# Statistics, Probability Theory

London: printed for J. Mawman and sold by J. Booth, 1826. First edition of Babbage’s first substantial published work, the first thorough treatise on actuarial theory, complete with folding table of mortality statistics, generally considered the first reliable life table. It serves as an early example of the desire and... More

Item #3302

London: John Murray, 1851. First edition, rare, especially in the original publisher’s cloth. Chapter 13, entitled ‘Calculating engines,’ contains a description of the current state of development of Babbage’s Analytical Engine. Conceived by him in 1834, this machine was designed to evaluate any mathematical formula and to have even higher... More

Item #3299

Basel: Impensis Thurnisiorum Fratum, 1713. First edition, an exceptionally fine copy, rare in this condition. “Jakob 1 Bernoulli’s posthumous treatise, edited by his nephew [Nicholas I Bernoulli], (the title literally means “the art of[dice] throwing”) was the first significant book on probability theory: it set forth the fundamental principles of... More

Item #4063

First edition. Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1888. His text book on probability in which he stated the famous problem later known as ‘Bertrand’s paradox’. 8vo: 235x158 mm. Publishers half cloth over printed boards. Some browning to boards and half title. Otherwise clean and fine throughout. LVII,(1),332 pp. More

Item #1934

First edition. London: Taylor, 1851. A fine copy, in original wrappers, of Boole’s first paper probability. The ideas he put forth in this work were later developed and included in his famous Laws of Thought (1854). “This seems to have been the first mention, by any author, of the close... More

Item #2974

First edition. Berlin: Julius Springer, 1928. A fine copy, from the library of Niels Bohr, of Fermi’s statistical approach to the determination of atomic structure. The association is particularly appropriate since Bohr had inaugurated the quantum-theoretical approach to atomic structure in 1913. Fermi’s approach was developed independently and simultaneously by... More

Item #3540

First edition. Berlin: Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1828. First printing of what is now called the Gauss-Newton interpolation formula; which enables one to predict the value of a quantity given a finite number of observations. Gauss had lectured on the interpolation formula at Göttingen in 1812; his then student Encke... More

Item #2983

First edition. Paris: Courcier, 1816. A fine uncut copy of his influential text book on probability - beeing the first exposition of Laplace's 'Théorie analytique des probabilités' (see Landmark Writings in Western Mathematics, p.339). 8vo (213 x 140 mm). VIII, 299, (3: errata) pp. Original interims-brochur, spine heavely worn but... More

Item #2025

Paris: Courcier, 1812-25. First edition, very rare, accompanied by all four supplements (the fourth supplement is especially rare), of “the most influential book on probability and statistics ever written” (Anders Hald), which John Herschel called “the ne plus ultra of mathematical skill and power” (Essays from the Edinburgh and Quarterly... More

Item #4159

London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1876. First edition, rare on the market in this condition, of Maxwell's textbook on dynamics, “a masterpiece of natural philosophy, notable especially for introducing into physics the term relativity in a passage that combines strenuous scientific insight with a mystical awareness … [It] had... More

Item #3849

First edition. London: Printed by W.P. and sold by F. Fayram; Benj. Motte; and W. Pearson, 1725. A very nice copy of de Moivre’s influential study of annuities based upon the mortality statistics gathered by Edmund Halley in the 1690s. “De Moivre’s contribution to annuities lies not in his evaluation... More

Item #3291

London: W[illiam]. Pearson for the Author, 1718. First edition, and an unusually fine copy without any restoration, of this classic on the theory of probability, the first original work on the subject in English. “De Moivre’s book on chances is considered the foundation for the field of probability and statistics”... More

Item #4637

Paris: Jacque Quillau, 1708. First edition, first issue, very rare, of the first separately published textbook of probability. This issue has significant textual differences from what is usually referred to as the first edition. “In 1708 [Montmort] published his work on Chances, where with the courage of Columbus he revealed... More

Item #4632

Paris: Guillaume Desprez, 1659. First edition, extremely rare (one of about 120 copies printed), of one of Pascal’s most brilliant works. “Édition originale, extrêmement rare, de la dernière œuvre de Pascal, l’une des plus éclatantes de son génie” (Lucien Scheler in Tchemerzine, V, pp. 54-55). “Pascal devoted himself during 1658... More

Item #4403

New York: American Telephone and Telegraph Company, 1948. First edition, the rare offprint, of “the most famous work in the history of communication theory” (Origins of Cyberspace). “Probably no single work in this century has more profoundly altered man's understanding of communication than C. E. Shannon’s article, ‘A mathematical theory... More

Item #4656