Paris: Victor Masson, 1858. 1st Edition. In Volume 52, FIRST EDITION OF "THE BEGINNING OF BACTERIOLOGY AS A MODERN SCIENCE," Louis Pasteur and "the first demonstration of the connection between a specific fermentation and the activity of a specific living micro-organism (Garrison-Morton 2472). In Volume 53, Archibald Scott Couper’s paper is a seminal work in organic chemistry. Three volumes bound as one.
PASTEUR: At the request of a vintner from the north of France, Pasteur began to examine why alcohol becomes contaminated with undesirable substances during fermentation. Pasteur saw fermentation as a biological process and soon demonstrated that each sort of fermentation is linked to the existence of a specific microorganism or ferment -- a living being that can be studied by cultivation in an appropriate, sterile medium. This insight is the fundamental basis of microbiology, and it delivered the fatal blow to the doctrine of spontaneous generation, the theory held for twenty centuries that life could arise spontaneously in organic materials.
"Pasteur's first paper on fermentation contains most of the central theoretical and methodological features of his biological theory of fermentation, in particular the concept of fermentation as a product of the growth of yeast, the idea that air is a source of microscopic yeasts and other micro-organisms, and the notion of specificity, in which each fermentation could be traced to a specific micro-organism" (Dibner, Heralds 198).
This paper went through near simultaneous publication in Annales de chimie et de physique, offered here, the Memoires de la Societe des Sciences, de l’Agriculture et des Arts and a much-abridged version that appeared in Comptes Rendus de l’Academie des Sciences in 1857.
COUPER: Couper was one of the founders of modern structural chemistry and the first chemist to use modern structural formulae. In this paper, Couper recognized that carbon atoms can link to each other to form chains. Prior to this thinking, it was believed that molecules could only have one central atom. Couper’s idea made it much easier to explain the multitude of organic compounds that were being discovered.
“The significance of Couper’s new theory resides in two assertions. The first was that the combining power of carbon (later known as its valency) was normally four… Couper was aware that carbon could sometimes exhibit a combining power of two, for example in carbon monoxide… Couper’s second and more radical assertion was that carbon could ‘enter into chemical union with itself’ – its atoms joining together in long chains” (ibid., 47).
REFERENCES: Garrison-Morton 2472; Horblit, One Hundred Books Famous in Science, 82,;Dibner, Heralds 198. Item #1630
CONDITION & DETAILS: Paris: Victor Masson. (Volume 52 is offered here in its entirety) bound with volumes 53 and 54 (which contain many important papers on electricity). Ex-libris with NO spine markings and very minimal interior markings (small stamp on title page and blank front flyleaf). 8vo. 8.25 x 5.5 inches (206 x 137mm). Volume 52: 512 pages, 1 plate. Volume 53: 512 pages, 2 plates. Volume 54: 448 pages, 1 plate, 4 large fold-out tables. Tightly and very solidly bound in maroon cloth with a gilt-lettered spine; minor scuffing to the edge tips. Bright and clean throughout, so much so that we think it unlikely the volume was opened or used at all. Fold-plates all in excellent condition.