Description

    Groundbreaking Work of Rocketry

    Robert H. Goddard. A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes. Washington, DC: The Smithsonian Institution, 1919.

    First edition. Octavo. 69 pages. Ten pages of photographs.

    Later binding in buckram over boards. Gilt lettering to the spine. Decorative endpapers. Near fine.

    "Goddard published his first major work in 1919. A sixty-nine-page treatise titled 'On a Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes.' It was a serious technical study of how two-stage, solid-propellant rockets could be used to lift scientific instruments high into Earth's atmosphere, and ended with brief discussions of liquid-propellant rockets and the possibility of sending a rocket to the moon. Funded and published by the Smithsonian Institution, Goddard's pamphlet-sized work oozed respectability. The argument was dense, the writing dry, and the pages studded with equations and tables of data. It was, in other words, a model of respectable scientific writing, and it addressed an important scientific problem: how to gather atmospheric data from altitudes higher than the seven miles balloons could reach" (Van Riper).

    A. Bowdoin Van Riper, Rockets and Missiles, 29.


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
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