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153 items found:

Bridges. Report From the Select Committee on Metropolitan Bridges; together with proceedings of the committee. London, ordered to be printed 1854. Foolscap modern cloth backed boards, printed label; xii,xii,195pp and 11 plans, views and elevations (10 folding). Au$800

London struggling with a population doubled in forty years, the railway boom and a goldrush of schemes and proposals by do-gooders, busybodies and chancers made for committee after committee looking at any number of plans, some dull some fabulous. The dull stuff, like tolls, is easy to recognise and skip. The main contender here is pretty damn good: John Pym's Super-Way, an elevated tube that looks something like the Britannia Tubular Bridge and spanned London high above the buildings. Brunel was called in for advice on opening his still unfinished Thames Tunnel for heavy traffic and titans like Rennie were asked to report on the condition and capability of existing bridges for heavy traffic.


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Railways. Victoria. Report of Andrew Clarke, .. Surveyor General, upon Railways; with appendices. Melbourne, Govt Printer 1856. Foolscap folio, the report (ppv-lii) stitched the rest loose in sheets; lii,284pp. Au$50

Clarke gives a history of the varied elaborations of private enterprise in creating a railway system since the first offical moves in 1852 and concludes that "associated enterprise has been found utterly inadequate ... except upon highly objectionable conditions" and that the opening of the Australian inland by rail could only be accomplished by government. There is of course added quantities of technical detail.


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LEES, Frederic Richard. An Argument Legal and Historical for the Legislative Prohibition of the Liquor Traffic: London, Tweedie &c 1856. Octavo publisher's bindstamped cloth (spine faded and chipped at the ends); xvi,318,[2]pp. The contents in good shape. Au$175

A significant argument for prohibition, it was the United Kingdom Alliance prize essay. Lees seems to have become a professional teetotaller barely out of his teens. By his mid twenties he was running the 'British Temperance Advocate and Journal', had pamphleteered against the Owenites, and was well into the umpteen million words fulminating against alcohol that he would publish and deliver by lecture right up to his death in 1897. Here he has trawled the world for evidence of unpleasantness and misdeeds, going so far as to quote a couple of Australian luminaries.


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PRIDEAUX, T. Syme. Dishonesty Exposed. Report on Experiments Made on Board H.M.S. 'Imperieuse' in June 1856, with Prideaux's Self-Closing Furnace-Valve-Door, and the Common Door. [London, privately printed] 1857. Octavo disbound; 16pp. Inscribed 'With the Author's Compts.' Au$65

This is not, as one might hope, the rant of a thwarted crackpot. Prideaux was a well established and well regarded engineer but there is no less bile and fury here for all that. This close account of the scurrilous and fraudulent behavior of those controlling the tests and their inexplicable loyalty to the current equipment is unweighted by too much technical data fortunately and we can read it as an entertaining and telling example of frustrating intransigence in the way of progress. Prideaux ends by offering to equip the navy with his invention without charge and take two years saving in costs as renumeration for the cost of fitting and as payment for the patent.
At the end are testimonies including one by the Captain of the Imperieuse (who was not part of the conspiracy) and a couple of engineering heavyweights - Charles May and William Fairbairn.


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Railways. Victoria. Report of the Select Committee .. Upon Railways; together with the proceedings .. minutes of evidence and appendices. Melbourne, Govt Printer 1857. Foolscap stitched as issued; xxii,158,lxiipp. Au$50

The colony embraces the train, here looking at building a line from Melbourne to Sandhurst and between Geelong and Ballarat. The questions considered are economic, technical and social: civil engineers on bridges, imported railway engineers, local enthusiasts, surveyors, bank managers, contractors.


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[PHILP, Robert Kemp]. Life Doubled by the Economy of Time. London, Houlston & Wright [1859?]. Octavo publisher's decorated cloth blocked in blind and gilt; 160pp, frontispiece. A bit rubbed and the green cloth somewhat faded but quite a good copy with a distinguished provenance: the signature of E.P. Senhouse of Netherhall and in pencil he (she?) notes that it was lent on the 3rd September 1862. Probably just as well, the quite ancient Netherhall and much of its contents were lost through neglect forty to fifty years ago. I see from a tiny note inside the back cover it had reached Steve Finer in Massachusetts by 1996 and it was recently in Michigan but the rest of its history is still blank. Au$95

Philp was a prodigious compiler of self help and useful books so clearly his system for redeeming time must work. His frontispiece diagram is a template, not a ready made. It must be impressed into the memory and adapted. Philp himself sees it as a sort of large projection slide which he can "mentally throw ... upon the wall", which seems intrusive. "My Diagram is constantly before me, appealing to me for action." That action can be associated with simple memory prompts; thus the hour 4 (presumably after breakfast?) entry "A - B -'s, Error, Fenning's" would sort out problems in what seems a problematic life - what with this damn wheel following him around - call at A - B -, order more stock and point out the error in their last account; then to Fenning's Wharf to ascertain the delay in delivery of goods. Added to the Diagram are The Tablet, The Diary and The Bioscope. I leave you to figure them out.


