Books will be added to this list on a weekly basis.

If you’d like to purchase any of these items, please send an email, and we’ll send along a paypal invoice.

Abrikosov, A(lexi) A. Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1963. 1st English. Very fine condition. Fine dust jacket. Alexi A. Abrikosov received the Nobel for physics in 2003; this is a glorious copy of his important book. $135

Aharoni, J.. The Special Theory of Relativity. Oxford, 1959. 1st edition. 8vo. Blue cloth. Fine condition. Fine dust jacket. Fine copy in the scarce dustjscket. $100

Akhiezer, A.I.. Quantum Electrodynamics. New York: John WIley, Interscience, 1965. Revised. 868pp 8vo. Cloth. Fine condition. Fine dust jacket. $100

Alt, Franz. “Bell Telephone Laboratories Computing Machine–I+II.” Washington DC: National Research Council, 1948. 1st edition. Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation, III/21 Original printed wrappers. Very good condition. $750.00

We offer the two issues of MTAC, with the complete article by Dr. Alt occupying pp 1-13 and 69-84. SCARCE.

“Between 1937 and 1946 engineers and scientists at Bell Telephone Laboratories built a number of digital relay computers, among the first working programmable machines anywhere. Their experience with the technology of switching-that second aspect of telephony-was the basis for Bell’s entry into digital computing. But the first aspect-the transmission of analog voice signals-played a role too, as we shall see. The invention of the computer at Bell Laboratories, like its invention elsewhere, resulted from a convergence of technical skill, social need, and talent. Those preconditions were there by the mid-1930′s. It remained for one of Bell’s employees, Dr. George Stibitz, to serve as the catalyst to bring them together.” Reckoners, Bell Labs, page 0074

On Franz Alt:

Dr. Franz L. Alt (born 1910 in Vienna, Austria and who lived to be 101 years old) was an Austrian born American mathematician who made major contributions to computer science in its early days. Franz Alt grew up in Austria and received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Vienna in 1932, researching set-theoretic topology and logical foundations of geometry. He left Austria for the United States after the 1938 Anschluss. An avid skier, he served in the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division during World War II reaching the rank of Second Lieutenant. After the war, he worked on the ENIAC and other Army computing projects; later he worked in the Computing Laboratory of the National Bureau of Standards, and eventually at the American Institute of Physics. He is best known as one of the founders of the Association for Computing Machinery, having served as its president from 1950 to 1952; he also wrote one of the first books on digital computers, Electronic Digital Computers (Academic Press, 1958).

Ashby, W. Ross. Introduction to Cybernetics. Chapman & Hall, London, 1956. First edition, review copy (with the review slip laid in). 295pp (though there is an interesting and maybe-not-very-useful pagination besides the standard one). Cloth. This is a fine copy in a fine dust jacket. (Original owner’s inscription on the front free end paper.) $250

In a sense, this is one of the only true early textbooks on cybernetics and systems theory. The math presented is pretty basic, although it is enough to direct the reader to some fairly high thought planes. It is an elegant work.

Bardeen, J. Physical Principles Involved in Transistor Action. Lancaster, Pa: Physical Review, 1949. 1st edition, Vol 75, Second Series, No. 8 Printed wrappers. Fine condition. This is the entire green-wrappered issue for April 15, 1949; work for which Bardeen shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1972. Save for a little wear and a pinhole in the spine, this is a fine (+) copy–really a nice, bright copy of a significant and important paper by Bardeen and Brattain. [Sold]

Barut, A.O.. Electrodynamics and Classical Theory of Fields and Particles. Macmillan, 1964. 1st printing. 8vo. Cloth. Fine condition. Dust jacket. $100

(Bell, Alexander G.) The Scientific American, 1876. We offer the entire volume, sumptuously illsutrated with all manner of technical objects, in two parts (bound in one volume), 414+414pp each. Very fresh copy, bound in black l;ibrary cloth. Very good copy. $950

Bell patent close
Besides it being the Centennial year, 1876 saw a number of major games in the history of human thinking. Sometimes the announcements or earliest public appearances of these breakthroughs didn’t get all that much attention. As one of the major means of transferring technical and applied science info to teh general public, it is interesting to see how Scientific American reacted to such innovations. For the thick, heavy volume for 1876, amid
patent announcements and articles on telegraphic fire alarms, electro-harmonic multiplex telegraphs, recording telegraphs, electro-magnetic telegraph railroad car signals, signal box telegraphs, underground telegraphs, telegraph keys and armature, acoustic telegraphs and the l;ike (though there weren’t that many reported, not really, just on the order of dozens), we find one of the most important of them all, patent # 174,465, by Alexander Graham Bell, appearing 8 April 1876. It would be a rude resumption of being here in the future of this event to call the coverage short-sighted

In an earlier article in the 4 March 1876 issue of SA, there appeared “The Invention of the Telephone”, by P.H. Vander Weyde, in which there is yet any mention of Mr. Bell. There is an illustration of one of his precursors in the field, the Reuss telephone, with ample description. (This was actually Philipp Reiss, and his telephone really wouldn’t work to transmit the human voice, though did so work for music to some degree.) Bell’s patent would be at the Patent Office in March, and would appear as a one-line notice (among a hundred others), the patent stating it was “the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically … by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound”. (The first image above is a detail; the second image a longer version, which is really only less than half of what the real-life version looks like in the tall listing.)

Weeks later, Elisha Gray‘s (on 13 May) telegraphic telephone patent (175071) appears in the Scientific American, and later, on 9 September, on page 163, there is the article “The Human Voice Transmitted by Telegraph”, on the successful transmission by Graham Bell.

Admittedly there were a number of developments in the production of the speaking telephone at this time, though in general there seems to have been no great attention paid them in the pages of the Scientific American than pipe cutting machine improvements or improved gravel separators. Obviously the great impact of the invention was yet to be appreciated, even in any sort of fictional way.

(Bell) Munro, J.. Telephones and other Applications of Electricity. London: Nature, 1876. 1st edition. Nature, an Illustrated Weekly…, 24 August 1876 Royal 8vo. Original printed wrappers. We offer the entire weekly issue complete with its scarce outer wrappers, cleanly removed from a larger bound volume. $250

Munro (who would go on to write an early and authoritative work on the history of the telephone (Heroes of the Telegraph) reviews the advancements made in the invention–still, as earlier, not mentioning Bell at all, and still championing the priority of Elisha Gray. It was at about this very time in the autumn of 1876 that William Thomson first presents the telephone to European ears. Munro waxes a bit about the use of the telephone, still identifying it as a musical device, not discussing its possibilities as a speaking instrument–this is precisely what Thomson does, and forcibly so, after hearing it function in the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, referring to the telephone as the perfect advancement of the telegraph (and also referring to it as a “speaking telegraph”.) But Munro continues on with the telephone’s musical virtuosity. “There is a possibility here, we must admit, of a curious use of electricity. When we are going to a dancing party there will be no need to provide a musician”, as the dancers will be able to pay their electrician for the privilege of getting their piano via wire.

Bell, Alexander Graham. The Photophone: 3 articles from the journal Nature, 1880.

London: 1880-1881. Nature: Nov 4 & 18, 1880; February 10, 1881 Original printed wrappers. Fine condition.

We offer the following three issues of Nature covering the initial announcenments of Bell’s future-provoking invention of the PHOTOPHONE: (1) Bell’s Photophone, pp 15-19, with illustrations of the apparatus, running approximately 3000 words. (2) Shelford Bidwell, “Bell’s Photophone”, in 18 November 1880, pp 58-9, approximately 1750 words. (3) “Photophone Experiments”, in 10 February 1881, page 354, approximately 400 words, two illustrations. These are among the earliest articles on Bell’s fantastic invention utilizing his discovery of the photoacoustic effect–basically, transmitting wireless telephone conversations, a feat that would not be utilized until the last two decades of the 10th century. /// We offer the three issues in their original wrappers, cleanly removed from a larger bound volume with only trace elements of the removal visible at their spines. Nice copies. $300

Bell believed that the photophone–developed most fully in his Volta Street lab, which was just three blocks away from where my store stood for nine years–as a machine that transmitted speech on light rays, was by far his most important invention.

Bethe, Hans. Nuclear Radius and Many-Body Problem.. American Physical Society, 1936. The Physical Review, 50 (11) December 1, 1936. Original printed wrappers. Fine condition. We offer the entire weekly issue, in the original green wrappers, and scrace thus. (Book ID 23199) $200.
Bethe, Hans A. Intermediate Quantum Mechanics, (in dj!). New York: Benjamin, 1968. 2nd edition. 8vo. Cloth. Very good condition. Dust jacket. Offered with Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, also in a dustjacket. The pair: $175.
Bethe, Hans. Nuclear Physics (A) Stationary States of Nuclei, (B) Nuclear Dynamics, Theoretical (C) Nuclear Dynamics, Experimental. Lancaster: American Physical Society, 1936-7. 1st edition. Reviews of Modern Physics, issues 8/2, 9/2, 9/3 433pp 8vo. Original orange wrappers. (A) is a good copy; (B) + (C) are fine copies. The great and defining effort by Bethe. Issue 8/2 (April 1936), the Bethe paper occupies most of the issue; the entire content of the other two issues is devoted exclusively to the Bethe paper. With M. Stanley Livingston. $350.00
Bethe, H.A.. Electromagnetic Shift of Energy Levels. Menasha: Amiercan Physical Society, 1947. Physical Review, 72/4; August 15, 1947 Original printed wrappers. An often-cited work by Bethe (cited 268 times in PROLA), and included in Bethe’s “Selected Works”. Nice copy of an important paper. See Scwinger’s Selected Papers in Quantum Electrodynamics #12. $250.
Booth, Dunning, Grosse, Nier, Neutron Capture by Uranium. American Physical Society, 1940. The Physical Review, 58(5), September 1 1940. Original printed wrappers. Very good condition. E.T. Booth, J.E. Dunning, A.V. Grosse and A.O. Nier–landmark study in the gaseous seperation process for isotopes in the making of the atomic bomb. $175

Bohr, Niels and J.A. Wheeler.. Mechanism of Nuclear Fission. Lancaster: American Physical Society, 1939. 1st edition. Physical Review, 56 (1939)September 1, 1939 8vo. Good or better condition.$950

Foundation paper of nuclear fission, co-written with J.A. Wheeler. This is the rare appearance of this paper in the original monthly green-wrappered edition. The spine of the pamphlet has a few problems, but the covers are bright and clean.

For the whole article see here.

From the abstract: “On the basis of the liquid drop model of atomic nuclei, an account is given of the mechanism of nuclear fission. In particular, conclusions are drawn regarding the variation from nucleus to nucleus of the critical energy required for fission, and regarding the dependence of fission cross section for a given nucleus on energy of the exciting agency. A detailed discussion of the observations is presented on the basis of the theoretical considerations. Theory and experiment fit together in a reasonable way to give a satisfactory picture of nuclear fission”.

Bohr, Niels. Resonance in Uranium and Thorium Disintegration and the Phenomenon of Nuclear Fission. Lancaster: Physical Review, 1939. 1st edition. The Physical Review, 55/4, February 15, 1939 8vo. Original printed wrappers. Very good condition.

Offered WITH:

Bohr, Niels. Successive Transformations in Nuclear Fission. American Physical Society, 1940. 1st edition. The Physical Review 58 (10), 15 November 1940 Royal 8vo. Original printed wrappers. Fine condition. N. Bohr (then atInstitute of Theoretical Physics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark) and Received 12 August 1940.

The following abstract is from the PROLA website of the American Physical Society (

“If it be assumed that fission of heavy nuclei takes place in competition with the escape of a neutron from the highly excited compound system, we should expect that, for sufficiently high excitation of the system, fission of the residual nucleus left after neutron escape may still occur. Since, in this second stage of the process, the conditions for the competition with neutron escape are in several cases more favorable than in the first stage, such effects may give rise to much increased cross sections for the fission process.”

The pair, $750.00

Booth, Andrew and Kathleen Booth, Automatic Digital Calculators. London: Butterworths, 1953. 1st edition. Green buckram with gold lettering. Very fine condition. Very fine dust jacket. Beautiful copy of the first edition in an excellent dj. $350
This is truly a superior effort at a survey of the state of computation via digital computer for the Post WWII-1953 era. The 17 chapters are geared mainly as an instructional–an advanced “how to”, if you will, with plenty of diagrams and illustrations. After a few historical chapters, we have: the overall design of a computing system; the control; the arithmetic unit; miscellaneous operations; input-output; gates; single digit storage; miscellaneous components, storage devices. From this point on, from p136-196, the book deals primarily with programming issues: definitions of a code and discussion of its form and controls (!), pp 136-151; the techniques of coding; the use of subroutines in coding; programme design; some applications of computing machinery.

I should also point out that the very tight, compacted bibliography section (occupying pp 217-226) is particularly useful, for on pp 219-22 is found a sub-bibliography arranged by computer name, identifying 37 different computers (the Zuse computers for example would comprise just “one” computer).

Bridgman, P.W. The Thermodynamics of Electrical Phenomena in Metals. New York, the MacMillan Company, 1934. Fine, bright, crisp copy. $75

A Foundation Paper in Quantum Mechanics

Introducing the Particle-Wave Duality and an Epochal Idea in Physics
Nobel Prize Awarded for this work in 1929

“Louis de Broglie achieved a worldwide reputation for his discovery of the wave theory of matter, for which he received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1929. His work was extended into a full-fledged wave mechanics by Erwin Schrödinger and thus contributed to the creation of quantum mechanics. After an early attempt to propose a deterministic interpretation of his theory, de Broglie joined the Copenhagen school’s mainstream noncausal interpretation of the quantum theory.“–Dictionary of Scientific Biography

Broglie, Louis de. 3 papers in the Comptes Rendus, 1923, establishing the wave theory of matter.

  • “Ondes et quanta. Note de M. Louis de Broglie, présentée par M. Jean Perrin. (Séance du 10 Septembre 1923),” pp. 507-510.

  • “Quanta de lumière, diffraction et interférences. Note de M. Louis de Broglie, transmise par M. Jean Perrin. (Séance du 24 Septembre 1923),” pp. 548-551.

  • “Les quanta, la théorie cinétique des gaz et le principe de Fermat. Note de M. Louis de Broglie, présentée par M. Deslandres. (Seance du 8 Octobre 1923),” pp. 630-32.

Paris, Gauthier-Villars et Cie, 1923, the three papers with their original wrappers in Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de L’Academie des Sciences, Tome 177, 1513 pp. (All of the front wrappers for all of the weekly issues are bound in at the back.) Bound in black cloth with marbled page edges. Gilt-stamped former library stamped at spine bottom, “U.S. Weather Bureau”; each wrapper has 1.5-inch oval stamp from the Weather Bureau; there is also a neat borrowing pocket on the front pastedown. (Condition: the three papers all have an old vertical fold in the middle of the page, as do the wrappers, where the fold appears more like a line. The paper used in the 1920′s CR was inferior, or at least the many copies of the journal that I have seen have all appeared this way, and is browning along the edges and margins.) Very good copy. [Sold]

“This idea [i.e. de Broglie's that matter might behave as waves] was tested and confirmed by Davisson and Germer in 1927… Thus the duality of both light and matter had been established, and physicists had to come to terms with fundamental particles which defied simple theories and demanded two sets of ‘complementary’ descriptions, each applicable under certain circumstances, but incompatible with one another.” (Printing and the Mind of Man, 417).

De Broglie was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1929 “for his discovery of the wave nature of electrons”.

Brown, Robert.
“Mikroskopische Beobachtungen über die im Pollen der Pflanzen enthaltenen Partikeln, und über das allgemeine Vorkommen activer Molecüle in organischen und unorganischen Körpern. (Unterdem Titel: “A brief Account of Microscopical Observations made in the Months of June, July, and August 1827, on the Particles contained in the Pollen of the Plants; and on the general Existence of active Molecules in Organic and Inorganic Bodies” als besondere Abhandlung von den berühmten Verfasse bekannt).”


Leipzig, Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1828. Publihsed in Annalen der Physik und Chemie. Hrsg.von Poggendorff, in Band. 14, Zweites Stück. (Jahrgang 1828, zehntes Stück) appearing on pp 294-324. We offer the entire volume, pp viii, 628pp, six flding plates. The volume is bound in half-cloth and marbled boards. This copy is in VERY GOOD condition, and is from the library of Wright-Patterson Field, Dayton Ohio, and ealier from the library of the Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahrtforschung (Berlin, founded 1938/9 and active until 1944). There is another, older, contemporary library stamp on the title page, small (about 1 inch) oval, mostly faded away, though I can identify that the library was in Aachen.

Condition notes: this is a nice copy, with “Wright Field Library/Dayton, Ohio” rubber stamped on the page edges at top and bottom of textblock.

This is the first physical demonstration of atomism. $1350

Brunt, David. The Combination of Observations. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1917. 1st edition. 8vo. Green cloth. Good to very good condition. Green cloth shelfworn, some discoloration on end pages. Signed and inscribed by astronomer E.A. Milne. $125
Carmichael, Robert D. The Theory of Relativity. New York, John Wiley: 1913. Mathematical Monographs No. 12. 74pp. Cloth binding. Lovely copy. $135
Cartan, Elie. Lecons sur la Geometrie des Espaces de Riemann. Paris; Gauthier-Villars, 1951. 2nd edition (considerably enlarged), 378pp. Printed wrappers. Very nice copy. $75
Cauchy, Augustin. Collection of 150 works from the Comptes Rendus, 1841-1857. Paris: Academie des Sciences, 1841-1857. Please ask for details. Many with their original wrappers. All have been removed from larger bound volumes. $4000 Cauchy was an enormous powerhouse of intuition, ideas analysis, insight and energy–he was, in short, a spectacular talent, and second to perhaps three others in the 19th century. “Together with Gauss, Cauchy created the theory of real and complex functions, including complex analysis and contour integration. He recognized the theory of determinants and initiated group theory by studying substitution groups” (Cambridge Dict. of Scientists).

