MEMOIRE SUR QUELQUES CHANGEMENTS FAITS À LA BOUSSOLE by MAISSIAT,…

MEMOIRE SUR QUELQUES CHANGEMENTS FAITS À LA BOUSSOLE et au rapporteur, suivi de la déscription d'un nouvel instrument, nommé grammomètre, servant à disposer, sur les plans et cartes, les hauteurs et l'inclinaison des écritures, et à diviser sans compas les lignes droites; Avec huit planches pour faciliter la construction et l'application de ces instruments. A Paris, Chez L. G. Michaud, Imprimeur-Libraire, Rue des Bons-Enfants, No. 34.

1818. 8vo, pp. 48 [5] 52–178, (pp. 15/16 and 135/136 are cancels); with eight engraved plates bound at the end (nos 2–4 signed ‘Adam sct.’, pl. 6 signed ‘Giraldon et Lale sct.’); some light dust-soiling throughout, otherwise clean and fresh; uncut in the original pink paste-paper wrappers, head and tail of spine nicked and a little worn with some loss, spine and joints rubbed, covers a little scratched, extremities with some edgewear and nicks, with lower rear corner torn, and nick to rear fore-edge. First edition, re-issue (first 1817) of this well illustrated description of the construction and use of an improved theodolite and other surveying and drawing instruments, by the military engineer Michel Maissait (1770-1822), and including a short history of the mariner's compass. A note at the end of the text advertises that the two grammomètres described are manufactured by Lenoir, the leading French scientific instrument maker of the time. Maissiat is described as ‘Chef d’Escadron au Corps Royal des Ingénieurs-Géographes Militaires, et Cheavlier de l’ordre Royal de la Légion-D’Honneur’, and served with distinction in a number of campaigns during the Revolution, and subsequently under Napoleon, before taking part in a number of surveying projects, notably Jean Tranchot’s topographic mapping of the four recently unified departments in the Rhineland. In the year of the present publication he was named professor of topography at the at military academy for the Royal Staff Corps.

Bibliography: Wheeler Gift 749; copies of this re-issue located at the Burndy Library, the Adler Planetarium, Harvard, Linda Hall.

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