Newtonian physics explained to the Dutch, with portrait, map and 34 plates
Petrus & Jan van Musschenbroek. Beginsels der natuurkunde, Beschreeven ten dienste der Landgenooten. Waar by gevoegd is eene Beschryving der nieuwe en onlangs uitgevonden Luchtpompen, met haar gebruik tot veele proefnemingen door J.V.M.
Leiden, Samuel Luchtmans, 1739. 4to (25 x 19,5 cm). 3 parts in 1 volume. , 510, , 511-900, ; 62, 8 pp. With engraved frontispiece portrait, 34 folding plates, 1 folding map.
Contemporary vellum. In good condition. Vellum slightly dirty, lower margin, the map and the 4 plates illustrating the treatise on air pumps with faint waterstain.
The second edition of Van Musschenbroek's impressive textbook on (Newtonian) physics, first published in 1736.
Petrus van Musschenbroek (1692-1761) invented several instruments and did important research in the field of electricity. He is perhaps best remembered as the inventor of the Leyden jar, a device used to build and store electric energy. But his significance lies elsewhere: through his many books he helped disseminate and popularize Newtonian physics.
The present work includes, with a separate part-title, a treatise on vacuum pumps by Van Musschenbroek's brother Jan, an acclaimed instrument maker and possibly the inventor of the magic lantern; the book closes with a price list of instruments manufactured by him.
"The publication of a textbook in Dutch was a reflection of the popularization of the natural sciences in the eighteenth century, which manifested itself also in the formation of societies whose aim was the study of all aspects of the natural world" (Van Bunge).
Bierens de Haan 3486; Cf. Van Bunge et al., The Dictionary of Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Dutch Philosophers I, pp. 718-726.