CAVENDISH'S EXPERIMENTS ON AIR, IMPORTANT 1784 FIRST APPEARANCE
CAVENDISH, Henry. Experiments on Air. ISSUED WITH: Remarks on Mr. Cavendish's Experiments on Air. In a Letter from Richard Kirwan. ISSUED WITH: An Answer to Mr. Kirwan's Remarks. ISSUED WITH: Reply to Mr. Cavendish's Answer, by R. Kirwan. BOUND WITH: Experiments on Air [Part II]. Read June 2, 1785. EXCERPTED FROM: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Volume 74. [London: Lockyer Davis and Peter Elmsly, 1784-85]. Small quarto, modern marbled wrappers; pp. 119-53, 154-69, 170-77, 178-80, 372-84. Housed in custom portfolio. $7500.
First edition of Cavendish's experimental proof that water is composed of oxygen and hydrogen and therefore not a separate element unto itself, with a folding plate. As issued in Philosophical Transactions for the year 1784.
"Cavendish was the first to prove experimentally that hydrogen ('inflammable air') and oxygen ('dephlogisticated air'), when mixed in the proper proportions and fired, produce their own weight in water" (Norman). This paper, along with the short supplement he published in Philosophical Transactions the following year, disclosed the compound nature of water and thereby destroyed the elemental status of "water" in the Aristotelian system. Norman 420. Garrison-Morton 925.