Item #17292 First American Edition of A Seminal Lecture on Explosives. F. A. Abel.

First American Edition of A Seminal Lecture on Explosives

First Edition

Abel, F.A.. On Recent Investigations and Applications of Explosive Agents, A Lecture Delivered to the Member of the British Association at Edinburgh, August 1871. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1871. First American edition in original wrappers. A 9 x 6" pamphlet with 35 pages and a folding chart. Sir Frederick Augustus Abel was an English chemist who became the leading authority on explosives of the British War Department. Abel notes in this work that gunpowder "no longer enjoys a monopoly in connection with some equally important applications to naval, military, and industrial purposes". He and his collaborator James Dewar were in part responsible for this shift when they invented cordite, a type of smokeless powder that saw wide use as the 19th century drew to a close. However, this brought him into legal conflict with fellow explosives pioneer and namesake of the Nobel Prize, Alfred Nobel, for infringement of his patent for ballistite, another smokeless propellant. This work, printed for the edification of US military officers after the Civil War, is an early and influential analysis of alternatives to the gunpowder, which had been the explosive agent for centuries. This piece is in very good condition overall despite some minor spotting to cover.

Item #17292

Price: $500.00