Maury's PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE SEA
Maury, M[atthew] F[ontaine]. THE PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE SEA. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1855. 8vo. 274 pages. Complete with 8 folding plates at rear. Four additional plates printed with the text. Original brown cloth with gilt spine lettering and gilt nautical centerpiece on front cover. [25.3 cm.] Fair to good only. Chips to spine with underlying paper dyed to match surrounding cloth; cracks and chips to front hinge, which is intact internally and sound; edgewear to covers; heavy spotting to rear cover. Moderate but extensive foxing, in no way affecting legibility, and some marginal damping. Plates heavily creased from misfolding and showing some light foxing and marginal stains, but serviceable. Two plates with short, closed tears. Original owner's inscription on front free endpaper reads: "John S. Hardaway, Amelia, 1855." [John Segar Hardaway (1827-1892), of "Glenmore," Amelia County, Virginia.] Gift inscription of a later descendent on same leaf. FIRST EDITION. A landmark work of American scholarship, which "laid the foundations of the modern science of oceanography." --ANB. Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873) of Virginia, was an astronomical officer in the U.S Navy and, from 1854, head of the U.S. Naval Observatory and Hydrographic Office. His several published works on ocean currents and winds are credited with greatly improving sailing times and had widespread economic benefits. Maury's investigations of ocean depths helped make possible the laying of the first transatlantic telegraph cable. He served the Confederate Navy during the Civil War and afterward became the professor of meteorology at the Virginia Military Institute. "The Physical Geography of the Sea" was a publishing success. Five editions were issued during the first year of publication alone and a twelfth was published by 1861. Sabin 46969.
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