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Magnetism At Sea

BARLOW, Peter. An Essay On Magnetic Attractions, And On The Laws Of Terrestrial And Electro Magnetism. Second Edition, much enlarged and improved... London, J. Mawman, 1823.

8vo., xii, 303 pp., (1) f. (errata); 6 engraved plates at end. Library stamp on title and several leaves. Bound in buckram. Plates lightly foxed; text clean. Good overall.


First published London, 1820, this is the second enlarged edition of Barlow's shipboard study of magnetism.

In 1819 Barlow became interested in the compass deviation caused by the iron in ships. He therefore investigated the action of terrestrial magnetism and conducted a series of experiments on the interaction of iron objects and compass needles. His results, published as Essay on Magnetic Attractions, described a method of correcting ship's compasses by use of a small iron plate. For his discoveries in magnetism he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1823 and received the Copley Medal in 1825.- DSB I.459-60

This second edition has important additions on a number of subjects: the rate of the chronometer as affected by the magnetism of ships; the author's two-fluid theory; the magnetic action of iron spheres, bars, and masts; and experiments in electro-magnetism.

The mathematical ability of the self-taught Peter Barlow (1776-1862) allowed him to make a mark in English scientific circles.

* Wheeler gift 765a.

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