New York:. First edition. Wear to head and tail of spine and extremities. Joints cracked but sound. Foxing throughout, most significantly to endpapers. Still a decent copy of an uncommon work by Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps, a scientific writer, leader in women’s educational reform, and the sister of Troy Female Seminary founder Emma Willard. Contemporary sheep with gilt spine. Twelvemo. viii, 9-448 pp. With 158 numbered diagrams showing chemistry equipment and illustrating experiments described in the text. Item #16833
Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps (1793 – 1884) notes in the preface that the present work was written for young women, particularly for the students of the Troy Female Seminary, and follows up on her basic guide Chemistry for Beginners (1843). She also explains that the research of Emma Willard, her older sister, served as the foundation for Familiar Lectures on Chemistry. Phelps also credits Willard’s interest in culinary chemistry as the inspiration for the present work, which details principles of inorganic chemistry and relevant experiments (p. vii).
Phelps was an educator, school administrator, and author with a lifelong dedication to women’s educational reform. Her first and most notable work is Familiar Lectures on Botany (1829), the best-known botany textbook of her day, which went through new editions almost every year until 1875. Along with her science textbooks, she also wrote novels, essays, lectures, and memoirs. Phelps served as the president of the Patapsco Female Institute in Maryland between 1841 and 1856 and, in 1859, became the third woman to be elected a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.