Navigation improv’d: or, the art of rowing ships of all rates, in calms, with a more easy, swift, and steady motion, than oars can. Also, a description of the engine that performs it; and the author’s answer to all Mr. Dummer’s objections that have been made against it
London: Printed and Sold by James Moxon, 1698.
London: Printed and Sold by James Moxon, 1698. First edition. Small quarto (7 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches; 190 x 142 mm). , 22, [2, publisher's advertisements] pp. With one folding plate, and three engraved figures tipped in to the text. With two pages of publisher's advertisements. No complete copy on ABPC with the folding plate in the past 50 years. Bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe in full dark blue morocco. Spine lettered in gilt. Board edges ruled in gilt. Gilt double-ruled dentelles. Original stab-marks visible. Previous owner's bookplate on front pastedown. Small bookseller sticker on each pastedown. Leaves a bit toned. Overall a very nice copy.
"In the year 1696, Thomas Savery, Gent., obtained a patent for his 'new invention, consisting of mill work to grind and pollish looking glasses, coach glass plates, and marble stones; and, also, for rowing of Ships with greater ease and expedition than has hitherto been done by any other.' This invention consisted in moving a paddle-wheel on each side of the ship, by men turning round the capstan, and thereby giving motion through ropes to the axis of the wheels. Savery published a very interesting pamphlet on the subject of this invention in 1698, entitled 'Navigation Improved.' In the same year he obtained a patent for 'raising of water and occasioning motion to all sorts of mills works, by the impelling force of Fire (steam engine), which will be of great use for draining mines, serving towns with water, and for the working of all sorts of mills where they have not the benefit of water nor constant winds.' He also published a very interesting account of this his improved steam engine in 1701, entitled the 'Miner's Friend'" (Woodcroft).
"In 1696 [Savery] patented (no. 347) a machine to grind and polish plate glass, and a contrivance for rowing ships in a calm using two paddle-wheels worked by a capstan. William III thought highly of the second invention, but although Savery demonstrated its practicability
by fitting it to a small yacht, official jealousy prevented its adoption in the navy. Undeterred, he published an account of his invention in a work entitled Navigation Improved (1698), and this contained a denunciation of his treatment in official circles (ODNB).
ESTC R183251. Wing S773. (Item #3029)