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2020-07-28 15:41:04
DURANT, Charles Ferson (1805-1873)
Algae and Corallines, of the Bay & Harbor of New York
George P. Putnam . Printed by Narine & Co, New York, 1850. 43, [1,blank], [2]pp. Title and dedication lithographed. Includes 2pp. press reviews in the rear. 41 leaves with 175 mounted specimens. Many of the specimens with numerical stamps referring to the text. With a few additional specimens, laid in. Publisher's red pebbled-grain morocco, covers elaborately titled and decorated in gilt, flat spine gilt, silk endpapers, gilt edges. Within modern quarter morocco box. One of no more than 50 copies, illustrated with actual seaweed specimens: the first work of its kind in the U.S. According to the press reviews in the rear, Durant had planned 50 copies of his work, though according to a 1907 article by Elizabeth Howe in The Lamp, "the total number completed could hardly have exceeded fifteen." Better known as the first professional American aeronaut than for his algological investigations, Charles Ferson Durant (1805-1873), a native of New York City, accompanied the French balloonist Eugene Robertson on several ascents in Paris before making the first solo balloon flight by a native-born American on American soil, on September 9, 1830. After his marriage, he set up shop as a printer and lithographer and became active in Jersey City politics. His many other interests included the fabrication of the first American native silk, for which the American Institute awarded him several gold medals. He devoted the remainder of his spare time to collecting and classifying the local seaweed, "doubtless because of a business connection with the fish and oyster trade of New York City" (DAB) … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Donald A. Heald Rare Books (ABAA) [New York, NY, U.S.A.]

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