Chand, Ramesh. Symmetries and quark models; Proceedings. Gordon Breach. 1970. Fine copy in a fine dust jacket. $75

Early Photographically Illustrated Technical Work
Champion, P. De la Spectrometrie Spectronatrometre. Paris: Librarie Polytechnique de J. Baudry, 1873. 1st edition. 15pp. Original printed wrappers. Very good condition. This rare pamphlet–unlocated in OCLC/WorldCat was written by Champion with H. Pellet and M. Grenier, and is illustrated with a full-page original photograph of the apparatus. There is one old rubber stamp from the former owner (The Library of Congress) and a few bends here and there in the wrappers; otherwise this is quite a nice pamphlet. $225.00


Some Works by Chandrasekhar
Chandrasekhar, S. On the Decay of Iostropic Turbulence. American Physical Society, 1949. The Physical Review, 75 (9) May 1, 1949 Original printed wrappers. Fine condition. WE offer the entire weekly issue, in the original green wrappers. Scarce thus. $125
Chandrasekhar, S. Stochastic Problems in Physics and Astronomy. American Physical Society, 1943. Reviews of Modern Physics 15, 1; January 1943 Original printed wrappers. Chandra’s long contribution appears on pp 1-89. Fine copy in the original printed wrappers. $175
Chandra explains the divisions in his interests as follows (from his Nobel speech in 1983): “1. An Introduction to the Study of Stellar Structure (1939, University of Chicago Press; reprinted by Dover Publications, Inc., 1967). 2a. Principles of Stellar Dynamics (1943, University of Chicago Press; reprinted by Dover Publications, Inc., 1960). 2b. ‘Stochastic Problems in Physics and Astronomy’, Reviews of Modern Physics, 15, 1 – 89 (1943); reprinted in Selected Papers on Noise and Stochastic Processes by Nelson Wax, Dover Publications, Inc., 1954. 3. Radiative Transfer (1950, Clarendon Press, Oxford; reprinted by Dover Publications, Inc., 1960). 4. Hydrodynamic and Hydromagnetic Stability (1961, Clarendon Press, Oxford; reprinted by Dover Publications, Inc., 1981). 5. Ellipsoidal Figures of Equilibrium (1968; Yale University Press). 6. The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes (1983, Clarendon Press, Oxford).”
Churchman, C. West. “On Rational Decision Making”. Offprint from: Management Technology, vol 2/3, December 1962. University of California, Berkeley, 1963. This is a little deceiving because the green wrapper is an outer wrapper for the blue-wrappered Management Technology pamphlet, so this paper was actually published in 1962 and then repackaged in 1963.
_____. “The X of X.” Offprint from Management Science, vol 9/3, April 1963.

Both are in Very fine condition. $125/pair

Clebsch, A. Theorie der Elasticitat Fester Korper. Leipzig, Teubner, 1862. Fine copy. xi, 424pp. Half-calf and boards. Fine copy. $300
(Computer) Manchester Mark I, 1949

“A Calculating Machine with a ‘Memory’: the Control Panel, and a Storage Tube in Use”. Article in the Illustrated London News for 25 June, 1949, featuring the great, first-programmable computer, the Mark I, at the University of Manchester. The article appears on the front page of the magazine and is continued in a wide centerfold spread, showing a two-page photograph of the machine. 13×10 inches, 24pp (the whole issue). Nice copy. Uncommon. $550


“The Manchester Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculating Machine has been devised and constructed to undertake a wide variety of complex calculations which would take human beings, using ordinary methods, possibly months to carry out, where the machine takes only an our or so. The human controller has to decide how to Calculating Machine can perform the desired calculation, and draws up a list of “instructions” for it to obey. He breaks up the complex calculation into a series of simple basic operations and translates these from numbers into a specified code. The list of “instructions” is fed into the machine, and the initial numbers (in code) on which it is to operate are then loaded into a special position. All the information having been fed into the Calculating Machine, its “memory” can be switched on to start operations. When the machine has worked out the whole problem, a red light switches on and it stops automatically. The final result can then be read off the monitor cathode-ray tube (shown in our photograph) in the form of light dots which are translated into figures by the human controller. A photograph of the complete apparatus appears elsewhere in this issue.”

The Computer Issue of the 1953 IRE

This is the mammoth 1200pp (and twelve-pound) half-yearly issue of the Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers, volume 41, October 1953, No. 10. [1A]-80a [advertisements], [2-table contents], 1219-1568, 81a-192a [ads] pages. Very nice condition, bound in cloth. $350 The issue contains 41 articles on the leading edge of electronic computing knowledge, including works by Claude Shannon, Grace Hopper, John Mauchly, Wilkes, Eckert and many others. Some of the most significant include:

Buchholz, Werner. “The system design of the IBM Type 701 computer” (describing the overall system design of IBM’s first electronic digital computer).

Burks, Arthur and Wright, Jesse B. “Theory of logical nets”.

Elbourn & Witt, “Dynamic Circuit Techniques Used in SEAC and DYSEAC”.

Frizzell, Clarence E. “Engineering description of the IBM Type 701 computer

Greenwald, Sidney; Haueter, R. C.; and Alexander, S. N. “SEAC”.

Hopper, Grace and Mauchly, John. “Influence of programming technique on the design of computers”.

Huskey, Ambrose and Yowell, “The SWAC design features and operating experience”.

Palevsky, “The Design of the Bendix Digital Differential Analyzer”.

Samuel, Computing Bit by Bit or Digital Computers Made Easy”.

Shannon, Claude. “Computers and Automata”.

Shannon and Moore, Edward F. “Machine aid for switching circuit design”.

Wilkes,” Can Machines Think?”

Among the machines described here include the Remington Rand Type 409-2 Electronic Computer; The System Design of the IBM Type 701 Computer; Engineering Description of the IBM Type 701 Computer; The Arithmetic Element of the IBM Type 701 Computer; The SWAC – design features and operating experience; SEAC; Electronic Circuits of the NAREC Computer; A Myriabit Magnetic Core Matrix Memory; A Survey of Analog-to-Digital Converters, and more.
The Pre-Pre-Internet? The SAGE Defense System, 1959-1983

Quality Control of America’s Anti-Bomber Defensive “Shield”: the SAGE System, 1958

SAGE403 ITEM: Luster, P(eter) K. Quality Control of a Large-Scale, Real-Time Program System. Dated 7 August 1958. 11×8 inches. First page is an onionskin carbon of an abstract for the paper, followed by 11 sheets of offset, double-spaced text, with numerous author’s corrections and additions. About 3,500 words, total. RARE. Unlocated. $1250.

The SAGE (The Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) was an “air traffic control device” that was used to detect enemy aircraft, relate their position and speed to interceptors which would destroy the threat. It was basically the air defense shield against attack of North America by Soviet bombers (in the pre-ICBM days of MAD). The MIT/IBM SAGE system was enormously important in the history of computing because of its many real-time, interactive and online aspects–it was an enormously successful and futuristic system, one of the “best” computers ever built.

Luster (who at one time worked for a contractor in Arlington, Virginia, named the John D. Kettelle Corp) was one of hundreds of programmers who worked on the system, and in this case, for this effort of his, he looked at various ways for selecting the proper way for a SAGE to monitor itself in real time and make assessments of its own reliability. This was a very tricky bit, of course. SAGE was the largest computer ever built–it had 23 installations in the U.S. (And one other in Canada) each given the possibility of tracking about 400 aircraft at one time. SAGE would track these developments, coordinate all efforts in response, and then if the flights were determined to be hostile /Soviet forces, would destroy the buggers with responses from “nuclear tipped” BOMARC and Nike missiles. (The Boeing Michigan Aeronautical Research Center and Nike missiles each carried a 1-5 kiloton warhead, enough so that if it was near its target it would be able to destroy it.The BOMARC looked like a jet aircraft; the Nike looked like a multi-finned, very sleek ultimate 1950′s imaginatively-styled rocket ship, but real.) Trying to insure that the system was accurate was a major consideration.

From Luster’s paper:

“It has been necessary to device tests of the quality of the SAGE computer program in order to ensure its acceptability prior to installation and operation…also to run it “live” in order to give an immediate indication of any degradation of the overall system. In effect, allow the SAGE computer itself to decide the quality of the SAGE computer program…The discussion here is limited to examining the nature of the problem to which such techniques are to be applied, and showing how the application may be made most effectively.”

The SAGE system was of course functional, highly reliable, and ws used until 1983. IT was a kind of early version of the Star Wars defense system envisioned by President Reqgana nd Edward Teller, among others. Except that SAGE existed and worked.

It is interesting too to think of it in terms of a sort of pre-ARPANET pre-internet, a pre-pre-internet, in that the system has 24 remote nodes which communicated among themselves. It doesn’t bear much resemblance to J.C.R. Licklider’s Memorandum For Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network (1963)–the true first modeling suggestion for a working internet in which all of the main pieces of the internet are present, but it is at least in the neighborhood, as SAGE was the first operational nation-wide real-time computer network. ( It should also be pointed out that Licklider and other of the creators of ARPANET were programmers for SAGE.) SAGE was in-place by 1959 and operating by 1963, but it had severe limitations as a national defense shield and was ill-equipped to counter ICBMs and SLBMs, but it was kept alive until 1983.

Sage network


One of the Earliest, Commonly-Published Works on Linear Programming

Marshall K. Wood and George B. Dantzig. “Programming of Interdependenet Activities. I. General Discussion.” Offprint: Econometrica, vol 17, no 3+4, July-October, 1949. Pp 193-199. Original offprint. Scarce. $1250

ELECOM 100 Digital Computer Instruction Manual. NYC: Underwood Corporation, 1953. 1st edition. 110+ 17pp (appendix) 4to. Very good condition. Elecom Computer was bought by Underwood in 1953 (to become its Elecom Division) and produced three of these units (at about $60,000/unit). The Elecom was perhaps the last computer manufactured in the U.S. using vacuum tubes. The Elecom 100 was the first of the Underwood Elecom series, followed by the Elecom 120, 125, 200 and 50 (which for some reason was thus named in 1956). The are no listings for this manual in RLIN or OCLC. Rare. (Book ID 22438) $2,000.00
(PDF material from the archive of, here.)
Condon, E.U. Interpretations of Pauli’s Exclusion Principle. Menasha: American Physical Society, 1930. Physical Review, 35/6, March 15, 1930 Original printed wrappers. We offer the entire issue in the original green wrappers. ["Pauli's exclusion principle can be understood as an instance of the subjectivity of our knowledge. We are built out of only a particular world constructed according to one of the non-combining patterns possible under the laws of quantum mechanics. Therefore we are capable of having sense perceptions of only that world..."] $175
Condon, E.U.. Quantum Mechanics of Collision Processes. Minneapolis: American Physical Society, 1931. Reveiws of Modern Physics, 3/1, January Pp 45-89 Royal 8vo. Original printed wrappers. Very good condition. We offer the entire January 1931 issue of 190p, with significant articles by A. Sommerfeld , Robert Mulliken and H.A. Wilson. $125
Conway, A(rthur) W.. Relativity. London: G. Bell & Sons, 1915. 1st edition. Edinburgh Mathematical Tracts No. 3 43 Original printed wrappers. Very good condition. Part four is the interesting section titled “Minkowski’s transformations”. Nice copy. $95
Coolidge, J.L. “The Number e” in The American Mathematical Monthly, volume 57, number 9, November 1950. Coolidge’s article occupies pp 591-602 of the issue (which comprises pp 591-662. Excellent short summary of the history and innards of the number e by the superb Julian Lowell Coolidge, long-time chair of Harvard math. Original printed wrappers. Very good condition. Nice fresh copy. $50
Corben, H.C.. Classical Theory of ELectromagnetism and Gravitation: (1) Special Relativity. Lancaster: American Physical Society, 1946. Physical Review, vol 69/, 5+6, March 1+15, 1946 Original printed wrappers. Very fine condition. $150
The following abstract is taken from the AIP PROLA site: By extending the Maxwell-Lorentz equations to five dimensions, it is shown that one is led to a simple unified theory of gravitational and electromagnetic phenomena. The generalized expressions for the force density and the work done per unit volume per unit time contain terms which correspond, respectively, to the effects of electric, magnetic, and gravitational fields. If it be assumed that no changes of physical quantities occur in the direction of the extra dimension so introduced, a special relativity theory of gravito-electromagnetic fields arises. Within this theory gravitational waves are propagated with the velocity of light, gravitational potential is invariant for Lorentz transformations, and gravitational force acts on the rest mass of a particle. The conservation laws of charge, momentum, and energy are shown to hold, but the last two yield a generalized Poynting vector, and a generalized expression for the energy density, both of which contain terms which depend on the gravitational field strengths. The finite velocity of propagation of gravitational waves leads at once to the result that an accelerated mass emits energy in the form of such waves. On the classical theory the radiation emitted by an electron has thus associated with it a small longitudinal gravitational component. Gravitational forces are shown to lead to a self-energy for an accelerated mass, and the classical radius of a mass m, corresponding to the classical radius of a charge, is Gm / c2, where G is the gravitational constannt…

Crookes, Sir WIlliam T. “On the Photographic Spectra of Meteorites”. Offprint: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Containing Papers of a Mathematical or Physical Character, Volume 217, pp. 411-430. 1916. Original wrappers. Very good copy. $125

Full text:

Review of the work in volume 21 in Science Abstracts:


[Hagelin] The Hagelin Cryptographers, an Analysis.

Stamped CONFIDENTIAL; printed in New York: Ericsson Telephone, 1942. 19 leaves. Very good condition.
Mimeographed sheets, stapled. 11×8, 19pp. Offset, typed document. Stamped “Accessions Division, Nov 11, 1942, Library of Congress”. With an accompanying cover letter with the rubber stamp of Ericsson Telephone, Sales Corp, NYC., and dated July 3, 1942. RARE. $1500

This is a general report on the origin, development and status of the Hagelin “cryptographers”-a word used here to describe the physical machines (rather than the people working on codes). Sections in the document include “Models Built at Express Demand of the French Authorities”, “Evolution of Hand Cryptographer Type C-362″, “Hagelin Cryptographer Models” (BC-38 and C-362), “Methods of Operation”, “Superiority of Hagelin Cryptographers over Competing Makes”, and others, including a final section “How to Sell Cryptographers”. There is a mention of the “Enigma” machine on page 14, which is limited to mentioning that it is not sold outside of Germany. Although the Swiss firm founded by Boris Hagelin has manufactured, and continues to manufacture, many kinds of cipher machines, the words “Hagelin machine” will normally inspire thoughts of their unique lug and pin based machines.

“The basic principle of a Hagelin lug and pin machine is easy enough to describe. In the C-38, used by the U.S. Army as the M-209, six pinwheels, with 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, and 26 positions on them, can be set by the user with an arbitrary series of pins that are active. For every letter enciphered, all the pinwheels rotate one space. The combination of active and inactive pins is presented to a cage with 27 sliding bars. Each bar has two sliding lugs on it, which can be placed either in a position where it is inactive, or in a position corresponding to any of the pinwheels, so that it will slide the bar to the left, if the pin currently presented by that pinwheel is active. The number of lugs sticking out rotates the cipher alphabet against the plain text alphabet. The two alphabets used are just the regular alphabet, and the alphabet in reverse order, from Z back to A. This meant that encipherment was reciprocal, although the machine still had a switch to select encipherment or decipherment: this determined if the machine printed its output in five letter groups, or if it translated one letter, chosen by the user, to a space. The C-52, a postwar version of the Hagelin lug and pin machine, added an extra five sliding bars to the cage that, instead of moving the cipher alphabet, caused the stepping of the pinwheels to be irregular. The first pinwheel always moved, but the remaining five pinwheels only moved when their corresponding bars were slid to the left. The six pinwheels were labeled A, B, C, D, E, and F from left to right; bar 1 controlled pinwheel B, bar 2 pinwheel C, and so on. Also, on the C-52 the lugs could be moved from bar to bar, and the six pinwheels were chosen from a set with lengths 25, 26, 29, 31, 34, 37, 38, 41, 42, 43, 46, and 47. Using the pinwheels with lengths 34, 38, 42, 46, 25, and 26 allowed one to achieve compatibility with the C-36: provided one also turned off the irregular pinwheel stepping feature. The alphabet always started from its normal position, instead of the position last used, before being rotated by the projecting slide bars. This was perhaps the machine’s main weakness, as it made attacks based on frequency counts of displacements possible, but it was perhaps unavoidable, since there was always a slight possibility of occasional mechanical errors. Particularly as the machines were often used on battlefields.”

Curie, Marie Sklodowsa. Rayons emis par les composes de l’uranium et du thoriumpresentee a M Lippmann. Paris: Academie des Sciences, 1898. 1st edition. In: Copmtes Rendus de l’Academie des Sciences 126, #15. 4to. Cloth. Entire issue offered, with Curie’s paper on pp 1101-1103. $1000 See Garrison-Morton 2003.

First printing of this milestone paper, being the basis and first step in the discovery of radium.

Daguerre, Sur un nouveau procede de polissage des plaques destinees a recevoir les images photographiques…. Paris`: Academie des Sciences, 1843.

In: Comptes rendus, the weekly issue for 5 March 1843, volume 16 pp 588-592 [Continuation of title];”…procede qui permet d’obtainir des resultants identiques tant que les circonstances exterieurs restent les memes.” Published “letter” from Daguerre to Arago. We offer the entire weekly issue of 566-596 (30pp), removed from a larger bound collection, with the original wrappers. The paper is crisp and bright and fine.

