The first of these, and the one of direct interest here, was a general treatise on several of the mechanical arts, entitled Mechanick Exercises: Or the Doctrine of Handy-Works Applied to the Arts of Smithing, Joinery, Carpentry, Turning, [and] Bricklayery. This was published serially beginning in 1678, in London. In its 1703 edition it was published together with the fourth edition of a separate work of Moxon's, Mechanick Dyalling (on the making of sundials).
Apparently (according to Kebabian, in his introduction to the EAIA/Astragal Press reprint) the collected first volume of Moxon (on Smithing, Joinery, etc.) was printed together with the second volume (on Printing) only once, in 1684. Confusingly, however, the second volume (on Printing) has at times been printed on its own in two volumes (e.g., by DeVinne in 1896). The people who study old tools/technology and those who study old printing often don't communicate with each other. So depending on your context, "volume one of Moxon" may refer to the actual first volume (on Smithing etc.) or to the first volume of the second volume (on Printing).
In 1684 he began the publication of a second work, sometimes thought of as a second volume (and so published in 1684) but more often considered as an independent work, entitled Mechanick Exercises: Or, the Doctrine of Handy-Works Applied to the Art of Printing . In it he deals not only with printing, but with all aspects of the making and using of letterpress printing type.
Technical writing in English begins with Moxon. His work may be difficult to comprehend to a 21st century reader, (and his illustrations not always clear) but it well repays the effort to comprehend it. When working through Moxon, it is important to realize that technical writing is neither trivial nor obvious. Moxon was not only recording these arts for the first time, he was inventing the art of technical writing in doing so.
Another point to bear in mind if you are a modern machinist reading Moxon: a lathe doesn't necessarily look or work as you think it does. By the early 20th century, the lathe had settled down into a pretty standard form: the traversing-carriage screwcutting engine lathe. During its development, though, the lathe took many forms. Moxon's lathes of 1680 are easier to understand if you don't try to think of them as a 1935 South Bend.
(For bibliography on and reprints of his work on printing, see General Literature on Making Printing Matrices and Type in the CircuitousRoot Typefoundry and Press.)
Mechanick Exercises (3rd Edition, 1703)
Moxon, Joseph. Mechanick Exercises: Or the Doctrine of Handy-Works Applied to the Arts of Smithing, Joinery, Carpentry, Turning, [and] Bricklayery [with Mechanick Dyalling]. Third Edition [4th ed. of Mechanick Dyalling]. London: For Dan. Midwinter and Tho. Leigh at the Rose and Crown, 1703.
The 1703 edition of Moxon, which includes Bricklayer's Work and Mechanick Dyalling, was digitized from the University of Michigan copy by Google. This digitization is available in slightly higher resolution from The Hathi Trust (ID: mdp.39015028306002). The icon at left links to a PDF of that version assembled by me from page scans from The Hathi Trust. (86 Megabytes)
Here is the same scan as supplied by Google Books as a PDF (22 Megabytes)
The Third Edition (of this first volume) has been digitized as part of the Eighteenth Century Collections Online (EECO), but this is locked down by its owners, the Gale Group, and access is restricted to subscribers. The online bibliography for it says that it is the 1701 edition, but Worldcat lists no 1701 edition of this work. I have not seen it, and probably never will.
An edition (I presume the 1703, but I'm not yet sure) of this first volume, edited by Charles F. Montgomery and with a new introduction and captions by Benno M. Forman was reprinted (NY: Praeger, 1970). I have not yet seen this reprint.
The 1703 edition has also been reprinted, with an introduction by John S. Kebabian, by The Astragal Press. (The date of this is unclear in my copy. Kebabian's introduction is copyright 1975 by the Early American Industries Association. The library of Congress catalog information in it would seem to indicate a date of 1989. My copy bears the date of 1994 on the title page.) This Astragal/Kebabian/EAIA reprint is presently out-of-print, but it is well worth trying to obtain.
In 2009 The Toolemera Press (Dedham, MA) reprinted this same 1703 edition, with different introductory material. ISBN: 978-0-9825329-0-4. Unfortunately, they have chosen to assert new copyright on the entire book - even the 300 year old parts. This just doesn't seem in the right spirit of things, and I can't bring myself to purchase their reprint. Portions of it may be seen in the preview of it on Amazon.
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