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ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848,
By BENJAMIN PIKE, JR.,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District
of New York.
JOHN WESTALL, Stereotyper.
PUDNEY AND RUSSEL, Printers.
BENJAMIN PIKE, Jr., in presenting to his friends and the public the following Catalogue of Instruments, desires to say, that he has been induced to undertake the collection of materials for such a volume, from the fact that no work corresponding to it is to be found, and the information which it is intended to impart, can only be gathered from a great variety of sources, many of which are works not published in this country. The rapid strides with which the sciences are advancing, and the fact that the arts and manufactures are calling in the aid of some of these instruments to facilitate their processes, while others may be employed in every day use, renders such a volume as this altogether appropriate and useful, if, indeed, it be not absolutely indispensable.
He wishes it borne in mind, that he is not a man of letters, but a mechanic,—a practical workman: this will account for whatever imperfections may be found in style, arrangement, &c.
The instruments illustrated in our modern works on natural philosophy are too frequently represented by old and obsolete cuts, mere copies, book after book, for many years back, furnishing but little idea of more modern articles.
In presenting this volume, the first design has been to illustrate by good drawings, and brief descriptions, articles manufactured in his establishment, or imported
by him, in order that those desirous of obtaining apparatus, and not having an opportunity of personal examination, may yet be able to judge of the style, quality, and price. The usual brevity of the descriptions has in a few instances been departed from, where the instrument has demanded a more extended notice.
Particular pains have been taken, and a large expense incurred, in the illustrations (numbering over 750) of this Catalogue; they are mostly original, and drawn from the most modern and approved instruments.
These articles embrace every variety kept in an extensive Optical and Philosophical Instrument Store; and include almost every instrument used in natural and experimental philosophy.
The author having devoted himself from early youth to the manufacture of these instruments on a somewhat extensive scale, is satisfied that his collection of instruments is not surpassed, if equalled, by any in the country, for extent, style, quality, or cheapness; he therefore solicits with confidence a continuance of that encouragement which he has in past years received, and which he is determined to merit.
Professors of the sciences will find in his establishment a full assortment of instruments suitable for illustration and practical purposes. To his stock have been recently added many large and valuable instruments, and it will be his endeavor to continue to keep pace with the growing demand for good instruments among the scientific community.
Parents and guardians of youth, who feel desirous of promoting a taste for Chemistry and Natural Philosophy in the minds of the young, from seeing what rapid advances these sciences are making, and how necessary their acquaintance to all, will find nothing
promote their wishes, nor their children's enjoyment, more than procuring for them an assortment of apparatus, whereby they may be able to follow up practically those experiments of which they have read in text books of science, or have seen in lectures. The moderate prices of some of these articles are enumerated at the end of this volume.
In the construction of apparatus, it will be the maker's aim to use the various pieces of apparatus to the best advantage, by adapting them to the performance of as great a variety of purposes and experiments as is possible.
The writer might enumerate to his patrons a number of diplomas and silver medals received for his Air-Pumps, Galvanic Batteries, Magnetic Machines, Barometers, Theodolites, Magic-Lanterns, Sliders, &c., at various Fairs of different Institutes; and also the commendatory letters of distinguished Professors in various Colleges and Universities, who are using instruments of his manufacture; but having been long established in this business, he trusts that the character of his instruments is understood, without further reference.
He would beg leave to notice his improved Magnetic Machines for medical purposes; and though, unlike many that have followed in his wake, he has not trumpeted abroad the various cures the instrument has accomplished, yet the remarkable cures it has and still is effecting, are beyond question, although he has declined to publish cases, from the fact that the most remarkable are among some of the very first families of this city, and elsewhere, to whom it would not be agreeable to have an account of their infirmities seen in print. Let it suffice to say, that this instrument arose
to its high reputation, by no efforts of his own to give it publicity, but solely by the cures it accomplished, and which are now very generally known.
As every maker of these instruments claims to make the best, and the last usually makes the loudest claim, he would simply state that his instrument has been, without solicitation, purchased and used by every Hospital and Medical Institution in this city and vicinity, and by almost every Physician, as well as by over one thousand of our own citizens, and also by distinguished persons in various parts of this country and in foreign lands.
His stock of Telescopes and Microscopes will be found very extensive, and together with Optical Lenses and Sliders for the Magic Lantern, form the principal articles that are imported; and for obtaining these from London and Paris direct, and at low rates, he is possessed of unusual facilities.
As the Microscope is capable of affording a vast field for amusement and instruction, opening a new world and displaying the most extensive scenes of creative power, wisdom, and design; and it being difficult to find in print any information concerning it, a minute description of one of the kinds is given, which will be found applicable to all the others; also particular directions for procuring and applying some of the most interesting subjects for examination.
In regard to Spectacles, Eye-Glasses, and Lenses for optical purposes of every description, his assortment is most extensive and complete. To this branch of his business he devotes special attention, furnishing Glasses or Pebbles that are truly ground, and properly adapted to the sight; feeling that so important a matter as