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ANDRY, Nicolas (1658–1742)

L’Orthopedie ou l’art de prevenir et corriger dans les enfans, les difformites du corps. Le tout par des moyens a la portee des peres & des meres, & de toutes les personnes qui ont des enfans a elever. Tome Premier -Second.
Paris, La veuve Alix, Lambert & Durand, 1741.

First edition. In 1741, at the age of 83, Nicolas Andry published his pioneering work, the first monograph on orthopaedics. Even the term ’Orthopaedics’ is here used for the first time. In his Preface Andry gives the explanation of the word: “As to the title I have formed it of two Greek words, viz. orthos, which signifies straight, free from deformity, and paidos, a child. Out of these two words I have compounded that of Orthopaedia to express in one term the design I propose, which is to teach the different methods of preventing and correcting the deformities of children.” ”Andry grasped the crucial principles that the muscles in balance are the molders of the body in childhood and that weakness in a muscle, resulting in a muscle imbalance, can result in the onset of a deformity during growth. He therefore recommended that the offending muscle be subjected to a course of exercise, by which deformities could be prevented or cured. His methods were simple but ingenious ... He also believed that deformities on children were caused by ill-fitting or restructive clothing and by unnatural postures enforced by badly designed children’s furniture.” (quoted from Nigel Phillips in One Hundred Books Famous in Medicine). Andry advised attention to proper posture in the prevention and correction of spinal curvature and had a practical knowledge of body mechanics, and long before Per Henrik Ling in Sweden he stressed the importance of moderate exercise and gymnastics. Several of the plates depict children in bad postures and some mechanical aids.

Collation: Pp (4), xcviii (mispag. cxviii) 345, (3); vol. II: pp (2), vi, 365, (5) privilege, Avis (2), 47, (1) blank. With engraved frontispiece and 14 engraved plates.

Binding: Two volumes, contemporary half calf, richly gilt spine with five raised bands, red and green spine labels, marbled endpapers.

References: Garrison-Morton 4301; Grolier, One Hundred Books Famous in Medicine 42; Norman Library 55; Lilly Library, Notable Medical Books, 113; Eimas, Heirs of Hippocrates, 697; Bick, Source book of Orthopedics, 67-68; Keith, Menders of the Maimed, 191-92, 203-06; Still, The History of Pedicatrics, 352-59; Hagelin, SLS, 110-11 (second ed. 1743). Waller 418.

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