London: Printed for the Author, [n.d., ca. 1787]. Stated second edition “With very considerable Additions.” The first edition, published in 1785 and recorded in ESTC in five copies, has two sets of pagination ending on p. 264 and p. 124, so the present edition is clearly longer. ESTC lists three different “second editions, with very considerable additions” and the same imprint as the copy with similar but not identical collations, which it estimates to have been published in “1790?” It also lists a “third edition with considerable additions,” with a dated title-page of 1787. Obviously, if the 1787 date on the title-page of the third edition is correct, the date of the second edition cannot be 1790. ESTC also lists an edition published in 1796. All of these editions are very scarce. With second half-title for the second part. Illustrated with twenty-four engraved folding plates, including frontispiece. Boards worn and corners a bit rubbed. Endpapers repaired with cloth tape at gutter margins. Intermittent slight toning and foxing to plates and text. Some offsetting from plates. Very small hole to upper margin of pp. 109-110, not touching text, and to margin of Plate X. Short, closed tear to outer margin of plate VI and plate xviii. Outer margin of Plate XIX shaved with a very minor loss of image and text. Neat nineteenth-century ink inscription on front flyleaf. Discreet nineteenth-century ink signature to upper margin of p. 1. A good, clean copy. Contemporary marbled boards, recently rebacked in calf with gilt-lettered red morocco spine label. Octavo. xv, [1, blank], 319, [1, blank], , [1, blank], [2, ad], [4, contents], [3, errata], [1, blank], 176 pp. Item #16560
John Imison (d. 1788) was a clockmaker and printer. He printed The History of the Lives, Acts, and Martyrdoms of Those Blessed Christians in Manchester in 1785) and Richard Falconer’s Voyages (1785). Imison authored several books, including The School of Arts, which was later issued as Elements of Science and Art. A portion of the present work was also published separately as A Treatise of Mechanical Powers (1787). The School of Arts was written as an introduction to the mechanical sciences and their various applications. An array of subjects are discussed, including the elasticity and gravity of air, clockwork, cogs and staves, earthquakes, eclipses, friction, lead, levers, mercury, microscopes, pendulums, wheels and axles, telescopes, the computing the velocity of water, and many others. (Oxford DNB).