Joslin Hall Rare Books

Curious, Unusual, Interesting & Occasionally Useful Books of the 16th-20th Centuries exploring the skills, trades, lives and ways of other times...

 Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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Report on Water Power. Report of the Committee of the Franklin Institute of Pennsylvania, appointed May, 1829, to ascertain by experiment the value of Water as a Moving Power.

[Philadelphia: 1831].

Well, obviously water power did have value as a means of motive power, as a century's worth of textile and other mills will amply attest... The 14 members of the Committee spent about a year and a half designing and constructing the apparatus to hold the trials, and running the trials, after which this detailed report, chock full of useful tables, was issued. As the author notes: "The importance of accurate knowledge in relation to the effect of water as a moving power and the defective state of information upon that subject, induced the Franklin Institute, in the spring of 1829, to determine that a series of experiments should be made, under its direction, upon a force of water applied by wheels the experiments to be in detail, and upon a scale calculated to give confidence in the practical nature of the results... There is perhaps no subject connected with the extensive branch of mechanics, for which theory has done so little, as for that which consider the effect of water upon wheels the different theories advanced are at variances with each other, and with practice, so that the candid theorist confesses that the circumstances, attending the action, are of so complicated a nature as to baffle his powers of investigation. Experiment, then, can alone guide to results worthy of confidence". The Franklin Institute was founded in 1824 to encourage the propagation of scientific and technical knowledge in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin. The Institute sponsored a series of industrial exhibitions from 1924 to 1838 and awarded gold, silver and bronze medals for technological innovations.

Softcover. 5.5"x8.75", 136 pages, plus 8 engraved plates, three of them folding. Bound in new paper covers text with some spotting and soil, some plates with some foxing, etc. OCLC locates one copy.

Inventory #: 5606
Price: $ 750.00      

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