Rare, scarce, unique, interesting, and unusual books for sale, mostly in the history of physics, mathematics, and technology. Part of a Larger Daily Site for the History of Holes, Dots, Lines, Science, History, Math, the Unintentional Absurd & Nothing |1.6 million words, 7000 images, 3.5 million hits| Press & appearances in The Times, The Paris Review, Le Figaro, The Economist, The Guardian, Discovery News, Slate, Le Monde, Sci American Blogs, Le Point, and many other places... 3,000+ total posts
Warren Weaver. "The Mathematics of Communication", in Scientific American, July 1949, pp 11-15 in the issue of pp 1-62. Original printed wrappers. Very nice copy, with a little tearing of the front top-quarter of the hinge and some chipping at the edges. $225
This is Weaver's very successful popularization of Claude Shannon's great paper ("A Mathematical Theory of Communication") which was published about a year earlier in the July and October issues of the Bell System Technical Journal.
"When 60 years ago Shannon established “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” nobody could know the consequences for science and technology in the second half of the century.Shannon published his article in two parts in the July and October 1948 editions of the Bell System Technical Journal. However, it is very probable that this article wouldn’t have become famous without the help of Weaver, whose popular text “The Mathematics of communication” re-interpreted Shannon’s work for broader scientific audiences. Weaver’s “preface” and Shannon’s article were published together in the book The Mathematical Theory of Communication (1949) that represents the beginning of the then so-called “Information theory”. However, in his “introduction” Weaver went over and above Shannon ́s mathematical theory mentioning not only the technical but also the semantic and influential problems of communication. This classification is very similar to the foundations of the Theory of Signs (1938) that was established by Morris. This paper deals with the connectivity between this Information theory and the Theory of Fuzzy sets and systems that appeared in the first half of the 1950s.Then the paper focuses to the non-technical but philosophical aspects of information theory and it advocates a fuzzy information theory that has to be appropriate to cover the concept of information– particularly with regard to the philosophical aspects"
A selection of five papers from 1948 and 1949 on computing and computer science. All are monthly issues, removed from the larger bound volumes, with their front wrappers (only). The group: $500
1) Robert Tumbleson, "calculating Machines. January, 1948. Pp 6- 12
"The automatic electronic computer is the result of years of evolution in
the field of calculating machines. At present the field is developing
so rapidly that a machine may become obsolete between the time it is
designed and the date of its completion. Applications for high-speed
calculators are increasing rapidly as the characteristics of the
machines become more well known." From IEEE Explore
2) J.G. Brainerd & T.K. Sharpless. "The ENIAC." Article occupying pp 163-172 of the February 1948 issue of Electrical Engineering. Lovely copy, one old ownership stamp at top right.
ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, b. 1943-45) was, basically, the world’s first
operational, high-speed digital computer, and the father of the computer
industry. What we see to the left is the floor plan for the
computer-with-no-monitor—I know to most people working today with a computer
that the idea of a “floor plan” for anything that is not in a dark place at NSA
is not easily conceivable. The 30-ton,
18,000 tube, 125 KHz ENIAC’s space was about 1800 square feet, where it was able to
add about 5000 numbers/second, which was vastly faster than anything else in
existence. It operated with 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors, 5
million hand-soldered joints and 6,000 manual switches. It was a magnificent achievement.
3) Winston Kock and R.L. Wallace, March 1949, "The Coaxial COmputer", pp 222-223
4) Warren S. McCulloch, "The Brain as a Computer", pp 492-497, June 1949.
5) E.G. Andrews, "The Bell Computer, Model VI", September 1949, pp 751-756.
"Controlled from remote stations, this new digital computer of the relay
type reduces punched-tape instructions to a minimum. With novel control
features similar to those used in recent automatic dial-telephone
developments, this “upper-class” computer possesses six “intelligence
levels.” Subordinate levels are capable of solving problems such as
complex-number multiplication without special guidance." IEEE Explore
The Hagelin Cryptographers, an Analysis. Stamped CONFIDENTIAL; printed in New York: Ericsson Telephone, 1942. 19 leaves. Very good condition.
sheets, stapled. 11x8, 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
The Most Important Menu in the History of Computer Science?
John von Neuman and the NORC, 1954
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.
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.
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
Maurice Wilks, David J. Wheeler, Stanly Gill. The Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer, with Special Reference to the EDSAC and the use of a library of Subroutines. Tomash Publishers, Los Angeles, 1982. xxxi, (10), 167pp. Very fine copy. reprint of the 1951 classic.
This is Grace Murray Hopper's copy, with a signed presentation to her from Martin Campbell-Kelly (University of Warwick), who provided the new introduction for this edition. $250
Foundations for the 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.]
11x8 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.
A. James Dukes. Does-All. U.S. Army Chemical Corps, Fort Detrick, Maryland.
This 11x8 inch mimeographed/stapled publication does not have a date of publication, but as near as I can determine it was assembled in the early 1960's. It does mention several computers by name, the last of which,. the LARC, was suggested in 1960.
39pp(+3pp). Fine condition. Rare. (No copies located in WorldCat.) $195