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HOWARD, Thomas. On the Loss of the Teeth; and on the best means of restoring them. London, Simpkin & Marshall 1859. Small slender octavo publisher's blindstamped cloth; 62,[1]pp and a charming frontispiece printed in blue with a before and after overlay. An over possessive medico's bookplate and blindstamp on the front endpapers, rather a good copy. Au$200

A successful little book it seems, there were several printings between 1852 and 1862 (the publishers claim 27 by 1857). Howard, surgeon dentist to the Archbishop of Canterbury, at first seems to approve of artificial teeth made of hippo tusk but later points out that they don't last long. There are similar problems with ivory, gold and natural teeth (recycled from other mouths) which understandably disturb persons of "extreme sensibility and delicacy of feeling". He has, though, invented a "new description of composition teeth" which are "perfectly incorruptible" - their "durability is unbounded". By 1863 Howard had moved from Hanover Square to Fleet Street and extended his hours from 11 till 4 to 10 till 5. Whether this means a thriving business or desperate decline I can't tell.


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Urine. Carlo Magnani-Riccoti. Il Sindaco della Citta di Novara - Manifesto. Novara, Miglio 1862. Broadside 56x39cm tipped on card. Old folds, a nice copy. Au$200

Magnani-Roccoti, first mayor of modern Novara, warns the citizens of Novara that the piss sodden streets of the city will be tolerated no more and that police will prosecute with utmost rigour anyone sploshing urine around the place. I wonder whether the urine issue was related to the recent invention of a beverage by Signor Campari of Novara. And I wonder why the existence of a manifesto against piss strikes me as irresistible.


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CATLIN, George. The Breath of Life or mal-Respiration. and its effects upon enjoyments & life of man. (manu-graph). London, Trubner 1862. Octavo publisher's printed boards (marked, rebacked); 75pp, illustrations by Catlin through the text. A used but thoroughly decent copy. Au$600

First English and best edition; the New York edition of 1861 and the later editions (titled 'Shut Your Mouth and Save Your Life') are printed letterpress and don't have the charm of this lithographed facsimile of manuscript. Catlin's gift to the civilized world is simple to enunciate - sleep with your mouth shut. The theory and practice are little more complex but the benefits are astounding: no more premature death, death of children; no more idiots, lunatics, deaf, dumb, or hunchbacks. This "most important motto which human language can convey" was learned from example during his years of ethnographic labours among some 150 tribes of "wild people" in North and South America. He admits, though, that the exemplary sanitary habits of these people gave them no protection against small-pox and whiskey.


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Rough Nights' Quarters. By one of the people who have roughed it. Edinburgh, Edmonston and Douglas 1866. Octavo disbound; 32pp, title vignette. A mild darker stripe along the front edge where it must have been bound with something smaller. Au$65

Disgusted of East Cheam writes ... . This is a spluttering response to an expose in the Pall Mall Gazette for which an undercover reporter spent 'A Night in a Workhouse'. There is more to it but I finished this pamphlet with the notion that the upright British homeless are a tougher breed than the milksop reporter and any that weren't just needed a decent public school education followed by a hunting expedition to toughen them up.


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Oil. Petroleum. (Correspondence, &c., Respecting Existence of, in New South Wales.) Sydney, Govt Printer 1867. Foolscap folio sewn as issued (a bit used); 22pp, litho map & 2 plates, illustrations through the text. Au$750

