Harris, John. Lexicon technicum: Or, an universal English dictionary of arts and sciences.... London: Dan. Brown, Tim. Godwin, John Walthoe, & others, 1708 [& 1710]. Folio (40.2 cm, 15.875"). 2 vols. I: Frontis.,  ff.; 5 plts. (of 7 called for); illus. II:  ff. (lacking 2 ff. (Pp. 3–4)), 44 pp.,  ff., 120 pp.,  ff.; 7 plts.; illus.
Second edition of vol. I and first edition of vol. II of the Lexicon technicum: This work is, according to Printing and the Mind of Man, “the first English encyclopaedia arranged in alphabetical order” and also “appears to be the first technical dictionary in any language.” It includes articles on law, the church, math, science, and technology, including logarithmic, trigonometric, and astronomical tables. In vol. II, along with other significant pieces by him, is the
first appearance in print of Newton’s only published work in chemistry, De natura acidorum. The plates include two detailed views of a ship of the line (the second of which gives an interior view, carefully labelled), a detailed view of the human circulation system, and a schematic for a barometer. The entries are also illustrated with numerous in-text woodcuts and engravings. The frontispiece is a fine conventional engraved portrait of Harris, by G. White after R. White. John Harris (1667?–1719) was a clergyman, mathematician, and topographer, as well as secretary of the Royal Society.
This second edition of vol. I exists in two states, with variant ESTC numbers: This one has a cancel title-page with the name of Mary Coggan substituted for that of Francis Coggan in the list of publishers. Harris issued a three-page proposal for this work in 1702, and the first edition, in one volume, appeared in 1704. This second edition of vol. I appeared 1708 and the first of vol II in 1710, the latter proclaiming in its introduction, “In this second volume . . . the matter is intirely new, and without any repetition . . . of any thing in the former . . . .”
The Lexicon technicum apparently proved popular, as it was reprinted a number of times, the last issue appearing in 1744.
Printing and the Mind of Man 171; O'Neill, Cordell Collection, H-20 & H-21; Horblit 25a; ESTC T142406 & 142408. On Harris, see: The Dictionary of National Biography, XXV, 13–14. Tan calf with remnants of sumptous gilt: dry, chipped, and abraded with joints open but sewing holding. Lacking 2 leaves and 2 fold-out plates in vol. I, and 2 leaves in vol. II. Small hole in vol. I, Aaa1, with loss of a few words. A few tears in margins not affecting print, and a closed tear into the text in vol. II, pp. 107–108 without loss. Some light soiling and foxing and occasional small spots; some pages lightly browned. Pressure-stamps, including to frontispiece and title-pages. All edges speckled red. Much matter and enjoyment to be had here.
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