Daguerre felt the need to remedy a problem that he attributed to the general lack of care in the preliminary cleaning and polishing of the plates (See Gernsheim, “L. J. M. Daguerre,” page 119). In this letter to Arago he describes a new procedure. (A two-page but earlier version was published in Annales De Chemie et de Physique, 3 Series, Volume 7 Pages 374-37 of this same year.) $400

Dalton, John. “Untersuchungen über das Verhältniss, wonach die elastischen Flüssigkeiten, welche die Atmosphäre bilden, in ihr vorhanden sind; (und die Vertheidigung des Salpetergas – Eudiometers). Frei bearbeitet von Gilbert.” Offered with: “Ueber das Bestreben der elastischen Flüssigkeiten, sich durch einander zu verbreiten. Frei bearbeitet von Gilbert.”

(Halle, Rengerschen Buchhandlung, 1807). Published in Annalen der Physik. Herausgegeben von Ludwig Wilhelm Gilbert, volume 1, band 27, 1807. Dalton’s papers: pp. 369-387 and pp. 388-399. Offered in the original wrappers! The entire volume is offered, formerly from the Library of Bernhard Meining; then, the Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahtforschung; and on the USAAF library at Wright PAtterson, and finally to the Library of Congress. Very well traveled. $750

The announcement of the first example of the Law of multiple proportions, and the first appearance in German of two important papers on the multiple proportions of gases,

“One thing Dalton did in order to provide support for his heavily attacked theory of mixed gases was to begin an experimental inquiry into the proportions of the various gases in the atmosphere. This inquiry accidentally raised the whole question of the solubility of gases in water. By 12. November 1802 he had discovered enough to read to the Manchester Society his paper “On the Proportion of Several Gases or Elastic Fluids…”… “is held in water, not by chemical affinity, but merely by the pressure of the gas…on the surface, forcing it into the pores of water. The researches on solubility thus led to an extension of his mechanical ideas.”(DSB III, p. 541).

Dee, John. Portrait: “Dr. John Dee”. London: T. Cadell, 1798. 8vo. Very good condition. Very fine portrait undertaken in an accomplished/naive style, 5×4″ on a 7×5″ sheet.Quite a strong impression. $135
From the St. Andrews Site: “Born in London in 1527, this remarkable mathematician and astrologer is supposed to have been descended from a noble old Welsh House. From the St Andrews site: John Dee was educated at a school in Chelmsford in Essex, then entered St. John’s College, Cambridge in 1542. He became a Fellow of St. John’s College in 1545 and the next year became a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Henry VIII founded Trinity College, the largest of the Cambridge colleges, in 1546 and Dee became one of its first Fellows. Dee then travelled on the Continent (1547-1551). In a number of visits he studied with Gemma Frisius and Gerardus Mercator at the University of Louvain. In 1551 Dee was offered an appointment as professor of mathematics in Paris but declined. He also declined a lectureship in mathematics at Oxford three years later. Dee became astrologer to Queen Mary but was imprisoned for being a magician. He was released in 1555. He then found favour with Queen Elizabeth and cast horoscopes for her. He even selected the day for her coronation. In 1570 Dee edited an edition of Euclid translated by Billingsley. Dee wrote a famous preface to this edition justifying the study of mathematics. In 1573 Dee wrote Parallacticae commentationis praxosque which gives trigonometric methods which might be applied to find the distance to ‘Tycho (Brahe)’s supernova’ of 1572. Dee also wrote on calendar reform, on navigation, on geography and on astrology. Dee brought instruments of navigation back from the Continent when he returned in 1551. From 1555 he was a consultant to the Muscovy Company. The Muscovy Company was formed in 1555 by the navigator and explorer Sebastian Cabot together with a number of London merchants. It was granted a monopoly of Anglo-Russian trade and had as one of its aims the search for the Northeast Passage. Dee prepared nautical information, including charts for navigation in the polar regions, for the company during the next 32 years. Later in his career Dee became interested in astrology and alchemy, and he gave up other work for this. The lack of reaction of others to his scientific work drove him in the direction of alchemy which he saw as a quick way to glory. Dee visited Poland and Bohemia (1583-89), giving displays of magic at the courts of princes”
Davidson, John. A System of Practical Mathematics containing Elements of Algebra and Geometry. Edinburgh: Bell & Bradfute, 1841. 488pp. 8vo. Nicely bound in contemporary calf and marbled boards. Very good condition. 4th edition, expanded and enlarged. Additionally contains 132pp of log tables as well as 6 folding engraved plates of illustrations. $175.00
Dirac, P. A. M.. The Principles of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford: Oxford, 1947. 3rd edition. 311pp. Very fine copy. The next-to-last edition of this great classic, in very nice condition. $175
The following is from Wiki: “Dirac’s Principles of Quantum Mechanics, published in 1930, is a landmark in the history of science. It quickly became one of the standard textbooks on the subject and is still used today. In that book, Dirac incorporated the previous work of Werner Heisenberg on matrix mechanics and of Erwin Schrödinger on wave mechanics into a single mathematical formalism that associates measurable quantities to operators acting on the Hilbert space of vectors that describe the state of a physical system. The book also introduced the delta function. Following his 1939 article, he also included the bra-ket notation in the third edition of his book[5], thereby contributing to their universal use nowadays. Guided by a comment in Dirac’s textbook and by Dirac’s 1933 article “The Lagrangian in quantum mechanics” (published in the Soviet journal Physikalische Zeitschrift der Sowjet Union), Richard Feynman developed the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics in 1948. This work would prove exceedingly useful in relativistic quantum field theory, in part because it is based on the Lagrangian, whose relativistic invariance is explicit, while the invariance is only implicit in the Hamiltonian formulation.”
Dirac, P.A.M. Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press. Fourth edition, 1958. Very fine copy in a fine dustjacket. Excellent copy. $300
Dyson, Freeman. S Matrix in Quantum Electrodynamics. American Physical Society, 1949. 1st edition. The Physical Review. vol 75 (11), June 1, 1949 Original printed wrappers. Very fine condition. Dyson’s famous and important contribution occupies pp 1736-1756 in this issue; very uncommon in the original green wrappers.
Reprinted in The Physical Review – the First Hundred Years, AIP Press (1995) CD-ROM. And also in Selected Papers on Quantum Electrodynamics, editor J. Schwinger, Dover Publications, Inc., New York (1958).
FROM the magnificent PROLA website: ” Received 24 February 1949 The covariant quantum electrodynamics of Tomonaga, Schwinger, and Feynman is used as the basis for a general treatment of scattering problems involving electrons, positrons, and photons. Scattering processes, including the creation and annihilation of particles, are completely described by the S matrix of Heisenberg. It is shown that the elements of this matrix can be calculated, by a consistent use of perturbation theory, to any desired order in the fine-structure constant. Detailed rules are given for carrying out such calculations, and it is shown that divergences arising from higher order radiative corrections can be removed from the S matrix by a consistent use of the ideas of mass and charge renormalization. Not considered in this paper are the problems of extending the treatment to include bound-state phenomena, and of proving the convergence of the theory as the order of perturbation itself tends to infinity.” $1,000.
Eckert, Wallace J. The IBM Pluggable Sequence Relay Calculator. Washington DC: National Research Council, 1948. 1st edition. Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation, III/23 Original printed wrappers. Very good condition. $700

“A description of the special-purpose wartime punched-card calculators originally developed by IBM for the United States Army. The first two machines of this type, were built during the war for the Aberdeen proving ground, were delivered in December 1944, and were in operation during the last eight months of the war…For comparison with the I.B.M. Sequence Controlled Calculator at Harvard this machine is limited in internal storage capacity, number of significant figures, and flexibility of sequencing; on the other hand, multiplying speed is about twenty times as great.”  Hook and Norman, 579

The contents of this issue includes: W. J. E. The IBM Pluggable Sequence Relay Calculator . . . 149–161 Herbert F. Mitchell, Jr. Inversion of a Matrix of Order $38$ . . 161–166 Herbert E. Salzer Coefficients for Expressing the First Thirty Powers in Terms of the Hermite Polynomials . . . 167–169 Anonymous Technical Developments (in Automatic Computing Machinery) . . . 206–206 R. E. Clippinger Airflow Problem Planned for the ENIAC (in Automatic Computing Machinery; Discussions) . . .. 206–207 Bruce L. Hicks and H. G. Landau Nonlinear Parabolic Equations (in Automatic Computing Machinery; Discussions) . . . 207–208 John V. Holberton Laminar Boundary Layer Flow in a Compressible Fluid (in Automatic Computing Machinery; Discussions) . . . 208–208 Joseph H. Levin On the Approximate Solution of a Partial Differential Equation on the Differential Analyzer (in Automatic Computing Machinery; Discussions) . . . 208–209 M. Lotkin Computation of the Airflow about a Cone Cylinder (in Automatic Computing Machinery; Discussions) . . . 209–210 Anonymous A New Class of Computing Aids (in Other Aids to Computation) . . . 217–221 Anonymous Corrigenda . . . 227–227

Eckert, Wallace J. “The Printing of Mathematical Tables.”Printed in Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation (MTAC), volume II, number 17, January 1947. The issue: pp197-228, with the Eckert article occupying pp 197-202, with one photographic illustration. Very nice, fresh copy in the original wrappers, the previous owner’s name rubber stamped twice on front cover top and bottom. $525

Eckert422 “From 1940 to 1944 Eckert served as director of the United States Nautical Almanac Office (USNAO) at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., where he set up a computation laboratory similar to the one he had left at Columbia. One of his chief tasks at the USNAO was to develop and compute tables for the American Air Almanac, a navigational tool used by the United States armed forces. Eckert devised punched-card methods of generating the tables and a mechanical method of proofreading, using the comparing device on the punched-card reproducer, that insured the absolute accuracy of the tables. These methods are outlined in Eckert’s paper, which also contains his account of an improved table-printing machine designed by IBM and installed in February 1945” (Hook and Norman, 577).

Eckert, Wallace J. “Electrons and Computation”. In: The Scientific Monthly, November 1948. Occupies pp 314-323, including one full-page photo of the IBM SSEC, a half-page photo of the arithmetic unit of the SSEC, and a number of other, smaller images. Offered in the bound volume for July-December, 1948, 448pp. All six issues have their original wrappers bound in. Very nice copy, with a few ex-library marks here and there. $250

Fabry, Eugene. Nouveau Traite de Mathematiques Generales. PAris, J. Hermann, 1925. 2 volumes. Red leather spine and red marbled boards. Very good copies. $200

Einstein, Albert.Three papers by Albert Einstein in volume 22 (1907) of the Annalen der Physik.

“Die Plancksche Theorie der Strahlung ueber die Theorie des Spezifischen Warme” (“Planck’s Theory of Radiation and the Theory of Specific Heat”). Leipzig: Johannes Barth, 1907, pp 180-190. First printing. “With this paper, solid state quantum theory begins… the first paper ever written on the quantum theory of the solid state.” (Abraham Pais).


Über die Gültigkeitsgrenze des Satzes vom thermodynamischen Gleichgewicht und über die Möglichkeit einer neuen Bestimmung der Elementarquanta”,(“On the Limit of Validity of the Law of Thermodynamic Equilibrium and on the Possibility of a New Determination of the Elementary Quanta”). Annalen der Physik 22 (1907) 569-572. First printing.


“Berichtigung zu meiner Arbeit: “Die Plancksche Theorie der Strahlung etc” (“Correction to My Paper: “Planck’s Theory of Radiation, etc.”), Annalen der Physik 22 (1907) 800

All in Annalen der Physik series 4 volume 22. Cloth-backed marbled boards. Very good condition. Two articles by Einstein (including the significant Weil #15 of E’s deduction of Planck’s laws of radiation). Weil 15* and 16; Boni 15 and 16. Internally, lightly ex-library, from Wright Patterson Air Force Base. $950.00

Among the Earliest Diagrams for a transistorized Computer Ca. 1950/1

Foundations for teh First All-transistor Computer, 1950-1951

Felker, J.H. Catalog of Digital Computer Designs. [No place of publication and no date.] I suspect that this is a Bell Laboratories (Whippany, New Jersey), publication which was printed in 1950/1951. [On dating this item: I’m thinking that this paper was released before his other two papers in late 1951 as they are not referenced in the notes section. Also there is no reference in the paper to an actual delivery date of the transistors, which Bell and Western Electric announced would be available “several months after” the first transistor conference in 1951. Also the transistor pulse amplifier which Felker requires in his conclusions section seems to have been not available until 1953.]


11×8 ½ inches. 18 pages of text, 18 leaves of diagrams and schematics. All text and drawings are printed on one side of the page, only. This seems to be offset-printed. It also seems to be made for restricted circulation. Very Good condition. $3000

This is Felker’s OUTSTANDING orientation on constructing a transistorized computer.* He states in the second paragraph “this computer design philosophy was followed in the design of the National Bureau of Standards Computer SEAC. It is believed that the approach that will result in a vacuum-tubeless computer at the earliest date is to follow the SEAC example in so far as the use of germanium diode logic circuits is concerned, but replacing the vacuum tube amplifiers with transistor amplifiers.” He states further: “Since the transistor itself has voltage and current relationships quite similar to a germanium diode it is expected that the diodes in a transistor computer will operate in a more natural environment…and will exhibit…longer life and more reliable operation.”

As a matter of fact all of the block diagrams in the illustration section are for “an all-semiconductor computer”. Essentially these are among the earliest printed diagrams for a transistorized computer—and Felker would be the leader of the Bell team that constructed the world’s first all-transistor computer, the TRADIC, in 1955.

Felker was the leader of the Bell team that constructed the TRADIC, which was the world’s first fully transistorized computer. It used 800 transistors and 10,000 germanium triodes and dispensed with vacuum tubes—it was much smaller (at three cubic feet) than any of its contemporaries, and was at least as fast as the fastest computer of the day. It was also far more reliable, and far more dependable.

Felker concludes his paper thus: “A fairly complete catalog of digital computer components has been given in block diagram form with estimates of the number of parts they require… The principal conclusion to be drawn is that an all semiconductor computer can be built with diodes and transistors as soon as a transistor pulse amplifier with a high degree of reliability is available…”

The paper is structured in the following way, by sections: (Synopsis and introduction); Basic Building Blocks; Switches; Handling of Negative Numbers; Adder; Accumulator; Multiplier; Divider; Translator; Binary Counter; Shift Registers; conclusions.

[The image to the right is folding, and thus partly obscured.]

The list of block diagrams, as follows: Or-circuit; and-Circuit; Inhibitor Circuit; Amplifier with Pulse retiming; Storage Cell; a Simple Switch; an Eight Position Switch; Handling of Negative Numbers; Adder; Accumulator; Multiplier; Operation of Multiplier; Binary Division; Simplified Division Process; Divider; Translator; Binary counter; Shift register.


*For Felker’s TRADIC Phase I computer project. See James R. Harris, “The Earliest Solid-State Digital Computers,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 49-54, Oct.-Dec. 1999, doi:10.1109/85.80153 AND P.K. Giloth and R.C. Townley, TRADIC—Flyable Research Model Program, Summary Engineering Report, U.S. Air Force, Air Materiel Command, Dec.1 1958.

J.H. Felker, “Performance of the TRADIC Transistor Digital Computer,” Proc. Eastern Joint Computer Conf., 1954, pp. 46-49. J.R. Harris, “TRADIC: The First Phase,” Bell Laboratories Record, Vol. 36, Sept. 1958, pp. 330-334.

Felker. Application of Transistors in a High-Speed Computer. Bell Labs Transistor Symposium, November 1951. (This is the event where MR. Felker was said to have amazed the other high-power attendees with his talk on transistor applications to the digital computer.


Fermi, Enrico. Molecole e Cristalli. Bologna, Nicola Zanichelli: 1934. First edition. 303pp. Cloth. FIne. $200
Fermi, Enrico. On the Origin of Cosmic Radiation. American Physical Society, 1949. 1st edition. Physical Review, 75, pp. 1169-1174 [1949] Original wrappers. Fine condition. . Original wrappers for the weekly issue. ***The reason for teh expense here is that this paper is in the same issue as the epochal Bardeen/Brattain trnasistor action paper*** Besides naming the neutron, bringing about the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction (’42), and other works in high energy physics, Fermi (Doctorate U Pisa 1922 at 21 years old, Nobel Prize 1938)developed this (above) theory of cosmic ray origin. ///***From the APS website, the abstract for the article: “A theory of the origin of cosmic radiation is proposed according to which cosmic rays are originated and accelerated primarily in the interstellar space of the galaxy by collisions against moving magmetic fields. One of the features of the theory is that it yields naturally an inverse power law for the spectral distribution of the cosmic rays. The chief difficulty is that it fails to explain in a straight-forward way the heavy nuclei observed in the primary radiation.” $1,500.00
Feynman, Richard P.; R.D. Field, G.C. Fox. Quantum-chromodynamic approach for the large-transverse momentum production of particles and jets.jets. Physical Review D 18, 3320-3343. 1978. $450 Fine copy.
Feynman, Richard. Slow Electrons in a Polar Crystal. American Physical Society, 1955. 1st edition. The Physical Review, vol 97 (3), February 1, 1955 Original printed wrappers. Fine condition. $650
Feynman, Richard P. Relativistic Cut-Off for Classical Electrodynamics. Lancaster: American Physical Society, 1948. The Physical Review vol 74, number 8, October 15, 1948. Original printed wrappers. Very good condition with some very old and mostly-disappeared folds in the corners of the front wrapper. [Sold]
This extends (according to Mehra) the thinking that Feynman did in the early 1940′s on action-at-a-distance and leads to his second paper on the subject a few weeks later (“Relativistic Cut-Off for Quantum Electrodynamics”).
The following abstract is from the APS beautiful PROLA wesbite ( “Received 8 June 1948 Ordinarily it is assumed that interaction between charges occurs along light cones, that is, only where the four-dimensional interval s2=t2-r2 is exactly zero. We discuss the modifications produced if, as in the theory of F. Bopp, substantial interaction is assumed to occur over a narrow range of s2 around zero. This has no practical effect on the interaction of charges which are distant from one another by several electron radii. The action of a charge on itself is finite and behaves as electromagnetic mass for accelerations which are not excessive. There also results a classical representation of the phenomena of pair production in sufficiently strong fields.”
Feynman, Richard P. Superfluidty and Superconductivity. Lancaster Pa: American Physical Society, 1957. 1st edition. Reviews of Modern Physics volume 29, no 2, April 1957 4to. Original wrappers.