The first publication of any note on petroleum in Australia, or at least the possibility of it, and necessary investigations, results of examinations, and so on. The search seems to have been kicked off in 1866 by William Fane de Salis sending out a copy of Lesley's 1865 paper on the Kentucky petroleum basin, 'the only paper as yet published giving any reliable scientific account of the strata' in the hopes that comparative work could be done. That paper is reprinted here, from the copy kindly given by Murchison. What is not in this paper but is in the columns of The Empire is that the Minister for Lands ignored the offer of de Salis and that a Lands Department clerk responded 'the Minister for Lands does not consider it advisable to republish Mr Lesley's pamphlet as proposed by you'. Neither would the Lands Department, 'this incubus'. release Lesley's paper for The Empire to print, prompting the outraged columnist of The Empire to mutter darkly about the 'little games played some time ago in the matter of certain mineral lands at Illawarra'. 'Is there a disinterested and intelligent man in the colony who does not believe in his heart that the blowing of the Lands Office into perdition, with all its accumulated stores of red tape, useless maps, and sickening arrears of correspondence, would be one of the best things that could happen for the welfare of the community?' All this is not quite true, the correspondence in this paper tells a slightly different story but still, in all this is an education in the power of print, most obvious in the ability of the press to push along a recalcitrant bureaucracy but more interesting is the potency held by what was considered the sole copy of an otherwise unobtainable pamphlet. Lesley's paper itself is rare, certainly it was missed by Swanson's bibliography of oil and gas. It's almost unnecessary to add that this Australian paper also doesn't appear.


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ERLE, Sir William. The Law Relating to Trade Unions. London, Macmillan 1869. Octavo publisher's cloth, ix,92pp. Au$150

A presentation from Erle to fellow judge Sir Edward Vaughan Williams. Begun as part of the Trade Union Commission to ascertain the state of existing laws, the work grew "beyond the immediate scope of our commission" and is here published separately. "Many of the principles were obtained by my own induction .. I intended .. to state the law as it is, and only rarely express an opinion as to what the law ought to be." This was really a primer for the other commissioners.
"A very lucid exposition," says the DNB but the reviewer for The Spectator differed vehemently. Erle received a thorough thrashing for his appalling style and grammar which, rather than hiding clear thought displayed too clearly the "looseness of his thought". A week later the same writer (J.M.L. - a champion of labour) returned to deliver another drubbing to Erle and this book, this time sounding an alarm about the wider dangers of Erle's specious claim to have published an opinion free book before the Commission's report was finished.
Erle is credited with being the formative influence of the 1871 Trade Unions Act which redressed the illegality of trade unions in law - credit that seems undeserved in many ways as the liberality of the act is the legacy of the minority report - and I bet J.M.L. would have something to say about that.


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Woogaroo lunatic asylum. Report from the Joint Select Committee on the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum, together with the proceedings ... and minutes of evidence. Brisbane, Govt printer 1869. Foolscap disbound; [4],73pp and nine litho plates: plans and elevations. Au$450

Woogaro, Queensland's first lunatic asylum, was opened in 1865 and was a disaster: built in the wrong place, badly staffed, badly managed, with woefully inadequate buildings. Two inquiries were held in 1869, one by public servants and this one by a parliamentary committee. The focus here is on the buildings, the general plan and proper management. From this inquiry came the 1869 Lunacy Act. The committee recommend buildings on the "cottage" system and given the choice between plans by Tiffin and Suter - illustrated here - chose Suter's. He crammed twice the number of patients into each building at a saving of £18 per head.


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SWINBURNE, Algernon Charles. Ode on the Proclamation of the French Republic. September 4th, 1870. London, Ellis 1870. Octavo publisher's printed wrapper; 24pp. A few minor signs of use but a pretty good copy. Au$100

First edition of Swinburne's characteristically tormented and fairly blood-thirsty paean to the Republic.


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. [Dai Nihon Kunizukushi - Eiji Santai]. Tokyo, Wan'ya Keihe 1871 [Meiji 4]. 18x13cm publisher's wrapper (a bit used, label missing); 36pp on 18 double folded leaves; opening right to left. Au$300

A writing guide teaching how to read and write the English alphabet in its three guises but not in English. One of the earlier attempts at formulating what is now Romaji; Hashizume here standardizes Japanese place names into phonetic transliteration. The Portugese missionaries had formulated a romanised system so that missionaries could instruct their Japanese victims without having to learn how to read Japanese but once they were tossed out of Japan such a system was quickly forgotten. It was only with the Meiji restoration and orders from the top that modernisation must follow that making Japanese intelligible to westerners became a desirable skill. Worldcat finds a couple of copies in Japan, none outside.


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BEALE, Lionel S. Life Theories: their influence upon religious thought. London, Churchill 1871. Octavo publisher's brown cloth; xii,97,[2]pp and six coloured plates. Spotting of the endpapers but a nice, bright copy. Au$75

A good example of the weight of authority arrayed against wrong-headed fashion. Beale was no lightweight in the medical establishment and Churchill were authoritive publishers of medical books. Beale stood firm against the germ theory and here he stands firm against physical theories of nature. The coloured plates are from microscope studies (which Beale is possibly now best known for) - evidence that this is no mere theological argument.


