# 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

Lausanne & Geneve: Marcum-Michaelem Bosquet & Socios, 1744. First edition of “Euler’s most valuable contribution to mathematics in which he developed the concept of the calculus of variations.” (Norman). “This work displays an amount of mathematical genius seldom rivaled.” (Cajori). “The book brought him immediate fame and recognition as the... More

Item #4048

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

Paris: Firmin Didot, 1805. First edition, first issue of the invention of the method of least squares, “the automobile of modern statistical analysis” and the origin of “the most famous priority dispute in the history of statistics” (Stigler). “The great advances in mathematical astronomy made during the early years of... More

Item #4038

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

Paris: J. Quilau, 1708. Rare first edition, first issue (i.e., without plates and with significant textual differences in comparison with the second issue also from 1708 which has plates). Based on the problem’s set forth by Huygens in his famous treatise De Ratiociniis in Ludo Aleae (1657), it spawned the... More

Item #2862

Paris: J. Quilau, 1708. Rare first edition, and a fine copy, of the first separately published textbook of probability. “In 1708 [Montmort] published his work on Chances, where with the courage of Columbus he revealed a new world to mathematicians” (Todhunter, p. 78). “The Essay (1708) is the first published... More

Item #3894

First edition. London: Robert Clavel and Henry Mortlock, 1699. Very rare complete copy of this collection of Petty’s essays on demography and economics, “including the influential Political Arithmetick (first published 1690), a major comparative study of the wealth and economic policies of England and her rivals France and Holland. This... More

Item #3289

Paris: Chez Batilliot jeune et Genets jeune, 1802. A fine copy of the important first French edition (see below) of The Statistical Breviary. Playfair, the founder of graphical methods of statistics, published this work originally in English in 1801. It is considered his most theoretical book about graphics in which... More

Item #3265