Fuller's computing telegraph. Volvelle plus text & plate (text & plate extensively repaired). John Fuller.

Fuller's computing telegraph. Volvelle plus text & plate (text & plate extensively repaired).

Publisher Information: New York: 1847. Fuller, John Emory (1799-1878). Fuller's computing telegraph [cover title]. Telegraphic computer, a most wonderful and extraordinary instrument, by which business questions, of every possible variety, are instantly performed. . . [text]. Text plus separate double-sided volvelle engraved by George G. Smith, mounted on heavy cardboard, containing "Fuller's Time Telegraph" on one side and "Palmer's Computing Scale" on the other. [22]pp. plus portion of folding lithographed table, entitled "Analytical table of mechanical movements." New York: John E. Fuller, [1847]. Text measures 276 x 276 mm.; volvelle measures 286 x 285 mm. Original cloth, back cover lacking, front cover worn at corners. Volvelle a bit worn at corners and edges, light soiling, but generally in very good condition. Text and plate extensively restored, margins of several leaves chipped with some loss of text, large portion of lithographed plate lacking. Boxed. Book Id: 38862

Fuller's "Time Telegraph" was a circular nonlogarithmic slide rule, designed by Fuller in 1844 and intended for calculating the number of days or weeks between any two given dates. The title reflected the fascination with the new high-speed telegraphic technology, implying high speed in calculation. On the other side is a later, improved edition (Feazel's issue 4) of "Palmer's Computing Scale," the copyright of which had been purchased by Fuller in 1844 or 1845 (Feazel, "Palmer's computing scale," Journal of the Oughtred Society 3: 9-17; see pp. 11-15).

This item represents a very early use of the word "computer" for a machine rather than a person. Until the invention of electronic computers in 1945, the term "computer" usually referred to a person who compiled mathematical tables with or without mechanical assistance. Sometimes the term referred to "lightning calculators" who performed remarkably fast computations in their heads. During the first decade of electronic computing, the term was apparently used interchangeably for people and machines. By about 1960 the word was generally applied only to machines. Baxandall 1975, no. 147. Karpinski 1940, 471-72. Origins of Cyberspace 302.


Price: $950.00

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