SULLA AGO-PUNTURA con alcuni cenni sulla puntura elettrica. Lettere ed Observazioni di Francesco Da Camin. Venezia, Dalla Tipografia di Giuseppe Antonelli.
1834. Large 8vo, pp. 46, ; with one folding engraved plate; some faint dampstaining affecting upper margins, more prominent in early leaves, with some light foxing and soiling throughout; small faint and illegible signature in centre of title-page, with small ink markings on front free endpaper; uncut in the original printed wrappers, spine considerably worn with loss though holding firm, with two small holes in upper wrapper, covers quite soiled, with a number of small marginal nicks and some edgewear Rare and influential treatise on the clinical uses of acupuncture and electro-puncture, by Dr Francesco da Camino (1786-1864), and one of the first to be published on the subject in Italy. In a series of letters (to Dr Valeriano L. Brera and Vittore Baratte) followed by ‘Sulla Operazione dell’ Ago-Puntura’ and then a series of observations, da Camino discusses the studies of recent European physicians, before then presenting his own case studies and observations. The work includes a folding engraved plate depicting a number of needles. Included in his survey of recent clinical studies are those of Louis-Joseph Berlioz (father of the composer) who was one of the first to use acupuncture clinically, publishing his account in 1816 in Mémoire sur les maladies chroniques, les évacuations sanguines, et l’acupuncture’. His worked influenced both that of Da Camino, and his compatriot Antonio Cararro, whom he also cites. Other authors discussed include Samuel Cooper, James Morss Churchill, Phillippe Béclard, and Jean-Baptiste Sarlandière’s, whose noted work Mémoires sur l'électro-puncture had been published in 1825. Indeed Da Camino followed Sarlandière in applying electrical currents, for which he used Leyden jars.
Constantino Bozetti’s work of 1820 ‘Memoria sull’ago-puntura’ is considered by many to be the first Italian study of note, followed by that of Antonio Carraro ‘Saggio sull’agopuntura’ (1825), and then the works of Da Camino. From what we can establish, the short ‘Sulla Operazione’ section was previously published in Treviso in the journal Giornale sulle Scienze e Lettere delle Provincie Venete n° 49 (1825), Da Camino subsequently publishing further treatise on the subject in 1847, amongst many other medical articles.
A graduate of Padua, da Camino (also da Camin), worked for a time as head doctor of the surgical department of the Hospital of Trieste. He is also remembered for his surgical treatment of carcinomas.
Bibliography: See Gwei-Djen Lu and Joseph Needham, Celestial Lancets: A History and Rationale of Acupuncture and Moxa, p. 296; OCLC locates copies at the National Library of Medicine, Aberdeen and the Wellcome (copy now digitised).