Dana, James D.; A System Of Mineralogy: Including An Extended Treatise On Crystallography: With An Appendix, Containing The Application Of Mathematics To Crystallographic Investigation, And A Mineralogical Bibliography. With Two Hundred And Fifty Wood Cuts, And Four Copper Plates, Containing One Hundred And Fifty Additional Figures. 1st edition, New Haven: Published By Durrie & Peck and Herrick & Noyes. Hitchcock & Stafford, Printers, 1837. Large octavo, pp. xiv, 452, & pp. 119, 4 folding plates, 250 woodcuts.
The work is complete and in a contemporary calf with gilt titles and marbled text block edges. The binding is tight and clean with light scuffing and light wear to the binding, light foxing to text and minor light foxing to plates. Book plate of Essex Institute on paste down. In very good condition.
James D. Dana (1813-1895) was a prominent American mineralogist and geologist. Educated at Yale he quickly came under the influence of the professor of chemistry, Benjamin Silliman. It was Silliman who led to Dana’s career as a mineralogist and geologist. Silliman had Dana appointed to an assistant-ship in the chemical laboratory at Yale. From 1838-1842 Dana participated in the Wilkes Expedition, a famous American scientific voyage. Upon his return to New Haven, Dana commenced publishing his observations made during this voyage. The work appeared as Zoöphytes, Crustacea and Geology, a specialized work that received much praise. His experiences also led to his arguments in support of Darwin's theory of evolution. When a position opened, he was made professor of mineralogy and geology at Yale. At the age of 24 Dana published his System of Mineralogy In 1837. The treatise is one of the most significant contributions to American mineralogy. After an introduction, the work is divided into six parts. Part 1 covers crystallography. Part 2 discusses the physical properties of minerals. Part 3 covers the chemical properties of minerals. Part 4 covers taxonomy. Part 5 covers determinative mineralogy and part 6 covers descriptive mineralogy. An extensive supplement covers mathematical crystallography, chemical classification and concludes with a valuable catalogue of works on mineralogy.