Catalogue Number: 26
An elementary treatise on optics
Sub-Category: Significant book (Aitken collection)
Author: CODDINGTON, Henry
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1825
Time Period: 19th C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Cambridge
Publisher/Manufacturer: J Deighton and Sons
Description Of Item: The book is hardcover 222 x 136 mm and has 196 pages. It has 8 fold-out plates of figures. It covers reflection, refraction, the eye, optical instruments and optical phenomena. Inside the front cover is the bookplate of an Arthur E Franklin and on the fly leaf is a presentation message stating that the book was given to J Franklin on February 9 1830 by his brother Benjamin Franklin.
Historical Significance: Henry Coddington was a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge. This book is presumably a text for students. It has five pages of questions at its end. It was written because the author thought the earlier works of Newton, Harris, Smith and Wood conveyed their information in "such a shape as hardly to be tangible to modern readers". Coddington had attended the lectures on optics of a Mr Whewell in 1819, which the Preface tells us provides the basis for this text. The Nathan Library archive has copies of Smith's Optics of 1738 and Newton's Optics 1706.
How Acquired: Donated by Michael Aitken, honorary archivist
Date Acquired: 1989
Location: Nathan Library. Aitken collection