This article by Feynman occupies pp 205-213 in this issue (comprising pp 159-254). Other articles include Bargmann on relativity, Weisskopf on Nuc Physics, Yukawa on Meson Theory, Phil Morrison on the Origin f Cosmic Rays, and others. In the original orange wrappers. Excellent copy. $350

A Landmark Paper:

Fizeau, Armand Hippolyte Louis ( 1819 – 1896 ). “Sur les hypotheses relatives a l’ether lumineux, et sur une experience qui parait demontrer que le mouvement des corps change la vitesse avec lawuelle la lumiere se propage dans elur interieur. Par M.H. Fizeau, (Extrait par l’auteur.) In: Comptes Rendus..,volume 33, 1851, pp 349-355. The weekly issue removed from a larger bound volume, with the original printed wrappers.. This is the first publication of the later, full report that appeared in 1859 in Annales de Chimie et de Physique, 3me Series – Tome LVII. [Hold]


“During most of pre – Galileo and Newton and for subsequent eras as well, it was supposed that in the interstitial spaces between objects of matter that there existed a “carrying medium” or aether for the transmission of light from source to reflecting object and thence to the human eye for perception. Two French physicists, Jean Bernard Léon Foucault ( 1819 -1868 ) and Armand Hippolyte Louis Fizeau ( 1819 – 1896 ), attempted the determination for the finite speed of light; Fizeau did so singly in 1849 and again in 1850 together with Foucault but thereafter independently sought the speed of light in his famous 1851 Fizeau Water Experiment whenever light was transmitted thru a high velocity flowing medium such as water. In essence, therefore, Fizeau attempted to confirm Augustin – Jean Fresnel ( 1788 – 1827 )’s “velocity drag coefficient” for light transmitted thru high – velocity ( at least / approx. 30 m/sec ) flowing water. It should be thus noted that Augustin – Jean Fresnel, French mathematical theorist and experimenter in optical wave physics, is the original mathematical discoverer in 1818 of the velocity drag coefficient.”

The entire work can be found here.

Three papers by Fizeau on the Speed of Light and Electricity

Fizeau, Armand Hippolyte Louis ( 1819 – 1896 ). “Sur une experience relative a la vitesse de propagation de la lumiere.” From: Comptes Rendus, 16 July 1849, vol 39 #2. The issue: pp 65-132. Fizeau contribution appears on pp 90-92. Removed from larger bound volume. Offered with the scarce original (front and rear) wrappers, which lack the spine.

This is the report by Fizeau on the first terrestrial measurement of the speed of light–the description of the experiment as well as the apparatus.

“Fizeau was not satisfied merely with determining the relative velocities of light. He wanted to measure with some precision the absolute velocity. In 1849 he had conceived an ingenious mechanism that would enable him to achieve his goal: a large toothed wheel was spun rapidly about its axis, and a beam of light sent through the spaces between the teeth was reflected back to its source by a fixed mirror. When the wheel was rotated rapidly enough, the intermittent light rays returning from the mirror intersected the path of the teeth and thus became invisible to the observer stationed behind the wheel. As the mechanism was turned faster and faster, the light reappeared and disappeared alternately. The time required for the light to travel through the carefully measured distance was a simple function of the angular displacement of the wheel.

In 1849 Fizeau made a trial of his new method between his father’s house at Suresnes and Montmartre. The figure he obtained for the speed of light (about 315,000 kilometers per second) was not quite as accurate as the results of astronomical calculations, but the practicability of the method was established and became the basis of the more precise determinations made by Alfred Cornu in the 1870’s.”–Dictionary of Scientific Biography

Offered with:

Fizeau, Armand Hippolyte Louis ( 1819 – 1896 ) and E. Gounelle. “Recherhes sur la vitesse de propagation de l’electricite.” From: Comptes Rendus, 15 April 1850, vol 30, #15. The issue: pp 425-455. Fizeau contribution pp 437-440. Removed from larger bound volume. Offered with the original (front and rear) wrappers, which lack the spine.

And with:

Fizeau, and L. Brequet. “Sur l’Experience relative a la vitesse comparative de la lumiere dans l’air et dans l’eau.” From: Comptes Rendus, 17 June 1850, vol 30 #24. The issue: pp 755-788. Fizeau contributionpp 771-774. Removed from larger bound volume. Offered with the original (front and rear) wrappers, which lack the spine.

The three papers: [Hold]

Fraunhofer, Joseph (1787-1826) “Kurzer Bericht von den Resultaten neuerer Versuche über die Gesetze des Lichtes, und die Theorie der selben.” In: Gilberts Annalen der Physik, Vol. 74, No. 4, pp. 33 7-378, and printed in 1823.

We offer the entire volume 74 from the first series, 440pp, folding plates. Very nice, tight, crisp copy, formerly from the Library of Bernhard Meining; then, the Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahtforschung; and on the USAAF library at Wright Patterson, and finally to the Library of Congress. Very well traveled. $400

“In the paper prepared in 1823, Fraunhofer revealed his continued investigation of diffraction gratings his earlier observations of the dark lines in the solar spectrum enabled him to make the highly precise measurements of dispersion: then his use of the wave theory of light allowed him to derive, with suitable simplifications, the general formulation of the grating equation still in use today.” [Dictionary of Scientific Biography]

Frechet, Maurice. Les Espaces Abstraits et leur theorie consideree comme introduction a l’analyse generale. Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1928. 1st edition. Collection de Monographies sur la Theorie des Fonctions Original printed wrappers. Very fine condition, lovely copy. $165.00


Gamow, Alpher, Bethe, The Origin of the Chemical Elements. American Physical Society, 1948. Physical Review vol 73, April 1, 1948 Original printed wrappers. Very fine Original green wrappers are all bound in for all of the issues the three months. This is about as close to NEW as one could get, I think, for this paper. The red binding is cloth and also VERY FINE. Really extraordianarily nice condition. $1650.00

The Big Bang: the great Alpher/Bethe/Gamow paper and all-time insider-bad-joke, coming in the 1 April 1948 issue of the Physical Review. The letter to the editor which announced Gamow’s (et alia) theory on background radiation and the formulation of the “Big Bang”. This is one of the great discoveries of the century–it didn’t have the implications of the (troublesome and tiresome) James Watson’s DNA “discovery”, but it certainly had other enormous intellectual and philosophical (and scientific of course) ramifications. Alpher, Ralph; George Gamow [& Hans Bethe, for the fictionalized use of his name only, for the capital "Beta", and this ABC paper].

Gell-Mann, M.; Goldberger, M.L.; Thirring, W.E., Use of Causality Conditions in Quantum Theory. Lancaster: American Physical Society, 1954. 1st edition. Phyical. Review 95 (1954) 1612; 8vo. Printed wrappers. Very fine condition. Superior copy, bright, fantastic wrappers. The issue has been removed from a larger bound source, with evidence of that remval along the spine (as there isn’t a paper cover for the exposed spine, otherwise this would be a spectacular copy. $500
The following is taken from the Institute of High Energy Physics-associated site for the chronology of high energy physics ( Abstracts T”he limitations on scattering amplitudes imposed by causality requirements are deduced from the demand that the commutator of field operators vanish if the operators are taken at points with space-like separations. The problems of the scattering of spin-zero particles by a force center and the scattering of photons by a quantized matter field are discussed. The causality requirements lead in a natural way to the well-known dispersion relation of Kramers and Kronig. A new sum rule for the nuclear photoeffect is derived and the scattering of photons by nucleons is discussed. Related references See also R. de L. Kronig, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 12 (1926) 547, Physica 12 (1946) 543; H. A. Kramers, Atti. Congr. Intern. Fisici, Como. 2 (1927) 545; W. Schutzer and J. Tiomno, Phys. Rev. 83 (1951) 249; N. G. van Kampen, Phys. Rev. 91 (1953) 1267; N. G. van Kampen, Phys. Rev. 89 (1953) 1072″.
Goursat, E. Lecons sur l’Integration des Equations aux Derivees Partielles du Premier Ordre… Paris; A. Hermann, 1891. 8vo, 354pp. Wrappered volume rebound in fairly sumptuous red morocco with raised bands, and red marbled boards. As is common with these publications at this time, the paper stock employed by Hermann was of modest quality, and so the paper over time has browned. Still, a very nice copy. $165Goursat254

Grosvenor, D.D and H.O. Hartley. IBM 650 Program for Linear Programming. Statistical Laboratory, Iowa Satte University; Ames, Iow: 1960. 11×8.5 inches, 134pp (printed on one side of the sheet, only) offset mimo, staple bound. Fine condition. $350 There are no citings for this work in WorldCat/OCLC.
Notes on this paper as they appear in “Linear Programming on High Speed Computers”, Author(s): Rudolf J: Journal of Farm Economics, Vol. 42, No. 5, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of theAmerican Farm Economic Association (Dec., 1960), pp. 1439-1444.

IBM 650565

“1. Sorting and selection. This problem has to some degree been alleviated by the new linear programming code for the IBM 650 as developed by Hartley and Grosvenor at Iowa State University. In this program the operator has a choice of allowing the 650 to do an iteration for every positive element appearing in the simplex vector. This produces a larger number of total iterations, but the saving in time afforded by not having to look for the largest in an entire set of vectors can actually reduce the total computation time. Also, this program allows the operator to preselect certain iterations, thereby allowing a human to enter himself into the program. This is, however, done at the beginning of the program and therefore the program need not be interrupted, which, as indicated, loses a great amount of time.”

“2. Storage. It is in the storage requirements that a great step forward can be made. It is possible to construct a vector (the “eta vector”) of numbers which allows the transition from one iteration to the next by a
matrix vector multiplication. This has been taken advantage of, again in the Hartley-Grosvenor program from Iowa State, to reduce storage requirements. In these programs the original matrix is on cards or tape and only the eta vectors are stored on the drum. Since the size of these vectors corresponds to the number of restrictions in the problem, one can store a large number of vectors, and thereby record a large number of iterations in the storage capacity of most computers. This advantage is somewhat tempered by the fact that the entire matrix must be fed into the machine through an input-output device for every iteration. Since input-output is very often a limiting factor in high speed computers this presents somewhat of a disadvantage. Therefore, this approach may not be very suitable for the very fast, very large computers.”

Two Early Papers on the Differential Analyzer // The First Differential Analyzer Built in Great Britain 1935

Hartree, D.R. “The Differential Analyzer”. In: Nature, 8 June 1935, col 135, #3423, pp940-943. We offer the entire weekly issue in the original wrappers (the issue containing pp 933-9++00++ 9.18 nature72, plus 8pp illustrated ads. This issue was removed from a larger, bound volume and shows evidence of such at the spine. Two ex-library stamps on the front cover from the Smithsonian Institution, Nice copy. Scarce.

(____.) “The Differential Analyzer for the University of Manchester”. News item covered in the “News and Views” section of the 6 April 1935 issue of Nature magazine, amounting to about one full column (of a double column pages). Announcing the arrival of Dr. Hartree’s machine at Manchester. We offer the entire weekly issue in the original wrappers (the issue containing pp 933-972, plus 8pp illustrated ads. This issue was removed from a larger, bound volume and shows evidence of such at the spine. Two ex-library stamps on the front cover from the Smithsonian Institution, Nice copy. Scarce. Pp 521-560, plus several pages of ads. [SOLD]

++00++ 9.18 nature 001

Herschel, William. “Observations tending to investigate the Nature of the Sun in order to find the Cause of Symptoms of its Variable Emission of Light and Heat”. Philosophical Transactions, 1801. Pp 265-318, 2 plates. Removed from larger bound volume. Very good copy. $250

While flipping through William Herschel’s 1801 Philosophical Transactions paper “Observations tending to investigate the Nature of the Sun in order to find the Cause of Symptoms of its Variable Emission of Light and Heat”, I thought it was a good early-ish paper on sunspots. I was surprised to find a lengthy entry on the applied nature of his findings, and that on the variable nature of sunspots and agricultural yield as determined by wheat prices found in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Honestly I was fully unaware of Herschel’s involvement with sunspots and seasonal growth and price fluctuations, but there it was. And he does find a correlation, albeit a very cautious one where he says the subject deserves more study and more data.

He writes: “it seems probable that some temporary scarcity or defect of vegetation has taken place, when the sun has been without those appearances which we surmise to be the symptoms of a copious emission of light and heat…”

This must make Herschel–already a celebrity astronomer for his discovery of the first planet discovered since ancient times, Uranus, among many other things–one of the earliest (if not the first) astronomer to experimentally entertain the effects of solar disturbances on the Earth. And this on sunspots years before Schwabe established the periodicity of sunspots (1846) or the electromagnetic connection with sunspots (that would come only with G.E. Hale in 1908). Herschel (who left/fled Germany to reside in England) was a man of interesting sight: he discovered Uranus, identified new moons of Saturn, established that the previously-nebulous nebulae were collections of vast numbers of distant and faint clouds, drew a spectacular image of the Milky Way galaxy as an outside observer looking in, that there was a light from the sun that was beyond the visible spectrum, and also discovered in the micro-world found that coral were animals rather than plants.The business of trying to see if there were any correlations between solar activity and plant production on Earth was novel, and interesting.

In the Edinburgh Review for 1825 we find:

Hilbert, David. “Grundzuege einer Allgemeinen Theorie der linear Integralgleichungen.” Goettingen: Nachrichten der K. Gesellschaft, 1904-1906. 1st edition. Five offprints from Nachrichten der K. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaft. Cloth binding. Very good condition. [SOLD]
From the library of the American Mathematician. Fritz John (Ph.D. Goettingen). This volume binds together the five offprints comprising Hilbert’s seminal contribution, with the following chronology and pagination: [1] 1904, pp 49-91; [2] 1904, pp 213-254; [3] 1905, pp. 1-31; [4] 1906, pp. 157-227; [5] 1906, pp. 439-480.
ALSO: bound in at the end is the Inaugural-Dissertation for Wilhelm DeWeese Cairns (from Oberlin, Ohio), “Die Anwendung der Integralgleichungen auf die zweite Variation bei isoperimetrischen Problemen”, published in Goettingen in 1907 at the Univ.-Buchdruckerei von W. Fr. Kaestner. 68pp. Cairns was the secretary-treasurer of the Mathematical Association of America (1915-1942) and the president of the MAA (1943-44), as well as a teacher of many years. Hilbert of course has many intellectual descendents, number about 21,000 in the math geneology website, from 75 students. (These include Cairns of course, plusCourant, H Curry, Dehn, Hamel, Hurwitz, Kasner, Kneser, Konig, Neugebauer, Steinhaus and Weyl, just for a partial group.)
Herzberger, M. Strahlenoptik. Berlin, Julius Springer, 1931. First edition. Die Grundlehren der MAthematischen Wissenschaften, #35. Half-cloth, paper covered boards. FIne copy. $100 Fritz John’s copy.
Hoffmann, Banesh. .Three offprints, all in original wrappers. $150/all

“Projecive Relativity”, offprint from the Physical Review, pp 810-822, September 1, 1930. Fine copy.

“On Genberal Relativity”, offprint, Reviews of Modern Physics, pp 173-204, January 1932. Vol 4/1.Very good copy.

“A Modificationb of Levi-Civita’s Wave Equations”, offprint from Journal of Mathematics and Physics, Vol XIII, no. 3, November 1934.

Houtappel, R.M.F.. The Conceptual Basis and Use of Geometric Invariance Principles. American Physical Society, 1965. 1st edition. Reviews of Modern Physics 37, #4, October 1965 Original printed wrappers. Fine condition. Houtappel wrote this classic paper on symmetry with E.P. Wigner and H. Van Dam, and covers pp 595-633. It is reprinted in toto in Rosen’s Symmetry in Physics, Selected Reprints (American Association of Physics Teachers). $125
The following review and abstract is from the American Physical Society’s endlessly useful PROLA website: “Invariance principles are used, in physics, in two distinct manners. First, they are used as superlaws of nature in that, once their validity has been suggested by their consistency with the known laws of nature, they serve as guides in our search for as yet unknown laws of nature. Second, they can serve as tools for obtaining properties of the solutions of the equations provided by the laws of nature. It is desirable for the first use to give a formulation of invariances directly in terms of the primitive concepts of physical theory, i.e., in terms of observations, or measurements, and their results. Invariances which can be so formulated are called geometric invariances. The present paper contains an attempt at such a formulation of geometric invariances. This formulation is then applied, in detail, to the classical mechanics of point particles, to a relativistic mechanics of interacting point particles, and to quantum theory. With the exception of the relativistic mechanics of point particles, these applications form a review, from a single point of view, of earlier work on this subject. The last part of the paper contains a review of the second use of invariances.”
Juel, C. Vorlesungen uber Projective Geometrie. Berlin, Springer 1934. Die Grundlehren der Mathematischen WIssenschaften, volume 42. 243pp. Cloth-backed boards. Pages browning owing to lower-quality paper being used, else quite Fine. $125

Karush350 Karush, William (1917-1997, Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1942). Mathematical Programming, Man-Computer Search and System Control. SDC (System Development Corporation), Santa Monica, California. Published 16 May 1962, SP-828. 11×8 inches, 33pp (mimeographed (?)) sheets, staple bound. Very good condition. $150

Abstract: “This analysis falls into two main parts — the first describes some current research work in mathematical programming and related fields; the second presents some general aspects of computer methods and applications which may influence the future work of researchers in mathematical methods of system optimization throughout the country.” (Author)

“William Karush (1 March 1917 – 22 February 1997) was a professor emeritus of Cal State Northridge, and is a mathematician best known for his contribution to Karush-Kuhn-Tucker conditions. He was the first to publish the necessary conditions for the inequality constrained problem in his Masters thesis, although he became renowned after a seminal conference paper by Harold W. Kuhn and Albert W. Tucker.”-_Wiki mathematical biography.

