[FERRACINO]. MEMMO, Francesco. Vita e Macchine di Bartolomeo Ferracino celebre Bassanese ingegnere colla storia del Ponte di Bassano dal medesimo rifabbricato … Venice, Stamperia Remondini, 1754.
An excellent copy, bound in contemporary vellum over boards, of the first edition of Memmo’s biography of the famous Bassano engineer, Bartolomeo Ferracino.
Bartolomeo Ferracino (also Ferracina, 1692-1777) early earned a reputation for his skills as a clockmaker. Together with the famous physicist and mathematician Giovanni Poleni they built various machines for use in physics classes at Padua University.
Ferracino was ‘interested in machinery from his earliest years, his first invention being a wind-powered saw. Interest in horology and automata produced the well-known clock at St. Mark's in Venice. The most outstanding of his inventions was his Hydraulic Machine which lifted water thirty-five feet from the River Brenta. Because of his fame as an engineer, Ferracino was asked to reconstruct the city bridge of Bassano’ (Roberts & Trent, Bibliotheca Mechanica, 115).
LITTA, Agostino. Dissertazione sopra il quesito con qual proporzione di partis possa costruirsi una Machina, non molto composta, per elevare acqua da stagni a mediocre altezza per la irrigazione dè terreni in maggior copia die quella, che ottengasi colle Machine finora ritrovate colla sola azione di un Cavallo. Mantua, heirs of Alberto Pazzoni, 1782.
Very rare first and only edition of Count Agostino Litta’s description of his ‘idrobalo’, an improved pump for raising water for irrigation purposes.
The pump’s components and construction are described in detail, with reference to the finely engraved folding plate which shows the pump in two images, one in cross section. Operated by horse-power, the pump’s improved design Litta claims to result in a great reduction of friction during operation.
Awarded a prize by the Mantuan Royal Academy of Sciences and Letters, Litta’s work was published posthumously, following the author’s sudden death.