1845 Brewster LETTERS ON NATURAL MAGIC First US Edition - Optics, Physics - Book
Letters on Natural Magic
Profusely illustrated throughout with woodcuts, 2 of which have overlays.
Contemporary half calf.
Early ownership inscription to title. Foxing to endpapers. Binding a little rubbed.
Letters on Natural Magic were a series of thirteen letters written by Sir David Brewster in correspondence with Sir Walter Scott throughout 1832. They examined magic created of natural and mechanical occurrences. The Letters covered a wide variety of topics, including :
Authority of ancient magicians
The blind spot
Deceptions with mirrors
Illusions regarding the ear
Musical and harmonic sounds
The Letters also contained a rather extensive examination of The Turk (The Turk was a chess-playing machine constructed in the late 18th century, and exhibited from 1770 for over 84 years, by various owners, as an automaton. Constructed and unveiled in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734–1804) to impress the Empress Maria Theresa, the mechanism appeared to be able to play a strong game of chess against a human opponent, as well as perform the knight's tour, a puzzle that requires the player to move a knight to occupy every square of a chessboard once and only once.