"I WAS SEARCHING AFTER THAT WHICH MANY FAR BEFORE ME IN ALL HUMANE LEARNING HAVE SOUGHT, BUT NOT YET FOUND, A PERPETUALMOTION OR SELFMOTION": FIRST EDITION OF DYMOCK'S AN INVENTION OF ENGINES OF MOTION, 1651, IN EARLY CALF BOARDS
[DYMOCK, Cressy]. An Invention of Engines of Motion Lately Brought to Perfection. London: Printed by I.C. for Richard Woodnoth, 1651. Slim, square octavo, 19th-century full brown calf; pp. 14. $3600.
First edition of this collection of two letters describing the author's progress toward a perpetual motion machine, in full 19th-century calf.
This work is comprised of a preface and two letters on the invention of engines to a Mr. Samuel Hartlib. Hartlib "was extensively associated with literary and scientific men, both at home and abroad, in the 17th century. With very moderate means he was enabled to promote the publication of many useful pamphlets by several learned and ingenious men of his time, and among others Cressy Dymock, author of two letters, under the titles of An Invention of Engines of Motion… He is stated to have had a large model at Lambeth; but his printed letters are very indefinite in respect to it, while they are distinguished for a peculiar devotional style. His promises amount to an assurance that all mills of ordinary construction will be superseded by his wonderful discovery" (Dircks, Perpetuum Mobile, 35). The machine or engine that Dymock discusses in the letters is never described and, in fact, Hartlib evidently gave up on ever seeing or understanding it. Hartlib wrote to Boyle several years later that he was no longer as enamored of the universal engine as he had been. While Dymock's machine failed to represent a great advance in the quest for perpetual motion, this work nevertheless stands as an important point in the historical timeline of scientific endeavor. Wing D2971. ESTC R22183.
A3 trimmed closely along bottom edge, light rubbing to extremities of binding. A handsome, near-fine copy. Scarce.