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Charles Plumier (1646 - 1704) was better known as a botanist. Abell, Leggat, & Ogden (in A Bibliography of The Art of Turning) identify Plumier's work of 1701 as "the earliest known work devoted exclusively to turning."

Although the first edition appeared only two decades after Moxon, and therefore more-or-less describes the practices of the same era, Plumier's illustrations are much better. They are extensive and detailed, and include views of individual components. Reconstructing one of Moxon's lathes from his illustrations can be a puzzling challenge; the same task from Plumier is straightforward.

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1701 Edition (Lyon)

Plumier, C. L'art de tourner en perfection. Lyon: Jean Certe, 1701.

Google Books has digitized the Lyon Public Library copy of this work (Google Books ID: blSLCIVjLcAC). The icon at left links to a local copy of that digitization.

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1749 Edition (Verdun)

Plumier, C. L'art de tourner en perfection. ["Nouvelle Edition, corrigée & augmentée"] Paris: Charles-Antoine Jombert, 1749.

The second edition, of 1749, has been digitized by the poet and multimedia artist Christian Lavigne from the copy of the Library of Study, Verdun, Meuse, France. It is available for free download at: The quality of this photographic reproduction is much higher than that of the Google Books scan of the first edition.

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1749 Edition, Ferraglio Translation (1975)

Dr. Paul L. Ferraglio translated Plumier in 1975. This was printed in a very limited edition from the translator's typescript and is now scarce. It is, however, well worth trying to acquire.

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1749 Edition, Wulff Translation

Enrique Wulff has translated the 1749 edition into English. This translation is available online for free download on Christian Lavinge's web page at: