17 June 2008
PALMER, Aaron (19th century). Palmer's Pocket Scale, with Rules for It Use in Solving Arithmetical and Geometrical Problems. Rochester, N.Y.: Aaron Palmer, 1845
8o (143 x 91 mm). Engraved volvelle on heavy card mounted on rear pastedown. (Some foxing to text.) Original brown ribbed cloth, gilt-lettered on front cover (rear joint split).
An early early version of the first circular slide rule published in America (first issued in 1843). Palmer and the engraver George Smith began working on their design for an "endless computing scale" in early 1841. It was copyrighted in Boston in late 1843, and versions of the device continued to be produced until at least 1852. Palmer's slide rule enjoyed only a limited success, largely because of poor marketing and the American public's fear that use of the device "[would] tend to weaken the mind, by causing it to rely upon mere mechanism to make its numbered computations" (Fuller, Key to Fuller's Computing Telegraph , quoted in Feazel 1994, 15). Palmer also published A key to the endless self-computing scale, showing its application to the different rules of arithmetic (Rochester: P.S. Stoddard, 1842). Origins of Cyberspace 353.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
John Nash’s incredible story was told in the 2001 Oscar-winner, A Beautiful Mind. On 25 October his Nobel Prize for Economics is offered in New York
As Dashiell Hammett first editions are offered in New York, his biographer pays tribute to the crime writer who transformed US literature
Mark Wiltshire, Associate Specialist in Science & Books, walks us through the history of Christianity’s most influential printed text
Our Books and Manuscripts specialists advise on a richly rewarding and ever-evolving collectors’ market
From an Edwardian home in England to a manor house in the Netherlands, 5 homes with façades of green — all from Christie’s International Real Estate
Specialist John Hawley on the rowdy, Rome-based group of Dutch and Flemish artists, some of whose works are offered in New York as part of Classic Week