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The first systematic treatise on occupational diseases

Ramazzini, Bernardino (1633-1714).

De morbis artificum diatriba.

Ramazzini, Bernardino (1633-1714). De morbis artificum diatriba. Modena, Antonio Capponi, 1700.

8° (174x110 mm). Collation: [π]4, A-Y8, Z4. VIII, 360 pages. Complete with the half-title. Woodcut ornaments on halftitle and title-page. Woodcut decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Contemporary mottled calf. Spine with four raised bands, gilt tooled, title lettered in gold. Edges speckled red. Small losses to the upper cover and spine, corners slightly rubbed, joints weakened. A very good, unsophisticated copy. Some foxing, more prominent on the first leaves, a few small marginal spots and stains. Minor wormtrack in the gutter of fols. Y1-Y5, slightly affecting one or two letters of text.

Provenance: the twentieth-century physician from Bologna Guido Dagnini (ex libris on the verso of front flyleaf).

$ 9,500

The rare first edition of this masterpiece by the outstanding Italian physician Bernardino Ramazzini, the first book ever printed to be entirely devoted to occupational diseases. Ramazzini practiced medicine in Modena, and lectured at the universities at the same city, and later at Padua. He is universally considered to have founded the medical discipline of occupational medicine and industrial hygiene. De morbis artificum diatriba was the first work to systematically address diseases connected to specific professions. The book deals with miner's diseases; lead-poisoning in potters; silicosis in stonemasons; vision-related problems in gilders, printers and other graphic artisans; diseases among metal-workers; and even diseases more prevalent among monks, nuns, capitalists, and scholars. Ramazzini was also the first to recognize the social significance of occupational diseases. The book presents the results of life-long research and practical experiments into methods of preventing and/or curing labourers' illnesses across no less than fifty-two trades and professions, among which the profession of the pharmacist and those of Jewish people assecond-hand cloth dealers and rag-pickers were proved to be almost equally dangerous. “Ramazzini was the first to recognize the social significance of occupational diseases and his book appeared at a most opportune time, since, with the beginning of industrial development in the eighteenth century, prevention of accidents from machinery and the general health of workers became increasingly important”(PMM). A second emended, and enlarged edition of the work appeared in Padua in 1713 with corrections and additions; before the middle of the nineteenth century more than twenty-five separate editions and translations into various languages were published.

Garrison-Morton, 2121; Krivatsy, 9366; Norman, 1776; PMM 170; Waller, 7727; P. di Pietro, Bernardino Ramazzini. Biografia e Bibliografia, Fidenza 1999, p. 131.