EXPOSITION DES ACIDES, ALKALIS, TERRES ET MÉTAUX, by TROMMSDORFF, Johann…

EXPOSITION DES ACIDES, ALKALIS, TERRES ET MÉTAUX, by TROMMSDORFF, Johann Bartholomä. < >
  • Another image of EXPOSITION DES ACIDES, ALKALIS, TERRES ET MÉTAUX, by TROMMSDORFF, Johann Bartholomä.
  • Another image of EXPOSITION DES ACIDES, ALKALIS, TERRES ET MÉTAUX, by TROMMSDORFF, Johann Bartholomä.
  • Another image of EXPOSITION DES ACIDES, ALKALIS, TERRES ET MÉTAUX, by TROMMSDORFF, Johann Bartholomä.
  • Another image of EXPOSITION DES ACIDES, ALKALIS, TERRES ET MÉTAUX, by TROMMSDORFF, Johann Bartholomä.
An expanded translation

EXPOSITION DES ACIDES, ALKALIS, TERRES ET MÉTAUX, de leurs combinaisons en sels, et de leurs affinités électives, en douze tableaux. Traduit de l’allemand par P. X. Leschevin.... avec des notes. A Dijon, de l’Imprimerie de L. N. Frantin, et se trouve, a Paris, chez Ant. Aug. Renouard, Libraire, rue Saint-André-des-Arcs, no. 42. [An] X.

1802. 4to, large paper copy; pp. [iv], 20; with 12 double-page letterpress tables mounted on guards; text printed on fine, thick paper; some occasional light foxing and soiling throughout, but otherwise clean and crisp, endpapers a little more browned and stained; in contemporary full mottled calf, with triple ruled gilt border, spine attractively tooled in gilt with green morocco label, tail of spine nicked with small loss, joints rubbed, with some light wear to surfaces and extremities; a very good copy. A lovely large-paper copy of the first French edition of Trommsdorff’s noted classification of chemical compounds ‘Darstellung der säuren, alkalien, erden und metalle’ (1800), of note for the 12 detailed and attractively printed double-page letterpress synoptic tables. ‘The twelve double page tables follow closely the German original. Philippe Xavier Leschevin de Précour (1771-1814) made this translation from the German Erfurt 1800 edition. The translator has added a long preface commenting on the differences between the views of the French chemists and those of Trommsdorff. Leschevin also gives supplementary materials in the preface and some notes in the tables, including an added earth in table II’ (Cole, 1292). The translation received a favourable review in the Annales de chimie, XLII, pp. 223-4.
Of the original edition, Neville notes: ‘In the present important work, which is a greatly enlarged version of his Allgemeine uebersicht der einfachen und zusammengesetzten salze (Gotha, 1789, 4 tables), Trommsdorff (1770-1837) classifies chemical compounds into three distinct types: acids, alkalies, and metals and their salts. He also takes into account single and double elective attractions in tabular form, as well as the new French nomenclature, with references to the researches of contemporary chemists (e.g., Bergman, Berthollet, Kirwan, Klaproth, Richter, Scherer, and Wenzel). “Trommsdorff was the first German chemist (1789) to separate acids and bases from the class of ‘salts’” (Partington, III, 588). Other editions: Gotha, 1800; Erfurt, 1806 (see Bolton, 79). Professor of chemistry at Erfurt, Trommsdorff was a prolific author whose writings became very popular in Germany and appeared in several editions and translations (see D.S.B., XIII, 465-466). Rare. Not in Duveen, Ferguson, Partington, Smith, etc. (Cole, 1291; Edelstein, 2323; Ferchl, 543; Poggendorff, II, 1137).’ (Neville II, p. 566).
‘The great aim of his life was to improve the scientific position of pharmacy, and the value and success of his efforts were universally recognised. He was elected a member of many academies, was created a Prussian privy councillor and a knight of the Red Eagle, of the third class. He was a man of active and methodical habits, with a great facility for work and clearness of ideas... his library, laboratory and apparatus, all provided by himself, were superior to those of many public institutions’ (Ferguson, p. 473).
Both the original German edition and the present French edition are relatively uncommon. First published in the same year as Fourcroy issued his more general series of 12 larger synoptic tables, Tableaux synoptique de chimie’, as Duveen noted for that work, though Trommsdorff’s tables are smaller in size, the scarcity could well be due to tables being removed to be displayed on the walls of lecture theatres.

Bibliography: Cole 1292; not in Duveen, Ferguson, OCLC locates copies of this French edition at the Huntington, Georgia, Chicago, Wisconsin and the Science History Institute and the BnF.

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