Kelvin, Lord and Peter Guthrie Tait. Elements of Natural Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1894. First edition. vi, 295pp. Embossed cloth, very bright, fine copy. $300

This paper is the “key to the whole thermodynamics of radiation. In the hands of Planck, Kirchhoff’s successor to the Berlin chair, it proved to be the key to the new world of the quanta, well beyond Kirchhoff’s conceptual horizon.” [Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol VIII, page 382.]

Kirchhoff, Gusav Robert. “Über das Verhältnis zwischen dem Emissionsvermögen und dem Absorptionsvermögen der Körper für Wärme und Licht. WITH: “Über die Frauenhofer’schen Linien.”In Annalen der Physik und Chemie, Hrsg. von J.C. Poggendorff, series II, band 109; X,660 pp. and 4 folded engraved plates. Kirchhoff’s papers: pp. 275-301 and pp. 148-150. Leipzig, Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1860. Formerly from the Library of Bernhard Meining; then, the Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahtforschung; and on the USAAF library at Wright PAtterson, and finally to the Library of Congress. Very well traveled. $1500

Koopman, B.A. The following four offprints (all for $250):

“The Theory of Search. I: Kinematic Bases.”1956. Pp 324-346. Offprint.

“The Theory of Seach II: Target Detection. ” 1956. Pp 503-531.

“The Theory of Search III: the Optimum Distribution of Searching Effort.” 1957. Pp 613-626.

All offprints from Operations Research. All in matching pale blue wrappers.

Offered with:

“Analytical Treatment of a War Game. 5pp. Original printed wrappers. No place or date of publication.

Korn, Arthur. six offprints, 1913-1927. $350

Korn (1870-1945) was one of the founders of television working in the field of fax transmission, and on 8th October, 1906 he trasnmitted the first image via wire of Crown Prince WIlliam. Being of Jewish descent, Korn (of Breslau) fled Germany in 1939 and settled in the United States, finding a teaching position and chair in math and physics at Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, New Jersey).

“Ueber telegraphishe Uebertragungen kinematographischer Aufnahmen”, offprint from Verhandlungen der Detuschen Physicalishcen Gesellschaft, 23 Sept 1913. Original printed wrappers. Very good copy. Showing two illustrations of the results of Korn’s image transfer by wire invention.

“Das Elektron als pulsierendes Teilchen mit konstantem Pulsationsquantum”, offprint fromn Deutschen Physicallischen Gesellschaft, Septmber 1913. Original printed wrappers. Very good.

“Ueber den gegenwartigen Stand der Bildtelegraphie…. Offprint: Elektrotechnischen Zeitschrift, heft 16, 1914. Signed presentation copy. Good condition. Original wrappers.

“Ueber die Anwendung der Methode der sukzessiven Naherungen zur Losung von linearen Integralgleichungen mit unsymmetriwchen Kernen.”, offprint from Archiv der MAthemaitk und Physik, 25/2, 4 August 1916. Original printed wrappers. Very good.

“Sulle forze d’attrazione e di repulsione negli atomi” in Atti della Acad. delle Scienze di Torino, vol LX, 1925. Signed presentation copy to Hans Reissner. Very good copy.

“Wellenmechanik und meine mechanischen Theorien. Beruehrungspunkte und Divergenzen”. Verlag von Julius Springer, Berlin, 1927. Offprint: Zeitschrift fuer Physik, volume 44, heft 9/10, pp 745-753. Signed “uberricht vom Verfasser”.

Kotter, Fritz. (1857-1912) From the estate of one of Kotter’s students, Hans J. Reissner. 10 offprints. $450

  • Die Kreiselwirkung der Raderpaare bei regelmassiger Bewgung des Wagens in kreisformigen Bahnen. Original printer’s sheets (folio), Teubner, 1893. 6 sheets. Kotter’s copy–quite unusual. I think that I’ve never had a printer’s proof set of sheets from a 19th century mathematical publication before this.
  • Bemerkungen zi F.Kelins uns A. Sommerfelds buch Ueber die Theorie des Kreisels. Berlin, Mayer & Muller, 1899. Roy 8vo, 26pp. Stiff wrappers. Very good.
  • Zur Theorie der Beugung zn schwarzen Schirmen. Pffprint: Annalen der Physik, IV/70, 1923. Original wrappers. Very good.
  • Rotierende Bezugssysteme in einer Minkowskischen Welt. Offprint: Physicalishce Zeitschrift. 1921.
  • Review: Otto Mohr Abhandlungen aus Gebeite der technischen Mechnaic. Offprint: 1907. Kotter’s signature ppers on the outer (but detached) wrapper.
  • Ueber die Contractio venae bei spaltformigen und kreisformigen Oeffnungen. Offprint, in original wrappers.
  • Der Bodendruck von Sand in verticalen cylindrischen Gefassen. Offprint, 1899.
  • Anwendung der Abelschen Functionen auf ein Problem der Statik biegsamer…Offprint. Original wrappers.
  • Ueber die Bewegung eines festen Korpers in einer FLussigkeit/ In two parts. Original wrappers. Offprint.
  • Ueber eine Darstellung der Richtungscosinus…1895 Original offprint.
Kusch & Foley, Magnetic Moment of the Electron. American Physical Society, 1948. The Physical Review, 74 (3), Aug 1 1948. Original printed wrappers. Very good condition.$175
From Kusch’s Nobel Prize (1955, physics) speech:
“The magnetic moment of the electron Nobel Lecture, December 12, 1955 I must tell you, and with considerable regret, that I am not a theoretical physicist. A penetrating analysis of the part that the discovery and meas- urement of the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron has played in the development of certain aspects of contemporary theoretical physics must be left to the group of men who have in recent years devised the theoretical structure of quantum electrodynamics. My role has been that of an exper- imental physicist who, by observation and measurement of the properties and operation of the physical world, supplies the data that may lead to the formulation of conceptual structures. The consistency of the consequences of a conceptual structure with the data of physical experiment determines the validity of that structure as a description of the physical universe. Our early predecessors observed Nature as she displayed herself to them. As know- ledge of the world increased, however, it was not sufficient to observe only the most apparent aspects of Nature to discover her more subtle properties; rather, it was necessary to interrogate Nature and often to compel Nature, by various devices, to yield an answer as to her functioning. It is precisely the role of the experimental physicist to arrange devices and procedures that will compel Nature to make a quantitative statement of her properties and behav- ior. It is in this spirit that I propose to discuss my participation in a sequence of earlier experiments that made possible the precision determination of the magnetic moment of the electron. I will then discuss the experiments them- selves which have yielded our present knowledge of the magnetic properties of the electron…”
Laplace, Simon. Exposition du Systeme du Monde. Paris: Bachelier, 1835. 6th edition. Half-leather. Very good condition. Large paper copy (or seemingly so), lacking the portrait. Very nicely bound in half morocco and marbled boards. $300
Laplace, Pierre-Simone de. “Theorie der Kraft. 1.-4 Haupttheil. (1. Welche in den Haarröhren und bei ähnlichen Erscheinungen wirkt. 2. Die Wirkung der Haaröhren-Kraft auf eine neue Art Betrachtet. 3. Theorie des Anziehens und Abstossens schwimmender Körper, der Adhäsion einer Scheibe an einer Flüssigen Oberfläche, und der Figur eines grossen Quecksilber-Tropfens mit prüfenden Versuchen von Gay-Lussac. -4. Allgemeine Betrachtungen über die Haarröhen-Kraft und über die Kräfte der chemischen Verwandschaft.”) AND “Übersetzt von Brande und Gilbert. (Mit Anmerkungen).” AND “Zwei Berichte.Als Einleitung zu dem folgenden Aufsätze.(Theil 3 und Theil 4). Frei übersetzt von Gilbert.”
Published in the Annalen der Physik, series 1, volume 33, published in Leipzig by J. Ambrosius Barth, and printed in 1809. We offer the entire volume of (12),452 pages and with 4 folding engraved plates, with the Laplace contributions on pp. 1-114, pp. 141-182, pp. 273-293, pp. 293-338 and pp. 373-394.

Formerly from the Library of Bernhard Meining; then, the Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahtforschung; and on the USAAF library at Wright Patterson, and finally to the Library of Congress. Very well traveled. $450

[Lavoisier] Oeuvres de Lavoisier puliees par les soins de son excellence le Ministre de l’insrtuction publique et des cults. Paris, Imprimerie Imperiale, 1864-1868. Volume 1-4.

Includes volumes:

1) Traite Elementaire de Chimie, portrait, (2), xi, 728 pp, portrait, 16 plates.

2) Mémoires de Chimie et de Physique, (2)-828 pp, 8 plates.

3) Memoires et Rapports sur Divers Sujets de Chimie et de Physique Pures ou appliquees a l’histoire naturelle générale et à l’hygiène publique, (2)-795 pp, 12 plates.

4) Mémoires et Rapports sur Divers Sujets de Chimie et de Physique Pures, (2)-774 pp, 4 plates.

Very sturdily rebound in block cloth. Title pages all have a few library stamps, and there is a gilt-stamped call number on the spine (bottom). This is a very sturdy, tight set, with the text in VG condition. The plates are all very crisp. Nice copy for the working library. $500

Lee and Wang, “Question of Parity Conservation in Weak Interactions”. American Physical Society, 1956. Physical Review 104 (1) October 1, 1956 Original printed wrappers. Fine condition. We offer the entire weekly issue in its (SCARCE) original wrappers. $1250

T. D. Lee Columbia University, New York, New York & C. N. Yang Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York: “Question of Parity Conservation in Weak Interactions”. Chen Ning Yang and Tsung-Dao Lee were awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize for their work “for their penetrating investigation of the so-called parity laws which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles”. The work of Yang and Lee came to destroy the “law of conservation of parity,” which had been assumed to be a fundamental law of nature; it predicted that beta particles, which are emitted by a radioactive nucleus, would fly off in any direction, regardless of the spin of the nucleus. In 1957 (“Experimental Test of Parity Conservation in Beta Decay” pr, 4 Feb 1957), using atoms of cobalt-60, W.S. Wu (et alia) showed that beta particles were more likely to be emitted in a particular direction that depended on the spin of the cobalt nuclei. Broken parity (symmetry) essentially means that something virtual (shadowy, but real in a special sense and widely used in physics; it has real physical consequences, since it creates all the forces of nature) has become observable (real in the ordinary everyday sense that it can be detected, measured, observed, and used. “Until 1956 the overwhelming majority of physicist believed that parity conservation is never violated in nature. Any new theory without evidence that went against this ingrained belief would almost certainly be dismissed. The belief in parity conservation was too strong an accepted paradigm to be challenged. Then in 1956 two Chinese physicists Yang and Lee first pointed out the exception and theoretically predicted non-conservation of parity. Initially there was predictable skepticism and it took further convincing work and subsequent experimental verification by a Chinese woman Wu and her colleagues and in 1957 the physicist community abandoned a long held belief in conservation of parity. Yang and Lee were not only vindicated, they received the Nobel Prize in Physics for this intellectual feat.”

Lie, Sophus. Vorlesungen ueber Differentialgleichungen mit Bejannten Infinitesimalen Transformationen. Leipzig, Teubner, 1891. First edition. 568pp. Rebound in workable and heavy library cloth. Ex-libris the Franklin Institute, with evidence on the front and rear pastedowns, adn the ibrary’s blindstamp on the titlepage. This is a good, solid copy. $150
Mach, Ernst. Die Analyse der Empfindungen. Jena: Fischer, 1903. 4th edition. 292 8vo. Cloth. Fine condition. This is a lovely copy of Mach’s very highly influential “Analysis of Sensations”. $175
Malengreau, Julien. Essai sur les Fondements de la Geometrie Euclidienne. Librairie, PAyot, 1938. 260, plus 23 plates. ORiginal printed wrappers. Suerior copy. $95
Malengreau285Julien Malengreau.

(1) Considerations sur les Fondements de la Mathematique. Lausanne, F. Rouge, ca. 1950. 39pp. Printed wrappers. Very fine.

(2) Notice sur les Fondements de la Geometrie. Bruxelles, Boeck, 1939. 48pp. Printed wrappers. Very fine.

(3) Notice sur la Fondements de la Geometrie. Montreaux, 1940. “Edition complete”. 96pp. Printed wrappers. Fine

3 works: $75.

Maxwell, James Clerk. Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell. New York: Dover, 1965. 606+804pp 8vo. Cloth, dustjackets. Fine condition. Fine dust jackets. Excellent copy of the “Squat and Sturdy” edition of the Maxwell papers–this is the second-best copy of this book that we have had for sale. $300.
Mandelbrot, Benoit and James Wallis. “Some Long-Run Properties of Geophysical Records.” Offprint: Water Resources Research. Vol 5, No.2, April 1969. Fine copy. $350

Messiah, Albert. Quantum Mechanics. North Holland, the Netherlands: 1958. Two volumes, first editions. Lovely copies in very good dustjacets, about as good a copy as can be expected. $300

Michelson, A.A. . “On the Application of Interference Methods to AStronomical Instruments.” Offprint: National Academy of Sciences; 4to, vol V, fifth Memoir. Pp 578-590. 7 plstes. With the original front outer wrapper; rear wrapper missing. Good copy only. Offered with: “On the Application of Interference Methods to Spectroscopic Measurements”. Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge #842, 24pp, 5 plates. 4to. Removed from larger bound volume. Good copy only. The pair: $175

Moller, C.. The Theory of Relativity. OXford University, 1952. 1st edition. 382 Cloth. Fine condition. Excellent copy of this classic. $100.
Newton, Isaac. Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Harvard University Press, 1972. 2 volumes 4to. Cloth. Fine condition. Fine dust jackets. This is the third edition (1726) and edited by Alexanre Koyre and Bernard Cohen. $425.00
Ohm, Georg Simon (1789-1854). “Vorläufige Anzeige des Gesetzes, nach welchem Metalle die Contakteletricität leiten”. Leipzig: Joh. Ambrosius Barth. 1825. Contained in: Annalen der Physik und Chemie, series II vol. 4, . pp. 79-83. WE offer the entire volume, [12], 476 pp, with 4 folding charts, 6 engraved plates (2 folding). Nice condition, crisp and fresh, in cloth-backed marbled boards (ca. 1940).

This is Ohm’s first appearance in print, and the first appearance of milestone Die Galvanische Kette Mathematische Bearbeitet (published in 1827), known as Ohm’s Law.Formerly from the Library of Bernhard Meining; then, the Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahtforschung; and on the USAAF library at Wright PAtterson, and finally to the Library of Congress. Very well traveled. $1650.

Pauli, Wolfgang. “On Dirac’s New Method of Field Quantization.” American Physical Society, as published in the Reviews of Modern Physics, July 1943 (volume 15, number 3). The Pauli article occupies the entire issue of pp 175-207. We offer the paper in the original orange wrappers, a fien copy, formerly the copy of Al Wattenberg, present-at-the-creation atomic pile at Chicago man and owner of the famous Chianti bottle. $150

[Joseph Paxton] Paxton’s Magazine of Botany and Flowering Plants and registry of flowering plants.

London: Orr and Smith (vols. I-II) and William S. Orr and Co. (vols. III-XVI), 1834-1849. Offering 14 of the original 16 volumes (that form that complete set). We have volumes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7-16, with about 600 hand-colored plates. The group: $5000


Condition, text: and plates are quite lovely, the plates being very fresh and bright.
Condition, bindings: poor. The bindings are almost entirely gone, with spine covers missing in most cases, and nearly all covers detached (though most of them are present). In volume 12 the titles of the plates (at bottom) have been trimmed half away. 10 of the folding plates have been ruined by a perforated stamp.

Pearson, Karl. Early Statistical Papers. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1st edition. 557pp 4to. Cloth. Very good copy. Good dust jacket. London, Cambridge University Press, 1966-67. Nice copy of a difficult book to find in collectible condition. $300

Poggendorf, J.C.. Geschichte der Physik. Leipzig: Johann Barth, 1879. 1st edition. 937 Rebound. Fine condition. Poggendorf (editor of the Annalen der Physik) supplies just a bunch of unsual, odd bits here–for example, he references the first use of Petrach and eyeglasses (pg 93) as occuring in 1299. A simple google query will list a large number of unusual pre-Newtonian references. Rebound in modern cloth. $225.
Poincare, Henri. The Principles of Mathematical Physics. The Monist, 1905 (January). 1st edition. 24pp Original printed wrappers. Good or better condition. This is the rare offprint from The Monist for January 1905 of Henri Poincare’s famous paper, coming just prior to the Annus Mirablis Einstein papers on Special Relativity later in the year. (1905 was a very good year for physics). $950

CONDITION NOTES The scarce wrappers here are present but detached and split at the spine. The entire textblock is becoming almost entirely disbound, hanging on to itself just barely. There are also a few chips in the wrapper covers front and back. This is no doubt in need of conservation, and our price reflects that need. Still, though, it is a bright copy and is not as scary I think as I’ve described.

