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PASTEUR, Louis (1822–1895)

Études sur la maladie des vers a soie, moyen pratique assure de la combattre et d’en prevenir le retour.
Paris, Gauthier-Villars, 1870.

First edition of one of Pasteur’s most important works. “The French chemist and microbiologist Pasteur may well be the best-known scientist the world has ever known. The variety and number of his important discoveries make it difficult to select which are the two or three most important. . . . The present work is one of his most important, dealing with his studies on a disease of silkworms which was ruining the French silk industry. He isolated the bacillus causing the disease and devised the method by which it would be eliminated. From this study he turned to a study of fowl cholera and anthrax, again isolating the specific bacilli causing the disease and finding that prevention and cure could be effected by inoculation with artificially growen cultures of the bacilli producing the disease. This led to what is perhaps his best-known discovery, a curative vaccine for hydrophobia.” Heirs of Hippocrates. The book contains outstanding examples of copperplate reproductions of photomicrographs, as well as drawings from nature.

Collation: Vol. I: pp xii, 322, photogravure frontispiece and 36 plates (13 helio-lithographed, 21 engraved and 2 photogravure; 12 hand-coloured) by P. Lackerbauer. Vol. II: pp 327, (1). One helio-lithographed plate by Lackerbauer.

Binding: Two volumes in contemporary red half calf.

References: Garrison-Morton 2481; Heirs of Hippocrates, 1897; Norman Library, 1657; Sparrow, Milestones of Science, 159; Osler, 1549; Cushing, P 140; DSB, X, pp 350-416. Waller 11926.

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