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Base du systeme metrique decimal, ou mesure de l'arc du meridien compris entre les paralleles de Dunkerque et Barcelone, executee en 1792 et annees suivantes.
. Paris, Baudouin & Garnery, 1806-1810. Three volumes in three. Large 4to (27 x 21 cm). 2,190 pp., 28 large, folded, engraved plates. Uniform original blue marbled boards. Printed paper label on the spines.l The very rare original publication on the measurement of the meter and its introduction as an international standard of length. "In 1790 the Academie des Sciences, at the request of Talleyrand, set up a commission to consider the question [of an international metric system]; among its members were J. C. Borda, Lagrange, Laplace, G. Monge, and Condorcet. In 1791 they reported that the fundamental unit of length should be derived from a dimension of the earth: it should be the ten-millionth part of a quadrant of the earth's meridian extending between Dunkirk and Barcelona. As this distance was already approximately known, a provisional metre was at once adopted...The astronomers Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre [1749-1822] and Pierre Francois Andre Mechain (1744-1805) were charged with the task of measuring accurately the newly adopted length along the meridian arc between Dunkirk and Barcelona. Owing to the disturbances of the revolutionary period their work was much impeded, but in 1799 their measurement was complete" (PMM, p. 157). This work "embodies their report" (PMM). Today, the metric system is used in all but a few countries, the most notable exceptions being Myanmar and the United States of America. A total breakdown of pages and plates is as follows: I (1806): ii, 551 pp., 8 plates; II (1807) xxiv, 844 pp., 11 plates; III (1810) 707, 62 pp., 9 plates. Boards worn, some loose. Damp staining to either the top or bottom gutter, more extensive on the last page sections and most plates. But in all still a good, complete set. Norman, 1481; PMM 260..
      [Bookseller: Dieter Schierenberg BV]
Last Found On: 2015-06-09           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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