French, John


The Art of Distillation, or, A Treatise of the Choisest Spagyricall Preparations Performed by Way of Distillation: Being Partly Taken Out of the Most Select Chymicall Authors of Severall Languages, and Partly Out of the Authors Manuall Experience: Together with the Description of the Ancient and Moderne Chymists: Also a Discourse of Divers Spagyrical Experiments and Curiosities, and of the Anatomy of Gold and Silver with the Chiefest Preparations, and Curiosities Thereof, and Vertues of Them All. . .

Composed by John French. London: Printed by Richard Cotes, and are to be sold by Thomas Williams, 1651. Woodcut ill., initials, headpieces. References: Wing 2169.

French begins with a lengthy introduction addressed to his readers in which he gives some background on and philosopy of distillation. Then he begins his work by defining distillation, followed by a discussion of various heating processes. French provides detailed drawings of diverse types of equipment to assist his readers. There is also a glossary of terms used in this work. The text is divided into six books. The first book deals with the basic principles of distillation. Then, book two discusses compounds of waters and spirits; the third book deals with minerals; the fourth book gives information on waters, spirits and oils simple and coumpound out of animals; the fifth book deals with “various spagyricall experiments and curiosities;” and the sixth book discusses the anatomy of gold and silver. There is a complete table of contents for each book located at the end of the text.

Subjects: Distillation; Chemistry; Medicine.


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