HISTORICAL NOTES Poincare, in his opening address to the Paris Congress in 1900, asked “Does the ether really exist?” In 1904 Poincare came very close to the theory of special relativity in an address to the International Congress of Arts and Science in St Louis. He pointed out that observers in different frames will have clocks which will … mark what on may call the local time. … as demanded by the relativity principle the observer cannot know whether he is at rest or in absolute motion. The year that special relativity finally came into existence was 1905. June of 1905 was a good month for papers on relativity, on the 5th June Poincare communicated an important work Sur la dynamique de l’electron while Einstein’s first paper on relativity was received on 30th June. Poincare stated that It seems that this impossibility of demonstrating absolute motion is a general law of nature. After naming the Lorentz transformations after Lorentz, Poincare shows that these transformations, together with the rotations, form a group.

Poincare, Jules Henri. The Principles of Mathematical Physics. Chicago: Open Court Publishing Company, 1905. The Monist, Vol XV, No. 1, January, 1905 Pp 1-160 8vo. Original printed wrappers. Good condition. Ex-library. This is the entire issue of The Monist for January 1905, with the Poincare paper occupying pp 1-25, complete with the original wrappers–it is, however, removed from a larger bound volume and does stand for binding. This said, this is an extremely uncommon version of this significant paper, coming as it does just prior to the Annus Mirablis Einstein papers on Special Relativity later in the year. (1905 was a very good year for physics). Again, this is the entire 160pp issue of this journal, and is ex-library from the U.S. Bureau of American Ethnology (Washington DC).

CONDITION NOTES The original wrappers are still in decent shape, as they were printed on a considerably heavier stock than is normally found. The text of the paper has a few problems here and there, though the most significant is some bumping and tearing along teh top edges of the middle thirty pages or so. (This is probably worse-sounding than it is in real life). That said, this is still a solid GOOD copy, if not better. $195.

Poincare, Henri. The Present and the future of Mathematical Physics. MacMillan Company, 1906. Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society 12, Number 5, Feb 1 PPp 241-269 Slightly ex-library. Fine copy, unusually so, in the original wrappers. One library tamp on front cover, otherwise lovely. We offer the entire issue pp 223-271. This is another version of the original 1904 report at St. Louis and its publication in The Monist of 1905. It has some interesting early comments about relativity including the following brief definition. “The principle of relativity, according to which the laws of physical phenomena must be the same for a stationary observer as for one carried along in a uniform motion of translation, so that we have no means, and can have none, of determining whether or not we are being carried along in such a motion.” $350.00

Poincare, Henri. Electricite et Optique la Lumiere et les Theories Electrodynamiques…. Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1901. 2nd edition. 641pp Royal 8vo. Half-calf. Fine condition. Lovely copy in half-morocco and marbled boards, with raised bands. Some browning of the text edges, as is common to this period in French scientific publishing. Tant pis. $275

The Wooden Genetics of the Programmable Computer: the Jacquard Loom

Posselt, Emanuel Anthony. The jacquard machine :analyzed and explained : with an appendix on the preparation of jacquard cards, and practical hints to learners of jacquard designing. 10×7.5 inches, 127, p., [2] folded leaves of plates : ill. ; 29 cm. $1650. Rare first edition. Published under the auspices of the School [Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art] in Philadelphia, 1888. Of particular interest is the appendix, “Preparing Jacquard Cards”, pp 85-102, which in effect is a description of an 18th century programmable machine.

“Extremely detaiuled description…of machines for preparing Jacquard cards, lavishly illustrated”—Randell, p. 501. (In: Brian Randell, The Computer from Pascal to von Neuman, 2nd edition, 1992).

“Particularly useful for understanding how the cards were used, often considered as an early form of machine programming”. –Cortada, #330. In: James W. Cortada, Before the Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, and Remington Rand and the Industry They Created, 1865-1956. Princeton University Press, 1999.

From the library of Senator John Pastore (D-RI), (1904-1997), the first Italian-American elected to the US Senate (1950). Bound in a workman’s blue buckram—not a pretty binding by any stretch—though internally in nice condition. The binding is functional though this is a fine candidate for a nice rebinding.

“This extensively illustrated work is the most detailed published account of the design and operation of the Jacquard loom, on which Jacquard himself appears to have never published any details. It includes an excellent description of the punched cards. The book includes a brief history of the Jacquard loom, a detailed description of its mechanism and an appendix on the preparation and stamping of Jacquard cards, illustrated with pictures of the stamping machines. The punched card method of storing and processing data evolved from methods developed by textile manufacturers in the 18th and 19th centuries for weaving complex patterns in cloth.” Origins of Cyberspace 355.

Rambosson, J. Histoire des Astres, Astronomie Pour Tous. Paris, Firmin-Didot, 1874. viii, 468pp. Illustrated. Red leather binding. Very good copy. $200

With a 19th Century Dust jacket

Lord Rayleigh and William Ramsay. Argon, a New Constituent of the Atmosphere. The Hodgkins Fund. City of Washington, Smithsonian Institution. 1896. Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge. 1033. 4to., [4], 43 pp., 5 text figures. Brilliant copy in the original green cloth with blind stamping and gilt stamps. Also: this copy comes with the rare, original, dust jacket. (There are few scientific works published in the 19th century issued with dust jackets.) Condition: book, very fine; dust jacket has some dusting, some tears and chips around edges, but is fresh, and Very Good. $1250

First edition, announcing the discovery of the first inert gas, the work (largely) leading to the Nobel Prize in physics for Rayleigh and the Nobel for chemistry for Ramsay in 1904.

And from “The Discovery of Argon: a Case of Learning from Data?”, by ArisSpanos in Philosophy of Science ,Vol. 77, No. 3, July 2010:

“In 1904, Lord Rayleigh (1842–1919) and his collaborator Sir William Ramsay (1852–1916) were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry, respectively, primarily for their role in the discovery of argon, an inert gas in the atmosphere. The averse reaction to this discovery by Mendeleev (1834–1907) might have been the main reason for his not being awarded the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1906.”

“The discovery of argon resulted from a careful unraveling of an empirical discrepancy, initially detected by Rayleigh when measuring the density of nitrogen gas produced by two different procedures. After a long trial‐and‐error process based on a carefully designed sequence of experiments and guided by an informal (by today’s standards) analysis of the resulting data Rayleigh and Ramsay reached the conclusion that the atmospheric air contains argon, a hitherto unknown element.”

And this:

“Rayleigh and Ramsey had noted that nitrogen obtained from the air had a density greater than that of nitrogen liberated from its compounds by about one-half percent. This led to the isolation of the first of the inert gases which they called argon. In the following year Ramsay found another, helium, in the mineral clevite, altho this had been noted in the sun’s spectrum by Lockyar in 1868. In four years, 1894-8, five new gases, including neon, krypton and xenon had been discovered. These form a distinct group in the periodic table; all have zero valency.” [Dibner]. Dibner, Heralds of Science 50.

Robertson, H.P.. Lectures on Relativity. Princeton: Princeton University, 1937 (?). 1st edition. 137 4to. Printed wrappers. Very good condition. 137 mimeographed leaves from typewritten notes. H.P. Robertson of the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker cosmological model was part of the glorious Princeton IAS decade of the 1930′s, including von Neumann, Einstein, Godel, Wigner, etc. These are notes of Robertson’s lectures on relativity taken by his doctoral student A.H. Taub. RARE $350

_____. Relativistic Cosmology. American Physical Society, 1933. 1st edition. Reviews of Modern Physics, 5/1, January 1933 4to. Original printed wrappers. Fine condition. Robertson’s effort occupies pp 62-90 ofg this issue (pp 1-90). $125.

_____. The Uncertainty Principle. Minneapolis: American Physical Society, 1929. 1st edition. Physical Review 34/1 July 1, 1929 Pp 162-3 8vo. Original printed wrappers. Very good condition. Excellent, classic, early American effort on the uncertainty principle. This is the first of the bi-weekly issues for the PhysRev, in the original green wraps. Other contributors in this issue: Allison, Morse, Langer, Pauling, Uhlenbeck, Langmuir, and others. See Wheeler, p. 127. $225

Early and Significant Paper on Decision Theory

Halsey Royden, Patrick Suppes, and Karol Walsh. “A Model for the Experimental Measurement of the Utility of Gambling.” Offprint: Behavioral Science, Vol 4, No 1, January 1959, pp 11-18. Original printed wrappers. Fine copy. $350

Abstract: It seems obvious that a gambler is motivated to take risks by expectation of gain. In the development of a theory of gambling behavior the need has been recognized of determining the gambler’s “utility function” with respect to money, that is, the relative worth to him of various amounts of money. But more than money may be involved in the gambler’s expected gain. Gambling itself may have a “utility” for him. Here a theory of gambling decisions takes into account both utilities.–Wiley Online Series (here)

Royden Gambling690
Rosen, N.. General Relativity and Flat Space I AND Flat Space II AND Note on Ether Drift Experiments. Lancster: American Physical Society, 1940. 1st edition. Physical Review 57/2, January 15, 1940 Original printed wrappers. Very good condition. This seems to be the second-most cited article by Rosen following his fabulous 1935 paper with Einstein and Podolsky. $200

The following is taken from the APS PROLA site:
ABSTRACT Within the framework of the general theory of relativity , it is proposed to introduce at each point of space-time a Euclidean metric tensor γμν in addition to the usual Riemannian metric tensor gμν. In this way one imparts tensor character to quantities which in the usual form of the theory do not have it. For example, one can obtain a gravitational energy-momentum density tensor in place of the usual pseudo-tensor. Furthermore one can impose four additional covariant conditions on the gravitational field and thus restrict the form of the solution for the field corresponding to a given physical situation.

Rutherford, Ernst. Radio-activity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1904. 1st edition. 8vo. Cloth. Very good condition. Very nice, bright copy of this massively influential and important book.

Offered with:

_____. Radioactive Substances and their Radiations. Cambridge University Press, 1913. 699 Cloth. Superior copy of this superb work–ostensibly this is the second edition, really, of his 1904 Radio-Activity, but this and the subsequent third edition are such vastly different works that they might as well be considered–at least in my mind–three different works.

Offered with:

_____, and Chadwick, Ellis. Radiations from Radioactive Substances. Cambridge University Press, 1930. Lovely copy in a FINE DUSTJACKET. We simply do not see this work anymore with the dust jacket. This is the third and final installment on Rutherford’s earlier work, “Radio-activity”, and is considered to be the third edition of that masterwork. However, as I have said with the second installment of this book, the three are so very different that it is hard to distinguish them as “one” book–they can each stand on their own merits.

The three: $1500.

John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh, [ (12 November 1842 – 30 June 1919), Nobel in physics, 1904, and author of a still-standard work in acoustics, The Theory of Sound.]

“On Waves”. In: The Philosophical Magazine, April 1876. Pp 257-279, in the issue comprising pp 257-336. $200

Offered in the original, never-bound, unopened quires for this issue–scarce in this state. In this paper Raleigh provides mathematical proof for the experimentally elegant but not-yet-accepted hypotheses of John Scott Russell‘s w (1808–1882) work on solitons.

Sautter & Lemonnier, L.. Note sur les Applications de la Lumiere Electrique a la’Art Militaire et la Marine Militaire. Paris: L. Sautter, Lemonnier & Cie., 1879. 1st edition. 32pp 8vo. Original printed wrappers. Good condition. The title continues: “pour signeurs, eclairage a grandes distances, travaux de nuit, etc.”

The pamphlet was published by the manufacturers and distributors, L. Sautter, Lemonnier & Co who were “Constructeurs de Phares lenticuleurs et de Machines de Gramme”, and to this time were known particularly for their work in lens for lighthouses. This is a very early work on the military applications of the electric light, and is also quite rare, seemingly unknown to the OCLC/WorldCat as there are *no* copies listed. This copy was formerly in the collection of the U.S. War Department (with a very light rubberstamp on the fron cover dating its acquisition in 1883) and more rececntly from the Library of Congress. $500.00

Schlick, Moritz. Allgemeine Erkenntnislehre. Berlin, Julius Springer, 1925. Second eition. Naturwissenschaftenliche Monographien und Lehrbuch #1. 375pp. Very fine copy. $125
Schrodinger, Erwin. Die Erfuellbarkeit der Relativitatsfoderung in der Klassischen Mechanik. Leipzig: Johannes Barth, 1925. 1st edition. Annalen der Physik, series 4 volume 77 Pp 325-336, 785pp overall 8vo. Cloth-backed paper covered boards. Very good condition. Rubberstamps on page edges from Wright Patterson Technical Library; rubber stamp interior for the Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahrtforschung (w/small swastika). Contains “Die Wasserstoffahnlichen Spektren vom Standpunkte der Polarisierbarkeit des Atomrumpfes” by Schroedinger, as well as other articles by Stark, Lau, Kossel, Wien, and many others. $500.00

Schroedinger, Erwin. Undulatory Theory of the Mechanics of Atoms and Molecules. Minneapolis: American Physical Society, 1926. The Physical Review: Issue for December 1926, 28/6 Wrappers. Very good condition. Good solid copy, the edges of the wrappers a little rounded from use; library stamp (faded) on front wrapper. Small chips out on top and bottom of spine. A solid copy. $750

Abstract of the paper as it appears in American Physical Society’s PROLA: “E. Schrödinger; Received 3 September 1926; published in the issue dated December 1926. The paper gives an account of the author’s work on a new form of quantum theory. §1. The Hamiltonian analogy between mechanics and optics. §2. The analogy is to be extended to include real “physical” or “undulatory” mechanics instead of mere geometrical mechanics. §3. The significance of wave-length; macro-mechanical and micro-mechanical problems. §4. The wave-equation and its application to the hydrogen atom. §5. The intrinsic reason for the appearance of discrete characteristic frequencies. §6. Other problems; intensity of emitted light. §7. The wave-equation derived from a Hamiltonian variation-principle; generalization to an arbitrary conservative system. §8. The wave-function physically means and determines a continuous distribution of electricity in space, the fluctuations of which determine the radiation by the laws of ordinary electrodynamics. §9. Non-conservative systems. Theory of dispersion and scattering and of the “transitions” between the “stationary states.” §10. The question of relativity and the action of a magnetic field. Incompleteness of that part of the theory.”
Schroedinger, Ernst. Energieaustausch nach der Wellenmechanik. Leipzig: Annalen der Physik, 1927. 1st printing. Annalen der Physik 4/83, 1927 Pp 956-968 8vo. Modern cloth. Fine condition. This is the pioneering effort that preceded the great pioneering effort of von Neumann (November 1927) connecting thermodynamics and quantum mechanics (according to J. Mehra in the sixth volume of his tremendous The Historical Development of Quantum Theory, volume 6: the Completion of Quantum Mechanics).
We offer the entire volume (1236pp) with the Schroedinger contribution. There are two elegant rubberstamps on the title page–(a) library of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut fuer Physik, and (b) library of the Inst of Spectroscopy at the Max Planck Ges. Institute $450
Shannon, Claude: Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems; NYC: ATT, 1949. Published in The Bell System Technical Journal, vol 27, October 1949, No. 4 8vo. Offered in its original printed wrappers, and in fine condition. . This is the great standard and first classic modern paper on computers and cryptology. $600

This is a very nice copy of this work, with only a short tear at the top of the spine and some slight fading around the wrapper edges. (The rich and dark blue wrappers used by Bell for this publication just didn’t stand up to the test of time–here, even not exposed to any light or use for years, the wrappers still have started to fade. I make this to be a standard condition for a nice, acceptable copy coming from this journal. There is a rubber stamped date on the front wrapper (Nov 30 1949).


Shewhart, Walter Andrew. Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control. With the editorial Assistance of W. Edwards Deming. Washington DC: Department of Agriculture, 1939. 1st edition. 8vo. Cloth. Fine condition. Washington, DC, Department of Agriculture: 1939. First edition. 8vo, 1x,155pp, diagrams, tables etc in the text. Original cloth. Very bright. Fine copy of a scarce and seminal work. “Whereas Shewhart’s early writings and first book (1931) were focused on statistical control of industrial production processes, in his second book (above) he extended the applications of statistical process control to the measurement processes of science, and stressed the importance of operational definitions of basic quantities in science, industry and commerce….(this book) has profoundly influenced statistical methods of research in the behavioral, biological and physical sciences, and in engineering…” (DSB, XVIII, 818a) $550
Shockley, WIlliam. A Simple Domain Structure in an Iron Crystal Showing a Direct Correlation with the Magnetization. Lancaster: APS, 1949. 1st edition. Physical Review 73/1, January 1949 Original printed wrappers. Fine condition.
The following abstract is taken from the great AIP website section PROLA: H. J. Williams and W. Shockley A hollow rectangle cut from a single crystal of 3.8 percent silicon iron has been studied with the aid of powder patterns and flux measurements. The edges and surfaces were all cut accurately parallel to <100>, the directions of easy magnetization. The domain pattern consists of 8 domains , four forming an inner rectangle magnetized in one direction and the others forming an oppositely magnetized outer rectangle. Changes in magnetization occur by the growth of one set of domains at the expense of the other. In the saturated condition, each leg of the rectangle is one domain about 1.5×0.1×0.1 cm in size. Implications of these results in connection with Barkhausen effect are discussed, and a method of measuring the energy of the Bloch wall is proposed. Phys. Rev. 75, 178 (1949) Cited 53 times $150.00
Shockley, William. Electrons and Holes in Semiconductors. Toronto: D. Van Nostrand, 1956. 8vo. Light blue cloth. Fine condition. Spine and edges of cover sunned, light shelf wear, text clean. Excellent copy of the sixth printing, printed in 1956 following the November 1950 first printing. $250.00

Shockley, William. Electrons and Holes in Semiconductors. New York: Van Nostrand, 1st edition. 8vo. Cloth. Fine condition. Beautiful copy–the sixth printing of 1956 of the first edition. $300.00

Shockley, William. Electrons and Holes in Semiconductors with Applications to transistor electronics. New York: Van Nostrand, 1951. 1st edition. 558pp 8vo. Cloth. Fine condition. Very good dust jacket !st editrion, 2nd printing, printed in November 1951 following the November 1950 first printing. Lovely copy in a very good and uncommon dustjacket. $400.00

Shockley, WIlliam. Holes and Electrons. New York: American Institute of Physics, 1950. 1st edition. Physics Today, vol 3 number 10 Pp 16-25 Royal 8vo. Original printed wrappers. Fine condition. This is the original wrappers edition of Physics Today (Vol 3 Number 10, October 1950) PRECEDING PUBLICATION of Shockley’s book “Electrons and Holes in Semiconductors, with Applications to Transistor Electronics”. The paper “presents in simplified form a portion of the author’s book…which is planned for publication…” The Shockley article occupies pp 16-25 of this 40pp publication. From the library of David Katcher, founding editor of “Physics Today”. This is a fine, crisp copy of this publication–a nicer copy would be hard to imagine. (Book ID 22740)$950.00

Sierpinski, Waclaw. Lecons sur les Nombres Transfinis. Paris; Gauthier-Villars, 1928. Collections de Monographies sur la Theorie des Fonctions. Cloth. Very good copy. Formerly the copy of Samuel Saslaw. $85
Silberstein, Ludwik. . “Contribution to the Quantum Theory of Spectrum Emission: Spectra of Atomic Systems Containing a Complex Nucleus.” Offprint: Philosophical Magazine, vol xxxix, January 1920.Original printed wrappers.pp 46-66. Inscribed, “with the author’s best regards, 21.I.1920″. $125

Silberstein was as we all know an interesting thinker, working early and with some elegance in relativity, though he did run into a spot of bother with Einstein in which the good Dr. Silberstein fared not so well. I’ve always rather “liked” Silberstein for his early work.

