The Reading Room Exhibit Case in Honor of Professor Ron Yoshida, Lehigh University Provost 2000-2004, given with love by Sharon Yoshida


N. Bion (1652-1733). 
The Construction and Principal Uses of Mathematical Instruments.   London:  Printed by H.W. for J. Senex and W. Taylor, 1723.    

This text is supplemented by twenty-six engraved folding plates depicting early eighteenth-century instruments including mathematical and astronomical apparatus, telescopes, clocks and sundials, and slide rules.  Bion, a cosmographer and producer of globes, was known as the “Chief Instrument-Maker to the French King.”


Henry Kater (1777-1835) and Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859).
A Treatise on Mechanics. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1831.   

First published in London in 1830, this collaborative work combined the expertise of two scientists.  Captain Kater, a Vice President of the Royal Society at the time this work was published, was a geoscientist who contributed the chapter on balances and pendulum.  The Reverend Lardner was a prolific science writer and lecturer who edited the 133-volume series The Cabinet Cyclopedia.  Illustrated with twenty-one plates of mechanical gear, including pulleys, pendulums, and levers, it served as an instructional manual for early engineers.


Sir Hugh Plat (1552-1611?). 
The Jewel House of Art and Nature:  Containing Divers Rare and Profitable Inventions, Together with Sundry New Experiments in the Art of Husbandry.  London:  Printed by Elizabeth Alsop, 1653.    

This is the third edition of a compendium of 149 recipes, inventions, and experiments, and the first to be supplanted by “an additional discourse of several sorts of stones, minerals, with gums, and the rare vertues and uses thereof.”  Recipes and advices range from methods of preserving various fruits and vegetables to instructions on building small bridges inexpensively.


Sir John Maxwell (1791-1865).
Manual Labour, versus Machinery, Exemplified in a Speech, on Moving for a Committee of Parliamentary Inquiry into the Condition of Half-a-million Hand-loom Weavers, in Reference to the Establishment of Local Guilds of Trade.  London: Cochrane and M’Crone, 1834.

By the beginning of the 19th century, Lanarkshire, Scotland had become an industrialized community with extensive hand-loom weaving operations.  However, working-class populations felt the impact of the introduction of machinery into the factories, as their standard of living quickly declined.

John Maxwell, the Member for Lanarkshire, was a landowner and politician who petitioned Parliament to provide financial assistance to hand-loom weavers in Great Britain.  Fears of the workers being replaced by steam-powered textile machinery were being realized, as workers’ jobs were eliminated and wages were lost or reduced.  Receiving an unsatisfactory response from Parliament, Maxwell published this pamphlet to better publicize his position on the perceived inequalities, particularly where taxation was concerned.  In his appendix, Maxwell includes: “Affadavits of general distress, rates of wages and prices of provisions for a series of years, and a demonstration of the effects of heavy taxation on human industry when subjected to competition with untaxed machinery.”


François Lecoy. 
Méthode simple et facile pour lever les plans, suivie d'un traité du nivellement et d'un abrégé des règles du lavis… Paris:  Duponcet, 1805.    

This second edition was enlarged and corrected to provide the reader with the most up-to-date information on surveying and map-making. It was so successful that it went through five editions in less than fifty years.  The first part of the book was intended to guide rural residents through the process of surveying their properties.  The second describes the tools necessary to complete this process, while the third section details the process of map-making through inclusion of a dozen foldout engraved plates.


Franz Karl Hillardt (1804-?). 
Du choix d'une profession industrielle.  Paris:  Pradel et Goujon, 1844.    

This text, which was intended to aid readers in the selection of a profession in industry, was first published in German in 1837.  In it, the author covers the advantages of such a career, citing education and qualifications necessary for success in fields such as agriculture, mining, textiles, construction, and printing.  Hillardt, who was a professor at the Prague Conservatory, evaluates working conditions and the future of selected professions from an economic standpoint. 


James Renwick (1792-1863).
Report on the Water Power, at Kingsbridge, near the City of New-York, Belonging to the New-York Hydraulic Manufacturing and Bridge Company.  New-York:  Samuel Marks, 1827.    

Professor James Renwick of Columbia University was a leading engineer of his time.  He was a recognized authority in every branch of engineering.  He was prolific author and travel companion of Washington Irving.  He surveyed the border of Maine and New Hampshire with New Brunswick, Canada. He investigated the feasibility of uniting the Delaware and Hudson rivers by a canal which resulted in the Morris Canal.  He was awarded the Franklin Institute’s Silver Medal in 1826. 

This report was a feasibility study for making a canal for better navigation of the notoriously twisting Spuyten Duyvil Creek to connect the Hudson River to the Harlem River.  The Kingsbridge area of the Bronx was so named because of a bridge built in 1693 across the Spuyten Duyvil Creek to connect Manhattan to the New York mainland.  Eventually in 1895 the Harlem River Ship Canal would be built based on the need for a connection of the Hudson River with the Harlem River.  The Spuyten Duyvil Creek was filled in but the Kingsbridge area of the Bronx still exists.


E. C. Hussey.
Home building: a reliable book of facts, relative to building, living, materials, costs, at about 400 places from New York to San Francisco.  New York: [The Author], Leader & Van Hoesen, 1876.

This book of architectural plans for residences across the country shows plans for forty-five houses with prices for construction in New York. The majority represented here are stick-built. The text also evaluates building conditions in 400 cities and towns across the country, providing information about the cost of labor and materials.