MALPIGHI, Marcello. Opera Omnia ... London, Robert Littlebury [for the Royal Society], 1687.
First edition of the collected works of Malpighi and a handsome piece of book production by the Royal Society.
‘Malpighi was the founder of histology and the greatest of the microscopists’ (Garrison and Morton).
The two volumes, here bound together, contain Malpighi’s classic works on plant anatomy, Anatome plantarum; embryology, Formatione de ovo in pulli, his treatise on silkworms, De bombyce; along with his various publications on anatomy. These include his Epistolae Anatomicae, and his De viscerum structura exercitatio anatomica, which contains his anatomical investigations of the circulatory system and the discovery of the capillaries, thus completes the understanding of the circulation of blood discovered by Harvey.
It also includes his observations on the tissues of the lungs and their role in oxygenating blood.
KOCH, Robert. Die Aetiologie der Tuberculose. (Nach einem in der physiologischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin am 24. März gehaltenen Vortrage). Berlin, August Hirschwald, 1882.
[offered with:] KOCH, Robert. Weitere Mittheilungen über ein Heilmittel gegen Tuberkulose. Leipzig and Berlin, Georg Thieme, 1890-91.
[and with:] KOCH, Robert. Ueber neue Tuberkulinpräparate. Leipzig, Georg Thieme, 1897.
First editions, the original journal printings, of these famous papers on the discovery of the tubercle bacillus and the treatment of tuberculosis by ‘the great German pioneer, who must share with Pasteur the title of the founder of bacteriology’ (Guthrie, A History of Medicine p. 286).
‘In 1881 Koch’s preoccupation with methodology culminated and began to yield a rich harvest ... Upon returning to Berlin, Koch launched experiments on tuberculosis, convinced of its chronic infectious nature. In six months, working alone and without hint to colleagues, he fully verified the still-disputed claims of J.-A. Villemin, J. Cohnheim, C. J. Salomonsen, H. E. von Tappeiner, and P. C. Baumgarten that the disease was transmissible ... ‘Koch’s chief findings were confirmed wherever his techniques were carefully followed—in the United States, for example, by Theobald Smith and E. L. Trudeau. The demonstration of tubercle bacilli in the sputum was soon accepted as of crucial diagnostic significance, and his co-workers began investigating such problems as the disinfection of tuberculous sputum. Koch himself continued to amass evidence for converting those who clung to the belief that tuberculosis was dyscrasic rather than infective. By 1883 he had induced the disease in over 500 animals of ten species, of which more than 200 succumbed to pure cultures of the bacillus administered by various routes, and had obtained new data on the cultural properties and modes of spread of the causal bacillus’ (DSB).
PASTEUR, Louis, and Jules François JOUBERT. Charbon et septicémie. Paris, G. Masson, 1877.
First edition, the very rare offprint from the Comptes rendus de l’Academie des Sciences (1877), of this highly important paper.
‘Pasteur and Joubert’s paper on anthrax marked Pasteur’s full-fledged entry into the domain of medical research. Pasteur and Joubert challenged the experiments performed by Paul Bert, with which Bert claimed to have shown that blood from a diseased animal could produce death even after the anthrax bacteria had been killed with compressed oxygen. Pasteur demonstrated that Bert, using old blood, had confused anthrax with a form of septicemia caused by the previously unknown putrefactive micro-organism CL. Septicum – the first anaerobic pathogen discovered – which becomes active approximately eighteen hours after death.
‘Pasteur sought to clarify the relationship between anthrax and septicemia, and to demonstrate that CL. Septicum, like the anthrax bacterium, had a dormant spore phase resistant to environmental assault. He also noted the antagonism of Bacillus anthracis to other aerobic micro-organisms, thus foreshadowing the development of antibiosis’ (Norman).