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Louis Edouard Rivot Lectures on Mining Engineering

Identifier: SC MS 0355

Scope and Contents

The material consists of two bound volumes, Tome I has its spine and covers separating, total of 547 pages; Tome II is in good condition, 475 numbered pages., Mr. Rothwell did not date each lecture but did initialize. The binding is dark brown buckram binding with leather spine imprinted in gold: Rivot Ecole Imperiale des Mines Cours Docimasie - 1, 2. It is probable that this handwritten copy of Cours de Docimasie was Mr. Rothwell’s student notes of the lecture notes that Monsieur Rivot prepared for his lectures in anticipation of publishing a guide for use by mining engineers, mining operators or assayers. The notes are very neatly written in French on engineering graph paper. The book title “Docimasie, Traite de’analyse des substances minerales a l’usage des ingenieurs des miners et des directeurs de mines et d’usines” Paris: Dunod, 1861-1866 was published in several volumes.


  • Creation: 1859 - 1861


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Collection is open for research.

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Biographical / Historical

Louis Edouard Rivot (1820-1869) was on the professional staff at the Ecole Imperiale des Mines in Paris, France as Ing. des Mines and was a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor and held a U.S. Patent 42,997 (1864) for treating ores with superheated steam. According to the statement of R. P. Rothwell, Professor Rivot taught in 1859-1860, a detailed course on assaying mining ores and the proper methods to determine the best approach to mining. His lecture notes became the basis for his most well-known publication “Docimasie, Traite de’analyses des substances minerales a l’usage des ingenieurs des Miners et des directeurs de mines et d’usines” published in several volumes between 1861-1866 in Paris. Several editions were eventually reprinted in 1886 following his death.

Richard Pennefather Rothwell (1836-1901) was born in Ingersoll/Oxford, Ontario, Canada. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York in 1858 as a civil engineer. Went to Paris and entered the Ecole Imperiale des Mines as an Eleve etranger (foreign student) June 1859 to 1861 and took a degree of Engineer of Mines. During the course on assaying years 1859-61, Rothwell made these course notes of Monsieur Rivet’s lectures during his education at the school as a foreign student. Each lecture in volume 1 is dated and initialed. In 1861 he took “practical courses” in mining and ore dressing at the Mining Academy of Freiburg, Saxony. Following his education in Saxony, Rothwell went to London, England and worked for a mining equipment manufacturer. In 1864 he came to the United States and began practice as a civil, mining, and mechanical engineer to 1873 in the anthracite regions at Eckley, Drifton, Pennsylvania. Rothwell laid out the town of Drifton. He opened his office in Wilkes-Barre and made it his headquarters until 1873. Under his advice Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company was the first to employ locomotives underground in the anthracite region, namely the mines at Mauch Chunk, PA. and made a precise contour map of the highly folded anthracite basin of the Panther Creek all in 1869. Rothwell, Coxe and several Lehigh University related people: Henry Coppee, Thomas M. Drown, Eckley B. Coxe and Charles Brodhead all were known to each other and most certainly they met at the American Institute of Mining Engineers conference in May 1871 in Packer Hall, Lehigh University. Somehow the handwritten notes that Mr. Rothwell made of the assaying course he attended in Paris became included in Mr. Coxe’s Technical Library. He was founder of The Scientific Publishing Company New York and London and editor of “The Mineral Industry, Its Statistics, Technology and Trade in the United States and Other Countries” in eight volumes in 1897. He died in New York City of stomach cancer.


0.5 Linear Feet (2 Volumes in box)

Language of Materials



Handwritten lecture notes in French which became the basis for a popular mining engineers field handbook in the late Nineteenth Century. The lectures were given by Professor Louis Edouard Rivot at Ecole Imperiale des Mines in Paris and the notes taken by his student Rothwell. The manuscripts owned by Eckley B. Coxe then donated to Lehigh in 1897.


Entries arranged by date in the volumes.

Acquisition Information

Gift from Mrs. Eckley B. Coxe - the Eckley B. Coxe Technical Library, Drifton, Pennsylvania, May 27, 1897.

Eleanor Nothelfer.
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Lehigh University Library and Technology Services.

Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
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