MENDELEIEV / MENDELEEV O barometricheskom nivelirovanii i o primenenii dlia nego vysotomera. (=Sur le nivellement barométrique et l’utilisation de l’altimètre / About barometric levelling and about application of the altimeter)


The precusor of the altimeter by Mendeleev

Extremely rare first edition of this work presenting for the first time the barometer invented by Mendeleev. St Petersburg, 1876. No copy listed in any public institutions worldwide.

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MENDELEEV, Dmitri Ivanovich. O barometricheskom nivelirovanii i o primenenii dlia nego vysotomera. (=About barometric levelling and about application of the altimeter). St Petersburg, Université de la ville, 1876.

Large 8vo [252 x 158 mm] of (2) ll., viii pp., 184 pp., 1 folding plate. Two stamps from the Library of west Siberia on the half-title, allowing the sale of the copy. Preserved in its original beige printed wrappers, untrimmed. Spine of the wrappers worn, small portion of the tail of the spine missing.

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Extremely rare first edition of this first presentation of the barometer invented by Mendeleev.

Dmitrii Ivanovich Mendeleev (1834-1907) is one of the most important scientists in the history of Russia and in the history of science. He discovers in 1869 the periodic law of chemical elements – one of the main laws of natural science. Mendeleev wrote a great number of works among which the famous « Osnovy khimii » (principles of chemistry) in 2 parts, 1869-1871, the first detailed presentation of inorganic chemistry. Tending towards the basic research in chemistry, he also specializes in technology, physics, metrology, meteorology, aeronautics, etc. He created the basis of the theory of liquids, and proposed his own way of cracking division of oil, invented a type of powder without smoke, and promoted the use of fertilizers, the irrigation of dry lands. He will be one of the main founding members of the Russian Chemical Society (1868). He will remain professor of chemistry at the University of St Petersburg from 1865 to 1890.

Mendeleev is the inventor of what he will call a “differential barometer” or altimeter. At the beginning of the 1870’s, in application of his gas density researches, he decides to use the normal barometer before understanding that he doesn’t need to define the absolute meaning of atmospheric pressure but the exact meaning of its changes. With this aim, he builds the differential barometer which is considered by all specialists as the precursor of the altimeter. The very high precision of changes of pressure is reached thanks to the unusual choice of the manometrical liquid. From 1872 to 1876 Mendeleev studied very carefully the various possibilities of construction of his barometer and its improving. The final construction of the equipment is presented in this work of a great scarceness. Mendeleev was considering several fields of application to this barometer thanks to the definition of the modulation of altitudes of the various points of the ground. It would be used for the construction of railroads and in any kind of geological and forest researches before giving it its aeronautical letters patent of nobility.

« The centenarian of the independence of the United States was marked by an international fair in Philadelphia in June 1876. The town received various eminent personalities, famous for their contribution to the scientific or artistic fields. The local newspaper published the names of the famous people present at the exhibition. A new type of barometer, invented by the Russian chemist Mendeleev, was listed under n°241 of the catalogue of inventions and innovations exhibited. »

The present treatise is illustrated with a folding plate showing a view and a side section of the barometer.

A precious copy of this extremely rare scientific work, complete with its folding plate and preserved untrimmed in its original printed wrappers.

We couldn’t locate any copy of this work in a public institution worldwide (OCLC, COPAC, ccfr).


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