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First and only edition of an important manual on the construction of telescopes and microscopes: the first work by one of Euler’s most important students, printed in St. Petersburg

FUSS, Nicolas.
Instruction détaillée pour porter les lunettes de toutes les différentes especes au plus haut degré de perfection dont elles sont susceptibles tirée de la théorie dioptrique de Mr. Euler le pere et mise a la portée de tous les ouvriers en ce genre. Avec la description dún microscope qui peut passer pour le plus parfait dans son espèce et qui est propre à produire tous les grossissemens qu'on voudra.
St. Petersburg, Académie Imp. des Sciences, 1774. 4to. With 2 folding engraved plates. Contemporary Russian mottled calf, richly gold-tooled spine. Rebacked (ca. 1810?). [10], 83, [1 blank] pp. plus plates.
€ 7,500
First and only edition of an important manual on the construction of telescopes and microscopes, the first publication by Nicolas Fuss (1755-1826), who grew up in a modest Swiss family but was to become one of the leading mathematicians and astronomers of his generation. The majority of Fuss's writings present solutions to problems raised by Leonhard Euler, in the fields of mathematics, mechanics, astronomy and geodesy. Euler's memoirs had been published earlier, but they were inaccessible to most people working in optics. Fuss published the present work, giving a very simple and rather schematic résumé of Euler's work. He listed "a number of formulae for the construction of telescopes with a magnification of five to fifty times, for achromatic telescopes with three lenses and a magnification from 25 to 320 times, and for achromatic telescopes with four or five lenses" (Daumas). Fuss gave all the necessary theoretical measurements for constructing these instruments. It ends with a description of a microscope with an achromatic objective of three lenses.
With a small brown stain in the lower outside corner of the last few leaves, a small tear in the gutter margin of one leaf and small stains in the foot margin of another, but otherwise in very good condition and with large margins. Rebacked and restored at an early date. DSB V, pp. 209-210; Daumas, Scientific instruments, pp. 152-153.
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