Leipzig: Grossium & J.F. Gledoitschium, 1690. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION OF PAPIN’S DESCRIPTION OF HIS INVENTION OF THE STEAM ENGINE & A “MILESTONE PAPER IN THE HISTORY OF CALCULUS” by Jacob Bernoulli (Kiranyaz, Pattern Recognition, 19).
PAPIN: Denis Papin was a French mathematician, physicist known for his invention of the steam digester, forerunner of the pressure cooker, and of the steam engine. “One of the features of his ‘digester’ was a pressure-relief valve, consisting of a small piston held in place by a weight that could move up and release steam when the pressure got too high… This piston valve gave Papin the idea for a steam-driven piston engine, for which he had constructed a model by 1690” (Linda Hall Library). Papin’s paper offered here details both his invention and the model he constructed.
“Papin powered his engine with a cylinder similar to his pressure cooker, which he attached to a piston connected to a cord over two pulleys. He filled this cylinder with a “small quantity” of water and lit a fire beneath it. The resultant steam drove the piston upward, where a latch held it in place. He then removed the fire, causing the steam to condense and form a vacuum. This pulled the piston downward, which engaged the rope over the pulleys. The device could lift 60 pounds once a minute, but Papin believed a larger machine could raise as much as 8,000 pounds four feet per minute. This device was nearly identical to later engines that fueled the Industrial Revolution” (Crown, The Digester, AOb, July 18, 2018).
The story as to why Papin’s steam engine often gets left out of the story of the development of steam power, with more attention given to Savery and Newcomen is complicated. Apparently,“the Royal Society was so intent on burying Denis Papin's 1690 invention of a paddle-wheel-driven steamship, worked out in collaboration with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, that it stole his work, and created a mythical story of how two British ‘Newtonian’ heroes, Savery and Newcomen, invented the steam engine, for the sole purpose of raising water from coal mines” – a myth that persists to this day (Valenti, Leibniz, Papin and the Steam Engine: A Case Study Of British Sabotage of Science, American Almanac, 1996).
“Leibniz and Papin developed the steam engine based upon a scientific hypothesis concerning the nature of the Universe, elaborated by Leibniz in such "metaphysical" writings as his Monadology. The fact that modern technology emerged as a result of a purely philosophical conception, as opposed to Newton's logical/empirical ideology and his hatred of all hypotheses (other than his own), is what the British Royal Society… sought to suppress” (ibid).
BERNOULLI: Jacob Bernoulli’s paper is “important in the history of calculus since the term integral appears for the first time with its integration meaning” (Kiranyaz, Pattern Recognition, 19). In it, Bernoulli showed that the problem of determining the isochrone is equivalent to solving a first-order nonlinear differential equation. The isochrone, or curve of constant descent, is the curve along which a particle will descend under gravity from any point to the bottom in exactly the same time, no matter what the starting point. It had been studied by Huygens in 1687 and Leibniz in 1689. After finding the differential equation, Bernoulli then solved it by what we now call separation of variables. Henceforth, the problem has been known as “the Bernoulli equation,” and is considered “important in the history of calculus” (St. Andrews, Math History). Item #1427
CONDITION & DETAILS: Leipzig: Grossium & J.F. Gledoitschium. 8vo. (22 x 18 cm). , 609, [6 index], 2. 11 partly folded copperplate engravings. Handsomely bound in contemporary calf; six bands at the spine with gilt-tooled compartments and gilt lettering (small smudge at letter A for Acta). Minor scuffing to the board; the binding is tight and solid. Marbled endpapers. Bright and clean throughout. Very good condition.