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A NEW PUMP INVENTED BY AN ENGLISH ENGINEER. ONLY EDITION.

COMIERS, Claude (d. 1693)

Lettre de Monsieur Comiers ... sur l’Excellence, & usages de la nouvelle pompe , & de la nouvelle machine pour élever les eaux. Construits par les sieurs Ralph du Deel [et] John Burnaby [brace] Anglois & associez

Paris: no publisher’s name, 1682
4to, pp. 8.
1 full page engraved plate ‘Machine Royale pour elever les eaux 1682’, unsigned.
Condition: 255 x 195mm. Insignificant soiling and waterstaining.
Binding: Old marbled paper wrapper, recent stitching, evidence of former stab sewing.
First and only edition?
£1,500

A rare pamphlet promoting a new form of pump invented by Ralph du Deel and the Englishman John Burnaby. I have not been able to identify either engineer.
Much of Comier’s letter is taken up with the history of water raising machines from Archimedes and Vitruvius to those erected by a certain M l’Escuyer at three places in Paris in 1641. He then explains the benefits and power of the new machine which surpasses all previous pumps, and is capable of raising water or projecting a jet to more than 30 feet with the least effort. The plate shows the external appearance and the dimensions are given in the text, but the mechanism remains a secret – except that it does not use a piston and there is no friction. Figure 2 shows a mechanism by which the new pump can be powered by two men and used as a fire engine or water cannon. The machine had received the approbation of the Académie Royale des Sciences in November 1681
The text is in the form of a letter from Comiers, ‘Prévost de Ternant, Professeur des Mathematiques à Paris’ to the Marquis de Seignelay and is dated at the end Paris, 3 March 1682. Comiers wrote on a variety of scientific subjects, including his own inventions and improvements to machines published in the Journal des sçavans between 1676 and 1678(see Hoefer, Nouvelle biographie generale, XI, 334–5).
OCLC records 3 copies in France and Burndy (Huntington) and NYPL in North America.
Keywords:     hydraulic engineering