(1701 – 1774)

Journal du voyage fait par ordre du Roi à l‘équateur, servant d‘introduction historique à la mesure des trois premiers degrés du méridien.

Paris, Imprimerie Royale, 1751.II) Mesure des tois pemiers degrés du méidien dans l hémisphere austral. Paris, Imprimerie Royale, 1751. – Bound at the end: Nouveau projet d‘une mesure invariable, propre à devenir universelle. Extrait d‘un Mémoire lû à l‘assemblée publique de l‘Académie des Sciences le 24 Avril 1748, par M. de La Condamine. No place, no date.IV) Supplément au Journal historique du voyage à l‘équateur, et au livre de la mesure des trois premiers degrés du méridien: servant de réponse à quelques Objections. Paris, Durand & Pissot, 1752. V) Supplément au Journal Historique du Voyage à l‘équateur, et au livre de la mesure des trois premiers degrés du méridien: servant de réponse à quelques Objections de M. B. Seconde partie. Paris, Durand & Pissot, 1754. 3 volumes 4° (254×193 mm). Contemporary mottled calf, spine on raised bands gilt and with labels. Somewhat scuffed. Slightly browned and foxed in places. Stamp removed on titles.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Brunet III, 729; Norman 1249 (Mesure) & 1250 (Journal); Sabin 38479 (Journal), 38483 (Mesure), & 38490 (Supplement).
A complete set in first editions of this seminal account of the first scientific expedition ever.In the 1730s, a scientific controversy arose in France about the shape of the Earth: Newton, whose theory of attraction predicts an Earth flattened at the poles and the famous astronomer Jacques Cassini, who calculates it to be elongated. To solve the problem the Academy of Sciences of Paris sends, by order of the king, two geodesic expeditions, one to Peru in 1735-1744 with La Condamine, Bouguer, Godin and Jussieu, and the other to Lapland in 1736-1737 with Maupertuis, Celsius, and Clairaut. La Condamine was also accompanied by the Spanish naval officers and scientists Jorge Juan y Santacilia and Antonio de Ulloa, who in turn published their account of the expedition.The Journal relates the voyage to Quito and up the Amazon, being the first scientific report of this part of South America. La Condamine drew up a map of Quito, collected more than 200 specimens of natural history-including rubber on which he published a memoir that revealed its properties for the first time-and gave a description of the correct use of quinine to fight malaria. Mesure des trois premiers degrés du Méridien, establishes the accuracy of Newton‘s theory and the Supplément au Journal, is, in fact, his response to the objections that Bouguer addressed to him. And finally in his Nouveau projet d une mesure invariable, propre à devenir universelle, bound at the end of volume II, La Condamine proposes a universal measure of length, which became one of the references for the establishment of the metric system. [369033].