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. [Sekai Shobai Orai - literally World Trade Traffic]. Tokyo 1871? 180x120mm publisher's wrapper (title label with a small chip); 26 double folded leaves; one full page colour and numerous small colour illustrations throughout, a half-page plain illustration inside the front cover. Clearly a read copy, with some small blotches and smudges but still rather good. Au$750

First edition it seems of this delightful and handy bilingual vocabulary of world trade giving the English, with Japanese explanations, of a wide range of terms, place names, goods, and so on. I've seen a couple of copies of the second edition, 1873, not in colour. Neither can I find a record of a colour copy of any edition. Waseda University illustrates a copy of the 1871 edition with the half page illustration inside the front cover in colour but not anything else. Clearly even workaday Japanese books like this can be intricate enough to please any French bibliophile.
Hashizume, who specialised in handbooks on trade and on foreign languages, produced, I think, three of these guides for merchants with similar titles. This is the first and the next two supplement this.


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[Wasei Jutai Iroha]. Tokyo, Yoshidaya Bunzaburo 1871 [Meiji 4]. 165x63mm, publisher's wrapper with title label (rumpled and forgivably grubby); 30pp accordian folding. Used but a more than decent copy. Au$475

A nifty little pocket book - that opens right to left like western books - teaching how to write English letters but not in English. This teaches how to write Japanese phonetically with the English or romanised alphabet - what was to become romaji. The Portugese missionaries had formulated a romanised system so that missionaries could instruct their Japanese victims without having to learn how to read Japanese but once they were tossed out of Japan such a system was quickly forgotten. It was only with the Meiji restoration and orders from the top that modernisation must follow that making Japanese intelligible to westerners became a desirable skill. At the end are numbers, the twelve animals of the zodiac - more or less, unfamiliar characters and spelling defeated the writer or block cutter on a few - and the seasons and points of the compass.
This seems rare, both in and outside Japan. OCLC finds no copies and my searches of Japanese libraries finds only one copy - in the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. [Sekai Shobai Orai - literally World Trade Traffic]. Tokyo, Seikichi 1871 [Meiji 4]. 180x120mm publisher's wrapper (a bit rumpled); 26 double folded leaves; one full page and numerous small illustrations throughout. Title page on yellow with a man operating some mysterious, to me, mechanism. Au$385

First edition of this handy bilingual vocabulary of world trade giving the English, with Japanese explanations, of a wide range of terms, quantities, goods, professions, and so on. I used to think the bibliography of Hashizume's handbooks on foreign trade was straightforward: three, this, the first in 1871 following it up with two more in 1873. Since then I've discovered variants and variants of variants. There are some of the expected amusing errors in spelling and typography but far fewer than in the later books.


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[Eiji Kunmo Zukai or Ei Kuno Zukai depending on the transcriber]. Kyoto, Ogawa Kinsuke 1871 (Meiji 4). 225x155mm publisher's wrapper with title label; woodblock illustrations throughout. Some worming and a marginal stain, neat repairs to the first few margins. A very decent copy with its colour illustrated outer wrapper, this smudged and rumpled but complete and untorn. Au$750

A rare and most appealing illustrated introduction to English. To an extent unseen in any other non-western culture faced with the colonial ambitions of the west the Japanese controlled their own re-education. They were not showered with unwanted primers by missionaries and other pious businessmen. They produced, printed and determinedly digested their own, using whatever sources they could find, the occasional hired expert and their imagination.
The more I look at books like these, which were assiduously studied, the more I wonder how anyone learnt any English. How many Japanese went to their graves calling a camera a desk and hoping for an opportunity to introduce 'pluckant' into conversation? Leaving aside errors, books like these make no sense as tools to me but tens, hundreds of thousands of Japanese students set out with these as guides on the road of bunmei kaika - government sponsored enlightenment and civilization - and got there way faster than anyone should have. In fact the more I think about it the more I wonder how anyone learns any language.


