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Herbert Hoover, Agricola, 1912 ed., Signed and Inscribed

The First English Edition
Translated by Herbert Hoover and Lou Henry


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Published in 1556 in Latin, Agricola examines the state of the art of mining , refining, and smelting metals. The author was Georg Bauer, whose pen name was the Latinized Georgius Agricola. The book remained the authoritative text on mining for 180 years after its publication. It was also an important chemistry text for the period and is significant in the history of chemistry.

First edition in English of this lavishly illustrated landmark scientific work, “one of the first technological books of modern times;” translated by the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Clark Hoover, and first lady, Lou Henry.

Hoover, a mining engineer before entering politics, annotated this edition; Lou, a former Latin teacher, was responsible for the bulk of the translation. Includes a life of Agricola, and an appendix of his works.

Merrill, to whom this is inscribed, was himself a mining engineer and author of monographs on mining; and had been a long-time friend of Hoover from their school days at Stanford – which probably explains why Hoover signed with his initials, his nickname.

One of an estimated 1476 copies printed (Norman 21), the number 1220 stamped on title-page. With reproductions of all 270 woodcut diagrams and illustrations included in the 1556 first Latin edition. (Honneyman I, 36. Hoover 28.)

Very good; interior clean; Lt. soil/wear/spotting; 2” tear along joint; but an extremely nice inscribed copy.

Hoover, Herbert AGRICOLA, Georgius. De Re Metallica. Translated from the First Latin Edition of 1556. London: Mining Magazine, 1912. Folio, original full vellum, uncut. Inscribed: “To C. W.Merrill, Esq. / With compliments of / H. C. Hoover.”