[Chabaneau, Pierre François] Chabaneau, Francisco. Elementos de Ciencias Naturales, Dispuestos de Órden del Rey, por Don Francisco Chabaneau, Catedrático de la Real Escuela de Mineralogia de esta Corte, Individuo Literato de la Real Sociedad Vascongada, y Académico de Número de la Real Academia Médica de Madrid. Madrid: 1790, En la Imprenta de la Viuda de Ibarra, calle de la Gorguera. [title page; vi; erratas; 479 pages; only 3 fold-out pages of plates] 20.5 cm, 8vo; eighteenth century speckled calf (?). Spanish language text. Cover edges and corners scuffed, with page edge rouging all-around, gilt decoration on the spine, slight worming of the spine, occasional faint spotting. There is a presentation inscription in ink on the verso of the marbled front fly-leaf: “Es de Anto[nio] Bustam[en]te q[u]e lo dió D[o]n Augustin Bustam[en]te y Gonzalez. On the title page piece of old paper was pasted over the place on the title page where the words “primer volumen” have been cut out; and, on the last page of text (p. 466) a similar but uncessful effort was made to cover up “fin del primer [parte]”, unnecessarily, as this volume appears to be the only one printed. The title translated: Elements of Natural Sciences, Arranged by Order of the King, by Don Francisco Chabaneau, Professor of the Royal School of Mineralogy of this Court, Literate Individual of the Royal Basque Society, and Member of the Royal Medical Academy of Madrid.
This is a text book by Pierre François Chabaneau 1754 – 1842, a self-taught chemist and pioneering metallurgist, who developed a process for removing the impurities from platinum, thus producing malleable platinum in 1786. Doing his work in Spain, this book was published nine years before he returned to France and the Dordogne. Published in 1790, the year Benjamin Franklin died, this physics textbook includes a detailed account of Franklin’s lightning rod, “para-rayos inventados por Franklin.” Throughout the text, and especially in his chapter titled “De la electricidad ó fluido électrico,” Chabaneau demonstrates he had kept up with recent international experimental results with his detailed footnotes.