Edinburgh: Printed by Sands, Murray, and Cochran, 1752. Second edition, expanded by Mair. of a work that delves deeper into the “doctrine of Infinite Decimals” than any of its predecessors. This edition includes the following: an Appendix that is “almost entirely new,” “the doctrine of vulgar fractions...laid down at greater length,” “the origin of decimals more minutely inquired into,” and “several of the methods of operation rendered more simply, easy and concise” (p. v). It is approximately 50 pages longer than the first edition (An Introduction to Arithmetick, 1741). Both editions are scarce. Numerous diagrams and one folding table. Binding extremities lightly rubbed, minor wear to crown of spine. Trivial offsetting to endpapers, a little worming to flyleaf and title-page, not affecting text. Contemporary ink signature on front flyleaf. A very good, clean copy of a scarce book. Contemporary polished calf. Twelvemo. xvi, 312 pp. Item #16089
John Wilson (d. 1746) was a mathematics teacher in Edinburgh. He wrote works on trigonometry, the use of globes, architecture, and spheric geometry. John Mair (1702/3-1769) wrote books on mathematics, bookkeeping, Latin and geography, which were bestsellers in Britain and Ireland and included Bookkeeping methodiz’d (1736) and An Introduction to Latin Syntax (1750). He graduated from St. Andrews University and taught mathematics and bookkeeping at Ayr Grammar School and Perth Academy. Mair writes the following about the first edition of Wilson’s Introduction to Arithmetic: “...on its first publication, it was...soon met with general approbation...He traces things to their source and lays the foundation on first principles...[Wilson] enters deeper into the Doctrine of Infinite Decimals, than any that wrote before him, gives their theory in clearer terms and at greater length...” (pp. iii-iv).