..."
The chapters included are: "First- and Second-Class Achromatic Microscopes", "Directions for Use of Microscopes; Transmitted Illumination", "Illumination From Above", "Dark-Field Illumination", "Erecting-Glass for Low Power and Dissection", "Polarized Light, as Applied to the Microscope", "Wenham's Binocular Body for Achromatic Microscope", "Sundry Apparatus", "Cases for First-and Second-Class Microscopes", "The Third-Class Microscopes", "The Fourth-Class Microscope", "Single Microscopes and Magnifiers", "Instruments Used in Preparing Objects", "Instruments and Materials Used in Mounting Objects", and "Cabinets and Microscopic Objects".
This the first and, from what we can determine, the only edition of this work prior to very recent reprints published in the latter part of the 20th century.
___DESCRIPTION: Recased with original green cloth for both boards and spine laid down, both boards with three ruled borders enclosing a decorative border, all blind-debossed, spine with gilt lettering and decorations in blind at head and tail, newer endpapers, tissue-guarded frontispiece a black-and-white depiction of "Podura Scale" (Plate I) shown at differing microscopic settings, title page with prior owner name in a vintage hand with the date of 1878 (in the upper right margin, not covering any text), the book consists of a first section dedicated to the text with seventy-six diagrams and charts (two of these being mounted labels, one in colour), this followed by a second section with plates II through XXVIII, each with its tissue guard and each with a page of description (other than for Plate XXVIII ("Patent Achromataic Binocular Magnifiers and Stand"), apparently the work was published without a description page for this plate, as none seemed needed), note that Plates XVII and XVIII are chromolithographs, with a single page publisher's ad at the rear; quarto size (10 3/8" by 7 3/8"), pagination: [i-iii] iv-viii  2-144, followed by the Plates section (unpaginated); note that the "List of Illustrations" (Plates) and "List of Woodcuts" follows the text section, with the one-page publisher's ad at the very end.
___CONDITION: A solid, very good copy, the newer casing done professionally and the volume now strong and sturdy, with clean boards, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and the sole prior owner marking we see the vintage name mentioned above; some rubbing to the corners with the top front corner bumped, light shelfwear to the bottom board edges, and some loss of the original cloth at the head and tail of the spine.
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