LANA TERZI, Francesco (1631-1687). Prodromo overo saggio di alcune inventioni nuove premesso all' arte maestra. Brescia: Rizzardi, 1670.\n2o (336 x 240 mm). 20 engraved plates, all but two printed on facing pages of pairs of conjugate leaves, woodcut initials and tail-piece ornaments, type ornament head-pieces. (Minor marginal tears to first 2 leaves, a few quires unstitched.) Contemporary boards, EDGES UNCUT (covers stained, tears to backstrip).\n\nFIRST EDITION of an important work in the history of aeronautics. In the Prodromo Lana Terzi presented several technological innovations, of which the best known is his proposal for a "flying boat," to be airborne by four spheres of thin copper from which air had been exhausted. Although the vehicle was never tested, and would have proved unworkable, since the copper would not have been able to withstand the atmospheric pressure, Lana Terzi's reasoning was correct. In surmising that a vessel containing a semi-vacuum would weigh less than the surrounding air and would consequently become buoyant, Lana Terzi formulated the earliest concept of flight based on aerostatic principles. "While Lana apparently originated the method of reducing air density in a vessel by heating it, the implications of this phenomenon in relation to flight were not fully understood until the advent of the Montgolfier brothers a century later" (Norman). Dibner Heralds of Science 176; Wellcome III, p. 440; Norman 1272.