1754-1783: Science, and Medicine: Publications
1754-1783: Science, and Medicine: Publications
William Brown, Pharmacopoeia Simpliciorum (Philadelphia: Styner &c Cist, 1778)—a comprehensive directory of current medicine and drugs, with recommended dosages. This book was entirely in Latin and not intended for laymen;
Lionel Chalmers, An Account of the Weather and Diseases of South-Carolina (London: E. C. Dilly, 1776)—a two-volume effort to systematically determine the effects of climate on health. It includes carefully collected records of weather observations and data on epidemics;
Thomas Clap, Conjectures upon the Nature and Motion of Meteors (Norwich, Conn.: Trumbull, 1781)—published posthumously. Although now proven mostly erroneous, Clap’s hypotheses were generally well received during his time;
William Gerar DeBrahm, The Atlantic Pilot (London: T. Spilsbury, 1772)—the first guide for mariners based on careful surveys of the southeasten Atlantic coast and Florida;
Flora Virginica (Leiden, 1762)—based on botanical discoveries of John Clayton in Virginia. This was the second edition of a 1739 work, incorporating the new classification system of Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus;
Benjamin Franklin, Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America..., fifth edition (London: F. Newbery, 1774)—an illustrated volume of Franklin’s letters describing his theories and experiments in electricity;
Benjamin Gale, “Historical Memoirs, relating to the Practice of Inoculation for the Small Pox, in the British American Provinces, particularly in New England,” in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, volume 55, 1766—Gale championed inoculation to a still-skeptical public;
Hugh Martin, A Narrative of a Discovery of a Sovereign Specific for the Cure of Cancers (Philadelphia: Robert Aitken, 1782)—an example of plausible quackery, Martin’s “secret” concoction contained arsenic, actually a popular contemporary medicinal ingredient. He sought endorsement from George Washington, who replied that “recommendations from those who have been restored to health by the efficacy of your medicine would be vastly more pertinent”;
John Morgan, A Recommendation of Inoculation, According to Baron Dimsdale’s Method (Boston: J. Gill, 1776)—when smallpox broke out in the Boston area after British troops left, American officials advised a general inoculation. Morgan wrote this pamphlet both to advise medical officials and to quiet the fears of the populace;
Andrew Oliver, An Essay on Comets, in Two Parts (Salem, Mass.: Samuel Hall, 1772)—suggesting something akin to “solar wind,” Oliver argued that the direction of comets’ tails was caused by the pressure of the sun’s atmosphere;
Benjamin Rush, Experiments and Observations on the Mineral Waters of Philadelphia, Abington, and Bristol (Philadelphia: James Humphries, 1773)—a comparative study of the supposed medicinal efficacy of mineral springs that describes careful tests of water samples;
Rush, A Syllabus of a Course of Lectures on Chemistry (Philadelphia: Robert Aitken, 1770);
Hugh Williamson, “An Essay on the Use of Comets,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, volume 1, 1771—along with a discussion of cosmic data gained from observing comets, the author suggests that comets are in fact solid heavenly bodies, and probably inhabited;
John Winthrop, Two Lectures on Comets (Boston: Russell & Henchman, 1759)—the return of Halley’s Comet in 1758 confirmed Sir Isaac Newton’s “mechanical” view of the universe. Winthrop’s lectures provided the American reader with the most up-to-date theories and hypotheses concerning comets at the time;
Winthrop, Two Lectures on the Parallax and Distance of the Sun as Deducible from the Transit of Venus (Boston: Edes & Gill, 1769)—the leading American astronomer presents findings based on his observations during the recent transit of Venus.
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