# Computers, Numerical Methods

Cambidge: printed by J. Smith . . . and sold by Deighton & Sons [etc.], 1813. First edition, extremely rare, of the only volume of the Memoirs of the Analytical Society, written entirely by Babbage and Herschel while students at Cambridge University. The aim of the society was to promote... More

Item #3307

London: printed for J. Mawman and sold by J. Booth, 1826. First edition, inscribed presentation copy, 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... More

Item #4051

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

London: House of Commons, 1823. First edition, and a very fine copy, of this version and even rarer than Babbage’s privately printed version issued the year earlier. This separate printing of the British government’s reprint of Babbage’s letter to Davy includes, for the first time, the text of the letters... More

Item #3066

London: Charles Knight, 1832. First edition, very rare large paper issue, of Babbage’s pioneering work of political economy, “a remarkable performance of a remarkable man” (Schumpeter, p. 541), and “a turning point in economic writing” (ODNB). “The first edition of On the economy of machinery and manufacturers was issued in... More

Item #3304

London: G. Barclay, 1845-1860. A possibly unique collection of pamphlets, all first editions, documenting the decades-long dispute between Babbage (1791-1871) and his archenemy Sheepshanks (1794-1855), but also involving Sir James South (1785-1867) and Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-1892). “In a section [of Exposition of 1851] called “Intrigues of Science” Babbage... More

Item #4050

First edition. New York: American Telephoen and Telegraph Company, 1949. The first comprehensive report on the transistor; one of the most important inventions of the 20th Century. The invention of the transistor was first announced in three short letters by Bardeen, Brattain, Shockley, and Pearson, in The Physical Review (July... More

Item #2419

First edition. Lancaster: American Physical Society, 1949. The first comprehensive report on the transistor; one of the most important inventions of the 20th Century. ❧ Origins of Cyberspace 450. The invention of the transistor was first announced in three short letters by Bardeen, Brattain, Shockley, and Pearson, in The Physical... More

Item #3240

N.P. Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corp. 1949. Rare sales brochure for Eckert and Mauchly’s BINAC, the first operational stored-program computer in the United States. ❧Origins of Cyberspace 1145. J. Presper Eckert, together with his partner John Mauchly, invented and constructed the first general-purpose digital computer (the ENIAC) during World War II. After... More

Item #3320

London, and Cambridge: Walton and Maberly; Macmillan & Co. 1854. First edition, first issue (see below). In this main work of Boole’s he gave the first proper presentation of Boolean algebra – “Boole invented the first practical system of logic in algebraic form, which enabled more advances in logic to... More

Item #3906

Paris: Firmin Didot Fréres, 1836 [-1841]. First edition, rare in the original printed wrappers, of Champollion’s monumental work on Egyptian grammar, which laid the foundations for all subsequent discoveries in Egyptology. It contains the first printed list of hierolglyphs (260 in all). “The Grammar set out Champollion’s theory and classification... More

Item #3708

[N.p. N.p.], 1879-81. Provenance: The January 1879 printing is Dodgson’s own copy with his autograph emendations. The other two printings are the copies of Dodgson’s child friend Agnes Caroline Smith: the February 1879 printing is signed by her (evidently the hand of a child), and the 1881 printing is inscribed... More

Item #3951

Jena: Hermann Pohle, 1891. First edition, very rare, of this important essay, in which Frege carried out a revision of his famous Begriffsschrift (1879), which was necessary in order to carry out his programme of reducing arithmetic to formal logic. Function und Begriff contains Frege’s two main innovations since the... More

Item #3523

Leipzig & Berlin: B.G. Teubner, 1931-33. First editions, and a fine set in the original printed wrappers, of these rare proceedings to which Gödel contributed thirteen important papers and remarks on the foundations of logic and mathematics (see below for a complete annotated listing). The most important are perhaps ‘Über... More

Item #3707

London: Macmillan, 1869. First edition of this rare work of computer prehistory containing the first illustration and detailed description of Jevons’s ‘logical abacus’, a prototype computer that, with the addition of keys, levers and pulleys, became his ‘logical piano’. “Ramon Lull was the first to use a mechanical device as... More

Item #4113

Marburg: Caspar Chemlin, 1624-1625. First edition of Kepler’s logarithmic tables, the basis of his monumental Rudolphine Tables, constructed by means of his own original method. Of the greatest rarity, especially complete with the correction leaf and the second part, which gives examples of the application of logarithms and details of... More

Item #3609

Berlin: Johann Christian Papen, 1710. First edition, rare, of this milestone in computer history, Leibniz’s description of his famous calculating machine, the first stepped-drum calculator, and the first machine that could perform multiplication and division. “Leibniz studied Morland’s and Pascal’s various designs and set himself the task of constructing a.... More

Item #3941

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

Lyons: Bartholomaeus Vincentius, 1620. Second (first obtainable) edition of his ‘Contructio’ (Horblit 77b, 1619), with the first Continental edition of the ‘Descriptio’ (Horblit 77a, 1614) – “The work which in the history of British science can be placed as second only to Newton’s Principia” (Evans 4). “His ‘Description of the... More

Item #2610

The first announcements of the first three personal computers marketed in the United States, the Scelbi-8H, Jon Titus’ Mark-8, and the MITS Altair 8800. “The Altair is widely recognized as the spark that ignited the microcomputer revolution” (Wikipedia). Although these were preceded by the French Micral, sometimes described as the... More

Item #3691

[The Association for Symbolic Logic], 1936. First edition, very rare offprint, of Post’s formulation of the notions of computation and solvability by means of a theoretical machine very similar to the concept of a Turing machine proposed by Alan Turing in his famous paper ‘On computable numbers.’ Alonzo Church had... More

Item #4062

Princeton; Groningen: University Press; Noordhoff, 1938; 1938. First edition, the extremely rare offprint issues, and with a fine provenance, of the two papers on group theory written by Turing at Princeton under the supervision of John Von Neumann. Offprints of Turing’s papers are extremely rare in institutional holdings, and even... More

Item #3248

The Association for Symbolic Logic, 1942. First edition, the very rare offprint issues, and with a fine provenance, of Turing’s papers on Church’s type theory. “Church's type theory is a formal logical language which includes first-order logic, but is more expressive in a practical sense. It is used, with some... More

Item #3192

London: C.F. Hodgson & Son, 1939. First edition, the incredibly rare offprint issue, and the copy of Robin Gandy, of Turing’s PhD thesis, “one of the key documents in the history of mathematics and computer science” (Appel), and perhaps Turing’s most formidable paper. “Systems of logic based on ordinals is... More

Item #3209

Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950. First edition of Turing’s last paper in pure mathematics, a return to his great work ‘On computable numbers’ in which he had proved that the halting problem – the problem of deciding whether a given Turing machine ever reaches the halting state when provided with... More

Item #3490