A Manual of Operation for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator OFFERED WITH the Very Rare 1945 IBM brochure for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator. Comdr. Howard H. Aiken, James Bryant Conant, Staff of the Computation Laboratory, sections author, Officer in Charge, Grace including Hopper.
A Manual of Operation for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator OFFERED WITH the Very Rare 1945 IBM brochure for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator
A Manual of Operation for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator OFFERED WITH the Very Rare 1945 IBM brochure for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator
A Manual of Operation for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator OFFERED WITH the Very Rare 1945 IBM brochure for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator
A Manual of Operation for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator OFFERED WITH the Very Rare 1945 IBM brochure for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator
With the Very Rare Marketing Brochure and scarce dust jacket

A Manual of Operation for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator OFFERED WITH the Very Rare 1945 IBM brochure for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator

Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press 1946. First Edition. [2 blank], [14], [1]-561, [3 blank] pages. Plus 17 additional full page plates. Publisher's blue cloth. Thick quarto. 8 x 10 3/4 inches. Annals of the Computation Laboratory of Harvard University, Volume I. Corners bumped. Front hinge loosening. Remains of paper tape used to affix dust jacket to binding. The rare dust jacket is present, but has been taped internally with a thick paper tape which we have chosen to leave as is. The choice of conserving it by removing the tape we leave to the next owner. Foreedges of dust jacket frayed with several holes started. Overall browning to the dust jacket with tears and some staining. Still, presents reasonably on the shelf. OFFERED WITH the Very Rare "IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator" brochure: 6 pages plus a four panel foldout of the machine. Stapled, self wrappered. (32 3/4 x 11 1/8 inches). This brochure pre-dates the Manual of Operation, copyrighted 1945. Creasing and wear, but very good. Very Good / Good. Cloth. [27544]


When the electromechanical Harvard Mark I (Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator) became operational in 1944, it was "the first programmable calculating machine to actually produce mathematical tables, fulfilling the dream of Charles Babbage originally set out in print in 1822." (OOC 411) Its then-unique Manual was no less significant. In the words of computer historian Paul Ceruzzi, the Manual was: "a milepost that marked the state of the art of machine computation at one of its critical places: where, for the first time, machines could automatically evaluate arbitrary sequences of arithmetic operations. Most of this volume . . . consists of descriptions of the Mark I's components, its architecture, and operational codes for directing it to solve typical problems. . . . The Manual is one of the first places where sequences of arithmetic operations for the solution of numeric problems by machine were explicitly spelled out. It is furthermore the first extended analysis of what is now known as computer programming since Charles Babbage's and Lady Lovelace's writings a century earlier. The instruction sequences, which one finds scattered throughout this volume, are thus among the earliest examples anywhere of digital computer programs."

The machine was presented to Harvard on August 7, 1944. In Harvard's collections is an illustration similar to the foldout in the brochure herein offered which is dated Aug 7, 1944, and offers a few visual differences in the machine installed versus what IBM decided to offer to the world. This is the only example of this brochure we have ever handled, and we are aware of only one other copy to be seen in the trade. It is copyrighted 1945, a year before the Manual of Operation was published. OCLC notes only five copies (Cornell, Yale, Iowa State, Dartmouth, and Swarthmore).

One of the primary authors of the Manual of Operation was Grace Hopper, an early female programmer who later made significant contributions in the field. She was the chief author of chapters 1-3 and the eight appendices following chapter 6. "Aiken's Mark I opened the eyes of many to the possibilities of large-scale, programmed automatic computing. Actual witnesses to the developments of the mid 1940's . . . agree that its dedication inaugurated the computer age."

References: I. Bernard Cohen, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999): Origins of Cyberspace 411 (which incorrectly identifies plate 1 as a frontispiece). See also Ceruzzi's introduction to the Babbage Institute reprint of this title.

Price: $2,500.00