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Yanagawa Shunsan. [Seiyo Tokei Benran]. Tokyo, Yamatoya Kihee 1872 [Meiji 5]. 185x80mm publisher's stiff wrapper with title label (marked), accordian folding to form 34pp with woodblock illustrations throughout. A nice copy. Au$750

An introduction to the western watch and its workings and - more important - western time and how to tell it. Roman numerals and the hour, minute and seconds hands are explained and a series of watch faces guide us through the rest of the intricacies of measuring time in the western style. Obviously for the pocket, this could be hauled out with the new gizmo when its fledgling owner was stumped. Or even by a non-watch owner faced with a public clock. At the end the thermometer is illustrated and explained too.
This is not to say that the Japanese hadn't already mastered the clock. Since the Jesuits introduced clocks in the 16th century Japanese clockmakers had developed complex weight and spring driven mechanisms to run timekeepers according to the unequal hours of day and night, varying according to season. But in 1872 the government switched from the lunar calendar to the solar calendar and abolished traditional timekeeping and a whole nation had to start again from scratch.
Makes sense to me that daylight hours are longer and night hours shorter in summer and the reverse in winter. We all know that despite what the clock says all hours are not created equal. Bring back traditional Japanese timekeeping I say.


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English, Japanesh, Small Dictionary; [Eiwa haya-gaku jibiki Binran]. Tokyo, Osaka? 1872 (Meiji 5). 16x6cm publisher's wrapper with title label; illustrated title in English on red paper, 30pp accordian folding, first page printed in blue. Owner's inscriptions on the covers. A pleasing copy, a most pleasing book. Au$300

Perfect for the narrowest pocket, or sleeve maybe. The explanatory Japanese with each of the 509 entries is tiny and clear. Osaka Women's University has a copy and that's all I could find anywhere. The NDL database lists it only on microfilm as part of a collection of English studies titles issued in the seventies.


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ALLEN, Charles Bruce; Murata Fumio & Yamada Koichiro. [Seiyo Kasaku Hinagata]. Tokyo, Gyokuzando 1872 (Meiji 5). Four volumes 23x15cm publisher's wrappers with printed title labels. Illustrations through the text and full page plates - copper engravings. A most restrained nibble to the very edge of the cover and first few pages of one volume; a rather good copy. Au$1250

The first western architecture book published in Japan. I'm intrigued by the choice of the modest 'Cottage Building, or hints for improving the dwellings of the labouring classes' - one of Weale's utilitarian Rudimentary Treatises. Why not European grandeur? American mass production? Allen's small book first appeared in 1849-50 and remained in print, progressively updated, into the 20th century. This translation was made from the 1867, sixth edition.
A sensible enough choice I guess but when has sense played any part in the introduction of new ideas? Murata Fumio edited 'Seiyo Bunkenroku' (1869 &c) - based on the reports of the Takenouchi mission of 1862 - which focused on England so the connection is clear enough. That there was any significant group pushing for philanthropic reform this early in the Meiji restoration comes as a surprise to me; perhaps this book was chosen as a slap in the face to the opponents of westernisation and modernisation. Ostensibly it was a response to the 1872 Tokyo fire. Allen's book was given by an Englishman to the translator as useful for information on fire-proof buildings. Could it be that simple?
Worldcat finds no copies outside Japan, a search of the specialist libraries I can think of found no more.


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. [Zokuhen Sekai Shobai Orai]. Tokyo, Gankinya Seikichi 1872 (Meiji 5). 180x120mm publisher's wrapper without title label (cover marked); 26 double folded leaves; one double page illustration and several small illustrations through the text, title page framed in blue Fairbanks standing scales. Mildly used. Au$350

First edition I think of this handy bilingual vocabulary of world trade giving the English, with Japanese explanations, of a wide range of terms, quantities, goods, professions, and so on. I used to think the bibliography of Hashizume's handbooks on foreign trade was straightforward - three, the first in 1871 following it up with two more in 1873. Since then I've discovered variants and variants of variants. This book isn't 'Zokuzoku Sekai Shobai Orai' as I first thought. The contents are completely different. Zokuzoku begins with foreign measures of quantity, this begins with foreign currencies. Like that the English text has been cut in wood, it isn't type. There are some endearing spelling mistakes, mishapen or reversed letters and odd truncations - fewer than in the later book - but more puzzling than these are some of the chosen terms for Japanese traders to learn. The tools of trade for printers and binders are included, which makes sense - as do fruit and vegetables - but how many merchants dealt in camels and leopards?


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Hashizume Kan'ichi. [Sekai Shobai Orai - literally World Trade Traffic]. Tokyo 1873 [Meiji 6]. 180x120mm publisher's wrapper (title label gone, titled in manuscript on the front cover); 26 double folded leaves; one full page and numerous small illustrations throughout. Au$325

Second edition? - first published in 1871 - of this handy bilingual vocabulary of world trade giving the English, with Japanese explanations, of a wide range of terms, place names, goods, and so on. Hashizume, who specialised in handbooks on trade and on foreign languages, produced, I think, three of these guides for merchants with similar titles. This is the first and the next two supplement this.


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