London: Printed for W. Innys, T. Longman and T. Shewell, C. Hitch; and M. Senex, 1747. Hardcover. 2 vols. 4to. 1 f. (advertisement), 1 f. (title-page), lxxv, [1 blank], 475, [1 advertisement); , 389, pp. (numerous errors in pagination following p. 369). With 127 folding engraved plates, COMPLETE. Contemporary English calf (extremities worn), sympathetically rebacked with original labels laid down. Lower gutter margins in vol. 1 with evidence of water staining on first advertisement leaf and title-page (both with infilled paper, not affecting text) continuing through prelimins to p. 9, otherwise the paper stock is extremely crisp and white. Unobtrusive ink stain on lower margin of vol. 1 through sigs. Pp-Uu. In vol. 2 minor worm tracks in lower gutter margins through sigs. 3A-3C. With the early ownership inscription of "Sir Thomas Hay" on p.  in vol. 2. Good. Item #1547
¶ The "last and best edition" according to Babson and other authorities, who correctly note that this one contains twice as many engraved plates as the preceding. ¶ As we learn from DSB the "Mathematical Elements of Physics was easily the most influential book of its kind, at least before 1750. It was a larger, better-argued, and more philosophical work than most of its predecessors; moreover, it leaned heavily on [Newton's] 'Opticks' (including the queries) as well as on the 'Principia.' One should therefore distinguish between ’sGravesande’s roles as an exponent of Newtonian concepts (the rules of reasoning, the theory of gravitational attraction and its applications in celestial mechanics, theory of matter, theory of light, and so forth) and as an exponent of an empiricist methodology disdaining postulated hypotheses. [...] The strength of his exposition was in his perfection of the method of justifying scientific truths either by self-evidence or by appeal to experimental verification in the manner already begun by Keill and Desaguliers, perfected by him through the design of many new instruments constructed by the instrument maker Jan van Musschenbroek, brother of Pieter" (many of these instruments are now preserved in the Rijksmuseum voor de Geschiedenis der Natuurwetenschappen, Leiden). ¶ In Vol. I ’sGravesande discusses the theory of matter, elementary mechanics, Newton's laws of motion, gravity, central forces, hydrostatics and hydraulics, and pneumatics (including a treatment of sound and wave motion). In Vol. II there are chapters on fire (modeled on Boerhaave's ideas rather than Newton's), optics, and "The Physical Causes of the Celestial Motions." According to DSB, "All this is treated with the aid of only trivial mathematics but is enriched with extremely numerous experimental illustrations and examples. [...] No doubt the 'Elements' owed almost as much of its success to its omissions and simplicity as to its clear and positive treatment of what it did contain. It was, obviously, very different from such later expositions as those of Henry Pemberton and Colin Maclaurin, and in many respects both more stimulating and more original." ¶ 'sGravesande (1688-1742) was the earliest influential exponent of the Newtonian philosophy on the Continent. He was invited by Newton personally to repeat some of Newton's original experiments. Many of the plates in the present work demonstrate experiments with light and optics. ¶ See Albert J. Edmunds "The First Books Imported by America's First Great Library 1732" (in: The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 30:3 , p. 302).