Thomson, Thomas; Outlines of Mineralogy, Geology, and Mineral Analysis. By Thomas Thompson, M.D. Two Volumes. London: Baldwin & Cradock. 1836. Quarto, vol. 1, pp. viii, 726, 2. Vol. 2, pp. vii, 566, text illustrations.
The set is complete and in a contemporary full calf with gilt spine titles. Bindings are tight, restoration along spines, marbled text block edges and end sheets.Presentation leaf in each volume to Dr. David Thomas with two later penned signatures on end sheet. Text is clean and bright. In very good condition.
Thomson (1773-1852) was a Scottish physician, chemist and mineralogist. He was educated at St. Andrews and Edinburgh and upon completing his studies became a chemistry instructor. He was a sub-editor for the Encyclopedia Britannica, writing articles on both chemistry and mineralogy. These contributions were to form the basis for his four volume set “ System of Chemistry, published in 1802. He moved to London and founded the journal Annal of Philosophy in 1817 and became a lecturer at Glasgow University. In 1836 he published “ Outlines of Mineralogy…”. This work was an updated contribution to his “System of Chemistry and focused strictly on mineralogy and geology. The objective of the work was to promote the advancement of mineralogical chemistry by collecting numerous facts from scattered sources together with much original research, and present them as a cohesive system, in which new discoveres could be reported. In the work Thomson determined the chemical constitution of all the known mineral species that he could procure through the same ridgid chemical analysis. His procedures are fully described in the third section of the text. As a result of this process, Thomson discovered many new species, which are described in these volumes for the first time. Thomson also presented a foundation of research that provided the best and longest list of chemical compositions of minerals written to that time, and showed the importance chemistry would play in mineralogy in the coming decades. This is highlighted by the fact that the minerals are arranged on the basis of their chemical composition and not by their physical properties as was typical of the time. In addition, Thomson provides in the second section of the text, interesting observations on the chemical compostion of various rocks, anticipating the importance of geochemistry. The text is divided into three parts: I. Description of all known minerals.; II. Account of nature and position of different rocks in the crust of the earth.; III. Detailed methods by which minerals may be analyzed.