Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)
Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)
Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)
Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)
Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)
Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)
Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)
Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)
Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)
Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)

Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)

Manhattan, Kansas: circa 1870. 1/2 leather. This half-leather volume with marbled boards measures 8” x 10.5” and is titled “Lectures on Natural Philosophy.” It contains approximately 140 manuscript text pages and an additional 80 pages with about 150 meticulous hand-drawn illustrations of apparatus and experiments, some in color. The pages are in nice shape. Hinges have cracked and the free endpapers are missing. The cover shows wear; the gilt spine title is legible.

The last page of the notebook is signed, “Henry Lewis / Manhattan / Riley Co. / Kansas”, and a pencil drawing on its first page is titled “Cottage by the Sea” by “H. Lewis.” About midway through the notebook, there is a later pencil inscription that reads “Henry Lewis / A.T.&S.F.R.R.(Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad) / Emporia”. A newspaper clipping announcing Lewis’s 1877 marriage to Jane M. Davis of Big Rock, Illinois is laid in. Online records reflect that Lewis was born between 1852 and 1854 in Arvonia, Kansas.

The text begins with a short introduction to science and the way it was then “separated” into “divisions” and “parts.” The lecture notes then focus on Natural Philosophy and include sections on Somatology (not anthropology but rather the study of material bodies and substances), Comparisons, Impenetrability, Figure, Divisibility, Porosity and Compressibility, Dilatability, Mobility, Inertia, Gravitational Attraction, Electro-magnetical Attraction, Molecular Constitution of Matter, Atomic Theory of Boscovich, Capillary Attraction, Chemical Attraction, Elasticity, Laws of Boyle and Mariotte, Mechanics, Friction, and Mechanical Powers. Very good. Item #009267

Manhattan, Kansas was the home of Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University). The land-grant college opened in 1863. Catalogs from its early years show that Natural Philosophy was a mandatory freshman class for students enrolled in both its Classical and Agricultural-Science Courses. By the early 1870s, college publications used the term Physics instead of Natural Philosophy. Although Lewis’s name does not appear in a 1914 school-published “Record of Alumni,” that book notes the alumni list only included names of students who “have finished the course,” and did not contain the “thousands of men and women . . . who did not graduate."

Instead of finishing college, Lewis apparently took a position with the Santa Fe Railroad. Although the first 75 miles of the railroad were not completed until 1871, its tracks reached Emporia in September of 1870. (See Snell and Wilson’s “The Birth of The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad” in Kansas Historical Quarterly, Autumn 1868, and A geographically correct county map of the states traversed by the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe Railroad and its connections, 1880.)

A fascinating record of the birth of Physics education for the common man and woman at one of the first U.S. land-grant agricultural colleges. As of 2019, an unillustrated book of Chemistry lecture notes from Brown University is for sale in the trade. The Rare Book Hub shows that only three sets of Natural Philosophy notes (all from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland) have been sold at auction in the last forty years. OCLC shows only seven institutions hold similar Natural Philosophy lecture notebooks; none of those notebooks are from land-grant schools and only two are noted as being illustrated.

Price: $1,000.00

See all items by