Leibniz's calculating machine, illustrated

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm et al. Miscellanea Berolinensia ad Incrementum Scientiarum [...]. Vols. I & II.

Berlin, J. C. Papenius / Haude & Spener, 1723/1749.

4to. (16), 392 pp. (12), 188 pp. With one engraved frontispiece, 40 engraved folding plates, and several illustrations in the text. Later marbled wrappers.


The first two volumes of the "Miscellanea Berolinensia", the scientific periodical of the Berlin Academy of Sciences (vol. 1, first issued in 1710, is present in the 1749 reprint). Bound in a single volume, they contain remarkable contributions by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, among which is his "Brevis descriptio machinae arithmeticae", the description of Leibniz's famous calculating machine: the first stepped-drum calculator, being the first machine that could perform multiplication and division - an invention of major importance in the history of computing. Further, this issue includes a notable treatise on the game Go, also by Leibniz, illustrated by a folding plate showing two Japanese men playing this game.

Among the other contributors are the mathematicians Jakob Hermann and Philipp Naudé the younger, as well as the astronomers Johann Wilhelm Wagner, Christoph Langhansen and Gottfried Teuber.

The plates show Leibniz's calculating machine as well as fossils, celestial bodies and eclipses, a threshing machine, medals, and calculations with geometrical sketches.

Somewhat browned throughout. Old bookseller's ticket of Sifton, Praed & Co., London, to verso of first title-page. A fine copy of two publications reflecting the active academic scene of Berlin.

Art.-Nr.: BN#58867 Schlagwörter: , , , ,