Gibson, Robert; A Treatise of Practical Surveying; which is Demonstrated from its First Principles. Wherein Every Thing that is Useful and Curious in that Art, is fully Considered and Explained……The Whole Illustrated with Copper Plates….The Seventh Edition…(1st American edition), with Alterations and Amendments, Adapted to the use of American Surveyors. Philadelphia, Joseph Crukshank, 1796. Octavo, pp. viii, 288, 2nd title page, Mathematical Tables, 90, 2, 60. 13 folded plates.
The work is complete and in a contemporary full calf with gilt spine titles. The binding is tight, scuffing and light soiling to boards. Light toning to text, with some light foxing to plates. Signature of Elijah Brooke on title page and second title page with 5th January 1802 date. In good condition. Rare 1st American edition.
Robert Gibson was a Irish mathematician and teacher who had a keen interest in Isaac Newton and his works on mechanics, optics and astrophysics. He was to become the deputy surveyor general of Ireland (1752-1760). He published a work on Newton but is best remembered for his Treatise of Practical Surveying”. The work appeared in several editions including a 1st American edition in Philadelphia and one in Baltimore. It is speculated that George Washington who was a surveyor at the time used Gibson’s work to learn the trade. It is known that Thomas Jefferson made use of Gibson’s work and Jefferson’s copy is now in the Library of Congress. In the late eighteenth century the expansion and exploration into areas of the United States that were previously unsettled created a heightened need for accurate and consistent surveying techniques. Gibson’s work was to standardize the process by providing surveyors with a definitive guide to surveying. Gibson’s work contains extensive coverage of the geometric principles involved in surveying property, as well as details on the different surveying methods that may be employed by a surveyor.