Smyth241Henry DeWolf Smyth. Atomic Energy for Military Purposes. Being the entire issue for October, 1945, of Reviews of Modern Physics, pp 351-491. Original printed wrapper. Good copy. $125 Formerly the copy of Al Wattenberg, a present-at-the-creation physicist under the stands at Chicago in 1942 (as we read from University of Illinois/Urbana:

In 1941, Al was close to finishing his PhD but the war effort intervened. Fermi invited Al to join his group, studying the fission of uranium. The group included Herb Anderson, Bernard Feld, Walter Zinn, and Leo Szilard. As a young and talented instrumentalist, Al learned to use Geiger counters, served as a draftsman and a machinist, and maintained and built photon and neutron detectors. Herb Anderson trained Al to make neutron sources and, after 1943, Al made and maintained all the radium and beryllium sources for the entire Manhattan Project. He also worked with Fermi on measuring the neutron activity in the uranium graphite structure. It was here that Al observed Fermi’s enormous thoroughness and redundancy in experimental work, an example that affected Al’s approach to experiments for the rest of his life.

In 1942, the group moved from New York to the University of Chicago. They made quick progress in controlled fission, working 18-hour days, while learning about the theory of chain reactions at lectures given by Fermi. The construction of the first pile started on November 16, 1942. On December 2, 1942, the group obtained the first controlled nuclear chain reaction. Eugene Wigner presented Fermi with a bottle of Chianti, which everybody present signed. As a young member of the group, Al cleaned up after the event—and kept the historical bottle until 1980, when he donated it to Argonne National Laboratory.

The Smyth Report is a significant event in the history of physics as it preemptively determined the stuff that could and couldn’t be publicly discussed about the making of the bomb. Even the cautious and methodical Lee Groves came ’round fairy quickly to the publication of the Report, which made its first appearance in print in a separately printed format just 12 days after the explosion at Hiroshima.

Simon, Herbert. A Comparison of Game Theory and Learning Theory.. Pittsburg: Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1956. 1st edition. (1956). 11×8.5″, mimeographed typed sheets, staple-bound. Owner’s stamp on top front wrapper upper right. Fine copy. Rare.”HERBERT A. SIMON’s research has ranged from computer science to psychology, administration, and economics, and philosophy. The thread of continuity through all his work has been his interest in human decision-making and problem-solving processes, and the implications of these processes for social institutions. For more than 40 years, he has been making extensive use of the computer as a tool for both simulating human thinking and augmenting it with artificial intelligence. Born in 1916 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Simon was educated in political science at the University of Chicago (B.A., 1936, Ph.D., 1943). He has held research and faculty positions at the University of California (Berkeley), Illinois Institute of Technology, and since 1949, Carnegie Mellon University, where he is Richard King Mellon University Professor of Computer Science and Psychology, and a member also of the Departments of Philosophy and of Social and Decision Sciences, and the Graduate School of Industrial Administration. In 1978, he received the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and in 1986 the National Medal of Science; in 1969, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association, in 1975 the A.M. Turing Award of the Association for Computing Machinery (with Allen Newell), in 1988, the John von Neumann Theory Prize of ORSA/TIMS, and in 1995, the Research Excellence Award of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Simon’s books include Administrative Behavior, Human Problem Solving, jointly with Allen Newell, The Sciences of the Artificial, Scientific Discovery, with Pat Langley, Gary Bradshaw, and Jan Zytkow, three volumes of his collected economics papers (Models of Bounded Rationality), two volumes of collected psychology papers (Models of Thought), a volume of papers on philosophy of science (Models of Discovery), and his autobiography, Models of My Life.” [HOLD]

Snedecor, George. “Use of Punched Card Equipment in Mathematics.” The Mathematical Association of America, 1928. 1st edition. The American Mathematical Monthly, (35), Number 4, April 1928 Original printed wrappers. Fine condition. Snedecor’s article occupies pp 161-168 (of pp 161-216 comprising the issue) and illustrated with several figures and one photo (of a caard assembly area). We offer the entire monthly issue in the original wrappers. $175

Steinmetz, Charles Proteus. Theory and Calculation of Alternating Current Phenomena. New York, W.J. Johnston Co., 1897. xvii, 429, (vi). Cloth. FIne copy. $500

Tesla, Nikola. Polyphase Motor Case (Tesla Patents Nos 511,915 and 555,190).

New York: C.G. Burgoyne, 1899. 2pp 8vo. Printed wrappers. Very good condition. Formerly in the collection of the Library of Congress, with an interior blindstamp, also with a faint rubberstamp of the NY Public Library. Full Text of Permanent Injunction in the Case of Tesla Electric Company, Complainant vs Scott & Janney et al, Defendants, filed 1899. This is the official notice of the Circuit Court in Philadelphia issuing the permanent injunction against Scott & Janey. $1,250.00

Thomson, William. On a Machine for the Solution of Simultaenous Linear Equations. London: Nature Magazine, 1878. 1st edition. Nature, volume 19 ` Royal 8vo. Very good condition. Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) along with his brother James devised this early analogue computation device appearing in the December 19, 1878 issue of the great science journal Nature, occupying pp 161-162, the article being approximately 1000-words. We offer the issue, complete, with the original front wrapper and ads, removed from a larger bound volume. Also in this issue appears an interesting book review (of 3-pages) by James Clerk Maxwell, an article on the microphone by P.G. Tait (Thomson & Tait!), as well as a number of other interesting entries. The whole issue comprises 25pp. An article of the same title appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society in 1879. James Thomson’s article “On an Integrating Machine Having a New Kinemtic Principle” appears two years earlier, 1876, in the same journal. $450.00
Tolman, Richard C. The Theory of the Relativity of Motion. University of Californa, Berkeley. 1917. First edition. 8vo, 224pp. Very crisp copy of Tolman’s first book. FIne+ copy. $145
Tolman, Richard C.. Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology. Oxford, 1958. 1st edition. Large 8vo Cloth. Near fine condition. Light shelfwear. Lovely copy, really. $120
Tompkins, C.B.. High-Speed Computing Devices. New York: McGraw Hill, 1950. 1st edition. 8vo. Cloth. Beautiful copy of the book in a VG copy of the dj. The dj has the usual nicks and chips but also has the usual fading on the spine as well. $450
This is simply the best of the pre-1960′s textbooks on the computer, complete with a seemingly endless amount of data on the golden age of computers. This classic work is enhanced by a (very) unusually complete series of chapter-ending references and bibliographies. Among much else of interest we find a treatment of the Harvard Mark I and II on pp 183-187 in the chapter on “Large-Scale Digital Computing Systems” on pp 182-222 with bibliography occupying pp 218-222. Also, the “Punched-Card Computing Systems” chapter pp 146-181 has a splendid bibliography on pp 166-181.
“This is considered to be the first textbook on digital computers, the first compendium in English on digital computer technology, and a pioneering work that influenced many computer designers during the 1950s. It provides an unsurpassed picture of the state of the art during the late 1940s, and is further enhanced by the inclusion of several excellent bibliographies.” Goldstine, p. 315 Sarrazin F2.
It was written to satisfy “a perceived need, following the end of WW II, for compendium of technologies applicable to the emerging field of electronic digital computers…Because published technical information was scarce in the U.S., there can be little question that the book was an important contribution to computer literature…with its state of the art picture of the period 1947 through 1949, establishes a well-documented baseline fro tracking and evaluating subsequent technological progress.” Arnold Cohen, from the Introduction to the 1983 Charles Babbage Institute Reprint Series Edition of the ERA Report, published by Tomash Publshing.
(UNIVAC) Preliminary Description of the UNIVAC for EMCC Personel Only.. 11×8 inches. 54 leaves (printed on one side only). Offset printed (?). Intended as an internal document, only. Copyright and printed 1950 (Revised. 7/19/50) by the Ekert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, a Subsidiary of Remington Rand Inc. Marked: “U-300” and “#192″. RARE. $2500
A note on the author: who is identified only as “HFMjf:mb” (as the last line of the document), is almost certainly Herbert F. Mitchell, Jr., who we find identified in the Grace Hopper papers at the Smithsonian Institution (and who was author of “Outline for First Lecture: Programming Course for EMCC’s Engineers”, 4/4/50; A-TC-7 by HFM jr (Herbert F. Mitchell, Jr.), 4 pages and “Outline for Second Lecture: Programming Course for EMCC’s Engineers”, 11 April 1950; A-TC-7, no author but probably by H.F. Mitchell (see First Lecture), 2 pages. AND with J. Presper Eckert, Jr., James R. Weiner, H. Frazer Welsh “The UNIVAC System”, AmericanInstitute of Electrical Engineers Institute of Radio Engineers Conference, pp. 6-16, December, 1951. Dr. Herbert F. Mitchell was the Director of the Computational Lab at Ekert-Mauchly: . “Dr. Grace Hopper was among the staff as well as Betty Holberton, Al Tonik, Art Katz, Hildegard Nidecker, and Dick Woltman. Paul Chinitz, Steve Wright, Harvey Rubinstein, Lloyd Stowe…” ALSO: Mitchell: Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, Harvard, 1948 (helped Howard Aiken build the Mark II); joined Ekert-Mauchly in November, 1949 and continued with Univac and Sperry Rand until 1959 (and was chief programmer on the UNIVAC I, and later, sales manager).

This work is composed of 26 sections, as follows, and seems to be a rather complete description of the running of the UNIVAC as could be in 54 pages:

  1. Introduction
  2. Initial read Operation
  3. Four-stage Cycle of Operation
  4. Data Transfers
  5. Arithmetic Operations
  6. Overflow
  7. Addition
  8. Overflow Routine
  9. Subtraction
  10. Shifts
  11. Multiplication
  12. Division
  13. Extraction
  14. Control Transfers
  15. Tape Instructions
  16. Read Instructions
  17. The Write Instructions
  18. Read Tape Instructions
  19. Supervisory Control Operations
  20. Recorder Transfer of Control
  21. The Writer Operations
  22. The rewind Instruction
  23. The Breakpoint Instruction
  24. Supervisory Control Input
  25. Tape Reversal
  26. Checks

There are also two full page sheets of block diagrams:

–Simplified Block Diagram Central Input-output and Interlock Circuits

–Simplified Input circuits // Simplified Output circuits

Binding: punch-bound in a period manila binding with metal compressors. Cloth tape spine. Typed, home-made (contemporary) title on front of binding.

Everything in VERY GOOD condition. Rare. Only three copies found in OCLC/WorldCat.

Volta, Alexander. “Ueber die sogennie galvanische Electricitat.” Pp 421-449, in the Annalen der Physik, series I, volume 10, 1802 (3). The first German appearance describing the actions between the metal plates in Volta’s piles. Most of the fourth section of the volume (which we offer in its entirely of 512pp) is dedicated to Volta, as follows:

Also includes: “Bericht an die mathematisch-physikalische Klasse der fransoesischen NAtional-Instituts ueber Volta’s galvanische Versuche”. Pp 389-408; plus “Anmerkungen Eberechungen ueber Volta’s Saule”, pp 409-420; plus: Untersuchungen ueber die Natur der Valtaischen Saule by J.C.L. Reinhold, pp 450-482.

Very nice copy, in cloth-backed marbled boards. Formerly from the Library of Bernhard Meining; then, the Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahtforschung; and on the USAAF library at Wright Patterson, and finally to the Library of Congress. Very well traveled. $450

Classic Bibliography on Nuclear Fission, 1940

I’ve found this article by physicist Louis A. Turner to be very helpful over the years. He was an I-was-there guy (and actually an I-am-here guy) who wrote a stuccato article on the history of nuclear fission which was top heavy in references, and did so in 1940, just before the clamp came down on publication on the topic. Certainly there are other more modern efforts in this area that are far more detailed, but few have managed to do so good a job in as limited space as Turner.

Turner, Louis.“Nuclear Fission.” Lancaster: American Physical Society, 1940. An article in the Reviews of Modern Physics, vol 12/1, January 1940, pp 1-30 of an issue of 85pp Original orange wrappers. Fine condition. Also contains articles by Seaborg and Zwicky. $100.00

von Mises, Richard. Notes on the Mathematical Theory of Probability and Statistics. Part I: Probability Theory; Part II: Mathematical Statistics. 11×8 inches, offset printed, from Harvard University Graduate School of Engineering. Special Publication No. 1 for the Graduate School of Engineering, Cambridge, MA, 1946. Variously paginated, numbering approximately 300 leaves. Quite scrace in this early format. $500

The Most Important Menu n the History of Computer Science? John von Neuman and the NORC, 1954

“There is no mystery about these machines[computers]. The mystery is how the human brain has been able to develop them. These devices are merely small tools which men have devised to help them do a better job.”–Thomas J. Watson, chairman of the board of IBM, 1954

ITEM: Luncheon Menu, NORC Dedication, 1954. 4pp, ribbon ties. Presents speaker names and such, and does NOT contain the text of any speeches. This is a fantastic piece of computer ephemera. RARE. $750.

Norc--von n group Here is something that one doesn’t get to say very often: this is perhaps the most important menu in the history of computing1. And if there’s another menu out there of the same or greater significance, then I offer that this is perhaps the most important menu tassle in the history of computation–that seems safer.

In the history of odd bits of historic computeriana ephemera, this tassle joins the ranks of other one-percenters, like this: the world’s first portable computer had a gun rack. This was hardly a laptop though it was portable, and very well lived up to its Herman Melville-inspired acronym: MOBIDIC.

The Mobile Digital Computer was intended to be a transistorized van-mounted computer used to store and route data as part of the U.S. Army’s Fieldata system. The machine was indeed built and deployed by 1959–as were the MOBIDIC A,B,C,D,E and 7a by the early 1960′s–and it was a successful component, even though the overall network was not successful. Fieldata was supposed to integrate all manner of information and distribute it to battlefield recipients. My friend (Dr.) Carl Hammer (1914-1904), who I knew from being in the neighborhood in Georgetown, was a delightful man who had long and significant history in the development of the modern computer. He told me one afternoon–stopping in to visit on his constitutional–in his sly and amusing way about working on the MOBIDIC while he was at Sylvania. (He had just finished heading up Remington Rand’s UNIVAC European Division before going to Sylvania.) Anyway he started his story about the MOBIDIC by telling me that it was the world’s first portable computer (sitting in a 42-foot-long semitrailer) and that it had gun racks. The reason for the gun racks was simple–if something was made by the U.S. Army, and it had wheels, then it had to have a gun rack. Case closed.

Now, getting back to the subject at hand: this is the luncheon menu for the dedication of the NORC “Calculator” (the Naval Ordnance Research Calculator) a computer which was constructed principally with IBM parts and built at the Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia. The NORC was the world’s first supercomputer, and the most powerful computer on the planet for about ten years (from 1954 to 1963, until it was surpassed by Seymour Cray’s CDC 6600 in 1964).

The NORC was an astonishing accomplishment, difficult to summarize simply, really, though a very good example is that provided by Dr. Paul Herget, the director of the Cincinnati Observatory. Dr,. Herget used the NORC in 1956 to make precise calculations of the earths orbit for the 1920-2000 period. Dr. Herget said: “We used nine hours of running time and completed more computations than had ever before been done at one time in the history of astronomy.’”

Outside of celebrating the accomplishment of the NORC, the luncheon was also important for the remarks of the principal speaker, John von Neumann. Von Neumann of course was perhaps the most expansive mind of the century–a thinker of phenomenal proportions and the father of the modern computer. His brain was impossibly big. Impossible.

