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Experiments and Observations - PRIESTLEY Joseph WALD George - 1774. 
1774 - (WALD, George) PRIESTLEY, Joseph. Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air. London: J. Johnson, 1774. Octavo, contemporary full brown calf, raised bands, red morocco spine label. $4500.First edition of the initial volume in this monumental work by a "father of modern chemistry," the copy of Nobel laureate and renowned biochemist George Wald, signed and dated by him, complete with two copper-engraved folding plates, highly desirable in contemporary calf.Priestley's "contributions to the knowledge of gases were crucial" (PMM 217). His "hundreds of experiments on different types of 'air' led to the identification of numerous gases, including ammonia, nitrogen dioxide and (most importantly) oxygen, which he obtained by heating mercuric oxide". Priestley was long credited with the discovery of oxygen, as he was the first to publish his discovery. [His] experiments with gases led Cavendish and Watt to discover the compound nature of water, and it was this revelation, coupled with [his] isolation of oxygen, that formed the experimental basis of Lavoisier's new oxidation chemistry" (Norman 1750). Publication of his experiments on gases "marked an epoch in the history of the science [of chemistry]". He has been called by Cuvier a `father of modern chemistry" (DNB). "Priestley's pneumatic experiments were carried on at such a prolific rate, that following the paper of 1772 [Observations on Different Kinds of Air], it was decided that he should publish his accounts of them in book form. This first volume of Experiments and Observations appeared in 1774, the 2nd in 1775, and the 3rd in 1777" (DSB). Priestley, a friend of Benjamin Franklin, wrote of his "constant correspondence with Dr. Franklin" in their work (Cohen, Benjamin Franklin's Science, 68). With copper-engraved folding frontispiece and rear folding plate, half title, errata leaf and three rear advertisement pages. ESTC T33832. Norman 1750. From the library of Nobel laureate and famed biochemist George Wald, signed and dated 1955 by him. Wald, who helped identify Vitamin A in the retina, was awarded the 1967 Nobel Prize for medicine, along with Granit and Hartline, for discovering the "mechanism by which light triggers off the reaction in the sensory cells of the eye" (Nobel Presentation Speech). In receiving the award, Wald was praised "as 'one of the world's greatest authorities on the biochemistry of perception'" (New York Times). Among Wald's many other awards was the prestigious Joseph Priestley Award, which honors scientists whose work made substantial contributions to the welfare of humanity. Early owner bookplate.Text and plates generally fresh, expert restoration to contemporary calf. [Attributes: First Edition]
[Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
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