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CONGREVE, Major General Sir William
A description of the sights, or, instruments for pointing guns; proposed by Major General Sir William Congreve, Bart. for the use of the Navy, and now adopted in that service. With an account of the practice made with them on board H.M.S. Liffey*. To which is added a short review of the proceedings relative to these sights: and a series of instructions for the use of them, shewing that they may also be applied to ascertain the distance of an enemy's ship at sea, and giving a very simple rule for this important application of them.
London: printed by J. Whiting; published by T. Egerton, 1819. royal 8vo., 3 engraved plates (2 of which are folding), vi + (7) - 25 + (2) + 24 - 55 + (1)pp., including the half-title (which has some soiling), original soiled boards, neatly rebacked. A very good large copy with the contemporary ownership signature of 'Henry Beaufoy**, South Lambeth. April 1820'>, at head of title. Second edition. A relatively little known contribution to military technology by William Congreve (1772-1828), best known now for his designs for military rockets, the 'Congreve Rocket system', which he regarded as in every way superior to conventional military and naval ordnance. Among the 18 or so patents taken out by Congreve between May 1808 and February 1827, none appears, however, to be for his gun sights. * H.M.S. Liffey (1813-1827) was a 40 gun (later 50 gun) Endymion-class frigate built for the Royal Navy by Wigram, Wells & Green at Blackwall on the Thames. Launched in 1813, H.M.S. Liffey saw action in the First Burmese War but was finally broken up in July 1827. ** Henry Beaufoy was a son of the astronomer and physicist Mark Beaufoy (1764-1827), a founder member of the Society for the Improvement of Naval Architecture. It was Henry who in 1834 was to publish his father's experimental research into the relationship between hull shapes and water resistance. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
Bookseller: John Drury Rare Books ABA ILAB [Manningtree, United Kingdom]
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