Rare Book: Rennie, Rev. Rohert; Essays on the Natural History and Origin of Peat Moss
Item Number: Book 720-C
Rennie, Rev. Rohert; Essays on the Natural History and Origin of Peat Moss: The Peculiar Qualities of that Substance; The Means of Improving it as a Soil; The Methods of Converting it into a Manure;and the other Economical Purposes to which it may be made Subservient. Edinburgh, George Ramsay & Co., 1810. Quarto, pp. xvi, 665.
The work is complete and in a 20th century speckled calf with gilt titles. The binding is tight and pristine. X-lib from the early New York Academy of Sciences library with the book plate preserved on paste down and rubber stamp on the title page and final page edge. An exceptionally nice copy of a very rare work.
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Rohert Rennie (1762-1820) was the minister of Kilsyth in the county of Stirling, Scotland from 1789 to 1820. Throughout his life he observed many of the natural features of Scotland but was particularly intrigued with the peat deposits, their origins and uses. Over several years he wrote down his thoughts and put them into essays on the subject. There are nine essays which begin with essay number three. At the rear of the work a summation of essays one through three are provided. The essays cover ligneous plants; aquatic plants; the changes and combination by which vegetable matter is converted into moss ; the simple and compound substances that may he expected and are really found in peat moss ; the alliance between peat, coal, and jet; the alliance between peat and other bituminous substances ; on the distinguishing qualities of peat moss; on the sterility of moss in its natural state, and causes of it; on the different kinds and classification of peat moss. Rennie published a much shorter version of his work on peat moss in 1807 and added many new thoughts for the 1810 printing. This remains one of the earlier studies of peat moss.