During the luncheon von Neumann made prescient and extraordinarily wide remarks on the future utility of the computer. Some of the highlights (from the entire address, included below):

–it is now “practical and feasible” to forecast, with the NORC, the weather for an entire hemisphere thirty or sixty days ahead

–calculation of the tidal motions of all the oceans, the marginal movements near the continents as well as the main motions of the oceans

–the hydrodynamics of the earth’s fluid core

–”In the statistical field, dealing with matters which are not wholly mechanical, such as troop operations and logistic operations which involve purely accidental factors like the prevailing weather during the operation, command decisions which have not yet been officially made can be stipulated and various solutions for various alternatives calculated. This has been done before on a minor scale but it takes too long to do on a large scale. “In this field the importance of NORC is enormous…”

–in the first four hours of operations the NORC performed more work than any calculator of ten years ago has performed in its entire lifetime. He termed this performance “completely fantastic; I doubt if it has ever been done before.”
Norc--von n group menu

The last section of von Neumann’s comments:

“The last thing, which is very important, is said in fewer words, but I think that it is none the less important. And it is this: In planning new computing machines, in fact, in planning anything new, in trying to enlarge the domain of parameters with which one can work, it is of course customary and very proper that one should consider what the demand is, what the price is, whether it will be more profitable to do it in a bold way than in a cautious way, and so on. This type of consideration is necessary — the world would very quickly go to pieces if these rules were not observed in 99 cases out of a hundred.

“It is terribly important that there should however be one piece in a hundred where it is done differently.

“And that one uses the definition which Dr. Haven (?) pointed out 20 minutes ago, namely to occasionally do what the U. S. Navy did in this case and what IBM accepted in this case: to write a specification essentially to build the most powerful machine that is possible in this day with the present state of the art. I just hope that this will be repeated very soon and will never be forgotten.

It may be the last statement that is the most important–pressing those of the present and future to perform

The NORC group caption from the IBM Archive website:
“At the NORC dedication in Watson Lab, 2 December 1954: IBM Chairman Thomas J. Watson, Rear Admiral E.A. Solomons (Executive Office, Secretary of the Navy), Jeannette Watson (Mrs. Watson Senior), Columbia Professor Wallace Eckert, John von Neumann, Captain C.K. Bergin (Director, R&D, Bureau of Ordnance, Dept of the Navy), Rear Admiral C.G. Warfield (Executive Office, Secretary of the Navy).” The Navy is happy here because they wound up with the computer at Dahlgren. Von Neumann was happy because he got to play von Neumann his whole life long.

The IBM press release for the NORC included the following summary of the event and the von Neumann address:

NORC Press release//The following is the text of a December 2, 1954 IBM press release regarding the first public demonstration of NORC and its official “delivery” to the U.S. Navy.

The first public demonstration of NORC (Naval Ordnance Research Calculator), fastest and largest capacity electronic calculator in existence, which has been built by International Business Machines Corporation for the Bureau of Ordnance, U.S. Navy, was conducted today at the Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University in the presence of approximately 150 representatives of the U.S. Navy and other Government departments, education and scientific research institutions and industrial companies. The machine was accepted on behalf of the Bureau of Ordnance by Captain C. K. Bergin, USN, Assistant Chief of research and development of the Bureau, from Thomas J. Watson, Jr., president of IBM.

At a luncheon following the demonstration, Professor John Von Neumann, of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, and an appointee to the Atomic Energy Commission, discussed possible uses for the NORC other than for the immediate problems of the Bureau of Ordnance, instancing the field of geophysics as having great possibilities.

It is now “practical and feasible” to forecast, with the NORC, the weather for an entire hemisphere thirty or sixty days ahead, by calculations occupying perhaps 24 hours, with results about as good as those obtained by an experienced subjective weather forecaster, “which are very good.” Calculations similar to those now made, forecasting weather over the area of the United States for 24 hours in advance, could be made on the NORC in perhaps half a minute, he stated.

Complete calculation of the tidal motions of all the oceans, the marginal movements near the continents as well as the main motions of the oceans, is now, with the NORC, a matter of days and therefore feasible. He also declared that calculation of the hydrodynamics of the earth’s fluid core, the movements of which are responsible for the main phenomena of terrestrial magnetism, “becomes probably accessible for the first time.”

In the statistical field, dealing with matters which are not wholly mechanical, such as troop operations and logistic operations which involve purely accidental factors like the prevailing weather during the operation, command decisions which have not yet been officially made can be stipulated and various solutions for various alternatives calculated. This has been done before on a minor scale but it takes too long to do on a large scale. “In this field the importance of NORC is enormous,” Dr. Von Neumann said.

He concluded by pointing out that the NORC was assembled less than two months ago and put on test less than two weeks ago, yet in a test yesterday (Wednesday. Dec. 1) it ran for four hours without an error, doing in this period more work than any calculator of ten years ago has performed in its entire lifetime. He termed this performance “completely fantastic; I doubt if it has ever been done before.”

Dr. Grayson L. Kirk, president of Columbia University, stated that during the test period the NORC will be available to the University for important research projects, particularly in the field of nuclear physics, before it is shipped to the Naval Proving Ground, Dahlgren, Va. to be installed in the Computation Laboratory already established there.

Reviewing Wells’ “The Time Machine”, July 1895, in NATURE

ITEM: [Wells H.G. ] Review of Wells’ The Time Machine in Nature, 18 July 1895. We offer the issue for the week (pp 265-188, plus 8pp advertisements numbered pp xc-xcvi), removed from a larger bound volume, complete with the scarce outer wrappers. Provenance: Smithsonian Astrophysical Obervatory Library, via the Library of Congress. Very nice copy. Very good condition. $200

Wells699I found this interesting 400-word bit in the 18 July 1895 issue of Nature (A Weekly Illustrated Journal of Science) coming just 7 or so weeks after the book was published in England on 29 May. (Nature then is Nature now, and of course still very much alive and still a great publishing scientific powerhouse.) As Wells’ treatment of time as a fourth dimension was still quite speculative, and his creation of the time machine as we now came from his hands, and as its reception by some literary journals was not very cordial, it is particularly interesting to see the positive review from this science journal. As reported by Paul J. Nahin in Time Machines, Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics and Science Fiction (published by Springer Verlag in a second edition in 1999, a graceful book of splendid observations with an introduction by Kip Thorne, Cal Tech’s Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics), Wells’ book was seen as “hocus pocus” and a “fanciful and lively dream” by The Spectator and “bizarre” by the Daily Chronicle.

Nature’s editors says of the book:

“…apart from its merits as a clever piece of imagination, the story is well worth the attention of the scientific reader, for the reason that it is based as far as possible on scientific data…”

“It is naturally in he domain of social and organic evolution that the imagination finds its greatest scope.”

“From first to last the narrative never lapses into dullness.”

And so Wells–who had cleaned up and rewritten an earlier version of thi sbook from 1885–received a happy review from one of the leading scientific magazines of the time. It is not because of a wide interest of Wells in the fourth dimension per se, but rather in rattling Victorian sniffy conceits of his day.

*Time as the fourth dimension is a concept not much older than Well’s idea, one of the earliest publications of the idea appearing ten years earlier (and written anonymously by “S”) in Nature. Charles Hinton, the person we most associate with the introduction of the fourth dimension (or at least so on a popular level) didn’t really establish time as the fourth dimension. (Hinton led a colorful, or at least interesting life–he was a brilliant guy, and also a convicted bigamist who was married to George Boole’s daughter, and creator of an automatic baseball pitching machine. His books on the fourth dimension certainly were influential, and in the estimation of Florence was a contributor to the ideas of the coming modern art movements of the 1890-1910 period.)

And there were certainly many who came before Wells on the subject of the fourth dimension (though not many on the subject of time as the fourth dimension): R.C. Archibald wrote on d’Alembert’s (1754) use of time as a fourth dimension (in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society for May 1914); Cayley’s “Analytical Geometry of n-Dimensions (Cambridge Mathematical Journal, 1843); Grassmann’s Die Lineale aus Dehnungslehre (1844); Riemann’s 1854 effort on curved space (translated in 1873 for Nature by W. Kingdom Clifford); Beltrami’s introduction of the pseudosphere in 1868; J.J. Sylvester (again in Nature for 30 December 1869); Hermann von Helmholtz and his curvature for three-dimensional spaces; and Poincare’s work in 1900, among others. There is a rich field of these efforts, beautifully investgated for the general reader by Linda Dalrmple Henderson in her classic The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art (Princeton 1983).

Weyl, Herman. Five offprints, all in original wrappers. $175

“Generalized Riemann Matrices and Factor Sets.” Offprint: Annals of Mathematics, July 1936.

“Commutator Algebra of a Finite Group of Collineations.” Offprint: Duke Mathematical Journal, 3/23, June 1937. Original wrappers.

“Note on Matric Algebras.” Offprint: Annals of Mathematics, 38/2, April 1937.

“Meromorphic Curves”, offprint, Annals of Mathematics, July 1938.

“On the Differential Equations of the Simplest Boundary-Layer Problems.” Offprint: Annals of Mathematics, April 1942.

Whitehead, Alfred North. A Treatise on Universal Algebra with Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1898. 1st edition. xxvi, 586pp Cloth. Very good copy with a bit of wear to spine top and bottom. Very good copy of an important book. This is Volume 1 and the only volume completed. From here Whitehead joined forces with Russell (after both realized that their individual research in this area was very closely associated) and produced the Principa Mathematica. $950

Wilkes, Maurice V. “EDSAC: an Electronic Calculating Machine“. Cambridge: 1949. 1st printing. Journal of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 26, pp. 385-391. 4to. Cloth. Very good condition. The University Mathematical Laboratory, Cambridge. Received 11 July 1949. Print publication: Issue 12 (December 1949) Reprinted in Randell, Brian. 1982. Origins of Digital Computers: Selected Papers, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 417-422. Bound in volume 26 (1949) of the Journal of Scientific Instruments. 426pp. 4to. Bound in the JSI light green, bevel board binding. The volume runs to 427pp; this article occupies pp 385-392. The book itself is an attractive ex-library copy, and has library rubberstamps on the top and bottoms of the page edges, and also has small white-painted call numbers on the spine bottom. Overall, a nice, fresh copy. $450 This seems to be the first report on the EDSAC once it had become operational 6 months earlier in June. Abstract. “The EDSAC is a large-scale electronic calculating machine in which ultrasonic delay units are used for storage of orders and numbers. It is serial in operation and works in the scale of two. Punched tape is used for input and a teleprinter for output. The paper describes the functions of the various units of which the machine is composed, and explains with block diagrams the manner in which orders are taken one by one from the store and executed”.

Wilkes, Maurice V. “Programme design for a high-speed automatic calculating machine.” Appearance in the Journal of Scientific Instruments and of Physics in Industry 26 (June 1949), occupying 217-[220]pp, with a text diagram. 278 x 202 mm. First edition.


This is Wilkes’s effort on the programming and operation of the EDSAC computer, appearing more than three months before the computer became operational. He writes, “A good deal has been written about the design and construction of high-speed automatic calculating machines, but little has been said about the detailed steps which are necessary to prepare a problem for the machine and to obtain a solution-a process which is usually referred to as ‘programming’” (p. 217).

Nice fresh copy in the publisher’s binding, with a few ex-library marks. $450

World’s Fair, 1938

NY World's Fair288Monaghan, Frank. The World of Yesterday and the World of Tomorrow. 1938. 11 laves Offset type collected leaves Address of Dr. Frank Monaghan, Professor of History, Yale University, and Director of Research of the New York World’s Fair 1939, before the Members of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, October 12, 1938.

Contents: on history, the future, and the work of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

“I would like to say that many of the persons most responsible for the planning and the building of the Fair ¦have a keen sense and lively appreciation of these ¦values…If we in the Fair talk frequently of the World of Tomorrow it is because we are intensely interested and concerned with making a lasting contribution to it.”

Binding: none. This is a gathering of 11 offset sheets, gathered by a paper clip. Size & Pages: 11 x 8 inches 11 pp, printed on one side only. Conservative condition grade: a sold, and retrospective, VERY GOOD (say, a conservative 6.5 on a 1-10 scale (ten being Mint)). There is some overall browning and dusting to the front and back sheets. The interior sheets however are in fine condition with just a little ageing/browning. The paper is still crisp. $195

(X-Ray) Electrical World, volume 27+28 bound together, 792+798pp, profusely illustrated. Published in New York by Johnston, 1896. 12 1/2 x 9 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches, a very stout and heavy (20 pounds) volume. Bound in thick, black library cloth, with a call number at the spine bottom. Quite a nice copy–a volume never much used–though it will not pass the double-fold. $950

  • There are 100+ articles and notices in this volume relating to the newly-discovered X-Ray.

This volume contains some of the earliest work published in the United States on Wilhelm Roentgen’s seminal discovery of the X-Ray. One reason why the work was done by so many and so quickly is that Roentgen did not seek to patent his invention (much like the Curies would do so afterwards) and so there was a land-grab by hundreds of physicists and experimenters to do work in this astonishing new field.

Electrical World is the third place that the Roentgen paper was reprinted, this time for the first time in an American journal, one day before the appearance of the The Electrician article, which was one day after the publication of the paper’s first appearance in English, in the journal Nature, on 23 January 1896. (The Electrician would also publish Roentgen’s second article later in that same year, in March.) The Roentgen article does not seem to be reprinted in full anywhere else in 1896/1897. (See Charles Phillips, Bibliography of X-Ray Literature and Research, (1896-1897), published by The Electrician, 1898.)

Thomas Edison was among those who were among the first to work on the X-Ray in the U.S.; included in the volume are several exceptionally early notices on Edison’s contribution to the field, the fluoroscope.

There are ore than 100 short articles and notices, including the following earliest examples:

The New Photography, page 95, January 25, 1896. Short announcement notice, 3 paragraphs.

Dark Light Photography, cy C.J. Reed, Feb 1, 1896, #5. Half page article.

Roentgen’s Photographs, by Amos E. Dolbear, February 8, 1896, # 6, page 147.

The New Photography, February 8, 1896, 147-149, with drawings and an X-Ray photograph.

Roentgen’s Rays, 15 February 1896,#7, pp171-172, including four photographs,one of which is the famous Bertha Roentgen’s hand.

Rontgen Rays, February 22, 1896, # 8, p. 195

Rontgen Rays, February 22, 1896, #8, pp 195-196, with photo illustrations.

On the Rays of Leonard and Rontgen, by Oliver Lodge, p 198-199

Rontgen Rays, February 29, 1896, #9, pp 219-221, with four photos.

On the Present Hypotheses Concerning the Nature of Rontgen Rays, by Oliver Lodge. February 29, 1896, pp 225-227.

Rontgen Radiographs, March 7, 1896, #10, pp 243-244, including a full-length (half-page vertical) X-Ray photo of a hand!

Stereoscopic Rontgen Pictures, by Elihu Thompson, March 14, 1896, #11,p. 280, two photographs.

Experiments with Roentgen Rays, by Alexander Macfarlane, MArch 14, 1896, #11, page 283, two photos.

(Edison) Edison’s Rontgen Ray Work. By E.J. Houston and A.E. Kennelly, page 308, March 21, 1896.

Roentgen’s Ray Experiments, by Dayton C. Miller (1 illus). Page 309, March 21, 1896.

Roentgen’s Rays. (Editor). Page 309, March 21, 1896.

and many others.

Very Early Paper on Gravitational Lensing: Zwicky, 1937

Zwicky, Fritz.“On the Probability of Detecting Nebulae Which Act as Gravitational Lenses.” American Physical Society, 1937. 1st edition. Being an article in The Physical Review, 51 (8), April 15, 1937 Original printed wrappers. Fine condition.$550

This is perhaps the first major announceement on the use of gravitational lensing following the very (very) brief notice that Einstein sent to Science magazine in 1936 (and which was a follow-up on some earlier thinking (24 years earlier) he had done on the gravitational lens).

“In 1937 Zwicky thought of another way to investigate dark matter. If by chance a massive galaxy lies along our line of sight to a more distant galaxy, it could act as a “gravitational lens,” warping the surrounding space to magnify, distort, and even multiply the image of the background galaxy. This was a direct application of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. The bending of starlight by the gravity of the Sun had already been demonstrated in 1919. Zwicky predicted that massive galaxies would similarly distort the light rays from background objects and that the distortion could be used to “weigh” the lensing galaxies. Most astronomers did not take this idea seriously. But in 1979, five years after Zwicky died, the first of many gravitational lenses was discovered, and a cottage industry has since emerged to find and study them. The lensing effect is now used to measure the cosmological parameters of the universe, and to reveal distant objects otherwise too faint to see.” –COSMIC HORIZONS: ASTRONOMY AT THE CUTTING EDGE, edited by Steven Soter and Neil deGrasse Tyson, a publication of the New Press. © 2000 American Museum of Natural History Source

EINSTEIN ONLINE, from the caltech website: “Fritz Zwicky (1898-1974), an astronomer at the CaliforniaInstitute of Technology, discussed the possibility of observing the lensing effect in the case of the recently discovered extragalactic nebula, in other words: other galaxies. The typical masses, sizes and mutual distances of galaxies are such that double images of a distant galaxy should be significantly more frequent than double images of stars: The necessary near-alignment of a closer object, a more distant object and an observer here on Earth is much more probable for galaxies than for stars.”

And also: “If ever a competition were held for the most unrecognized genius of twentieth century astronomy, the winner surely would be Fritz Zwicky (1898–1974). A bold and visionary scientist, Zwicky was far ahead of his time in conceiving of supernovas, neutron stars, dark matter, and gravitational lenses. His innovative work in any one of these areas would have brought fame and honors to a scientist with a more conventional personality. But Zwicky was anything but conventional. In addition to his brilliant insights that turned out to be right, he also entertained notions that were merely eccentric. To his senior colleagues he could be arrogant and abrasive. He referred contemptuously to “the useless trash in the bulging astronomical journals.” He once said, “Astronomers are spherical bastards. No matter how you look at them they are just bastards.” His colleagues did not appreciate this aggressive attitude and, mainly for that reason, despite Zwicky’s major contributions to astronomy, he remains virtually unknown to the public.”