Life In Brazil; or, A Journal of the Visit to the Land of the Cocoa and the Palm, with an Appendix, containing Illustrations of Ancient South American Arts in recently discovered Implements and Products of Domestic Industry, and works in Stone, Pottery, Gold, Silver, Bronze, &c. - Thomas Ewbank 1856 - Harper & Brothers, New York - First Edition Thoroughly illustrated throughout with over 100 woodcut. Ewbank in his own words ‘noted whatever interested me, and that, in sooth, was nearly every thing: arts, manners, customs, buildings, trades, tools, pottery, food, salves, animals, agricultural products, climate, diseases, population, antiquities, &c., &c.; hence this volume will be found a miscellanea of tropical life.’

Ewbank was an English born inventor and manufacturer, later to become the U.S. Commissioner of Patents. Prior to becoming Commissioner, he travelled through Brazil, and was ‘interested in geography, mechanic, arts, and the people he saw, all of which he wrote about charmingly and illustrated scrupulously."(DAB). These writings are still used as an important source today, including his reports on the slave trade, of which he was vocally anti.
  Thomas Ewbank (1792–1870) was an English writer on practical mechanics, who was United States Commissioner of Patents from 1849 to 1852. Born at Barnard Castle, Durham, at the age of 13 he began work as a plumber and brassfounder. In 1812 he went to London, where he was employed in making cases for preserved meats. His spare hours were given to reading. In 1819 Ewbank emigrated to America, and next year began business in New York as a manufacturer of lead, tin, and copper tubing. In 1836 he was able to retire from business and devote himself to studies and writings on mechanics. In 1845–6 he travelled in Brazil, and on his return published an account of his travels as Life in Brazil. Ewbank was appointed United States Commissioner of Patents by President Taylor in 1849. He was attacked for the manner in which he fulfilled the duties of his office, which he held till 1852. Ewbank was one of the founders and president of the American Ethnological Society.

Provenance: Frederick and Grace Cabot Holbrook, with their pictorial bookplate.

Large Octavo. pp. [4] xvi 17-469 [7]. In publisher's embossed brown cloth, gilt titles to spine, yellow coated endpapers.
  Condition: Near fine, toning to endpapers, light rubbing and wear to edges of boards and spine ends, heavier to head of spine..   Ref: 107675   Price: HK$ 2,500