Calculating Instruments and Machines. Douglas R. Hartree.
Calculating Instruments and Machines
Saul Moskowitz's copy

Calculating Instruments and Machines

Cambridge: At the University Press 1950. First English Edition. ix, 138 pages. 8vo. 6 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches. Original burgundy cloth. Ex-libris scientific instrument dealer Saul Moskowitz (owner of Historical Technology) with his bookplate on the front pastedown. Gilt spine lettering bright and clean. A nice copy without the dust jacket. Well illustrated with 68 figures some including images of apparatus. Near Fine. Cloth. [23014]

The first English edition (preceded by the 1949 University of Illinois Urbana first edition), this edition contains corrections and a few additions in the reference section. Based on a series of lectures by Hartree at the University of Illinois in the fall of 1948 intended to outline recent developments in the field.

There is much of interest for the computer historian, with chapters devoted to differential analyzers, large automatic digital machines, Charles Babbage and the Analytical Engine, and "The First Stage of Development" with information on the Harvard Mark I, The Eniac, SSEC, etc. "Hartree's chief contribution to science was his development of powerful methods of numerical mathematical analysis...he built the first differential analyzer in Britain for the graphical solution of differential equations. He later pioneered in the introduction of digital computers and their use in the United Kingdom." -DSB

"These lectures were intended for a well-informed scientific audience outside the tiny group of professionals then involved with electronic computing. They represented the first comprehensive exposition of electronic digital computing, and this book was one of the first two treatises on the subject...Chapter 8, entitled "Projects and prospects," contains the first generally available comprehensive account of the stored-program machines then in development, including EDVAC, ACE, and EDSAC." (Origins of Cyberspace 652, 653).


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