Tractatus Quinque Medico-Physici : quorum primus agit de sal-nitro, et spiritu nitro-aereo. Secundus de respiratione. Tertius de respiratione foetus in utero, et ovo. Quartus de motu musculari, et spiritibus animalibus. Ultimus de rhachitide.
Five Medical-Physical Treatises : the first of which deals with salt-nitro and spirit of nitro-air. The second on respiration. Third on the respiration of the fetus in the womb and the egg. Fourth on muscular motion and animal spirits. The last on rickets.
John Mayow (1643–1679) was an early researcher of respiration and the nature of air. Mayow published tracts on respiration and rickets while studying at Oxford in 1668; in 1674 these were edited and reprinted with three other tracts (De sal-nitro et spiritu nitro-aereo, De respiratione foetus in utero et ovo, and De motu musculari et spiritibus animalibus) as Tractatus quinque medico-physici.
This work establishes a theory of combustion supported by thoroughly detailed experiments. Mayow concludes that air consists of at least two constituents, the "nitro-aerial" spirit, which supports combustion and respiration, and the "sal-nitro", an inert volume present after combustion or respiration. Despite preceding the discovery of oxygen by a century, Mayow provides a semi-accurate anatomical description of the mechanism of respiration.
Digitization includes the engraved frontispiece portrait of Mayow, the title page, and 6 folding copperplates.
1784 (Date attributed to balloon design), 1909 (Date attributed to postcard)
Mayow, John. Tractatus Quinque Medico-Physici : Quorum Primus Agit De Sal-Nitro, Et Spiritu Nitro-Aereo. Secundus De Respiratione. Tertius De Respiratione Foetus in Utero, Et Ovo. Quartus De Motu Musculari, Et Spiritibus Animalibus. Ultimus De Rhachitide. Oxford, England: E Theatro Sheldoniano, 1674. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/a9ut8rx.
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