JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
I haven't often seen graphical representations showing the relative publishing interests in a particular discipline of the sciences, or the maths either for that matter. But that's exactly what is found in the deep pages of Maurice Lecat's Bibliographie de la Relativité, suivie d'un appendice sur les déterminants à deux dimensions, le calcul des variations, les séries trigonométriques, et l'azéotropisme, published in Bruxelles by Lamertin in 1924. [The original text is offered for sale at our blog bookstore.] The graph is called "Production Annuelle d'Ecrit sur la Relativite", and shows the total number of articles published in that area--or at least those identified by the verifiable Lecat, who finds more than 4,000 of them for the 1896-1922 1/2 period.
We track the year of publication on the X and the number of publications on the Y, and we can see that before the great 1905 special theory was published by Einstein that Lecat considered some dozens of other papers (actually more than 200) to fall into that (pre-Einsteinian relativity) category. It is interesting to note that "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" paper (30 June 1905) is not indicated with a vertical "Einstein" for that year (like the for indicator for 1915/16), though Lecat does indicate the general decline in relativity papers in the 1914-1916 period was probably caused by WWI. The number of papers does triple and then quadruples in year one and two of the peace.