229
229
Gilbert, William (1540-1603)
DE MAGNETE, MAGNETICIS QUE CORPORIBUS, ET DE MAGNO MAGNETE TELLURE; PHYSIOLOGIA NOVA. LONDON: PETER SHORT, 1600
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 20,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
229
Gilbert, William (1540-1603)
DE MAGNETE, MAGNETICIS QUE CORPORIBUS, ET DE MAGNO MAGNETE TELLURE; PHYSIOLOGIA NOVA. LONDON: PETER SHORT, 1600
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 20,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

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London

Gilbert, William (1540-1603)
DE MAGNETE, MAGNETICIS QUE CORPORIBUS, ET DE MAGNO MAGNETE TELLURE; PHYSIOLOGIA NOVA. LONDON: PETER SHORT, 1600
FIRST EDITION, folio (285 x 190mm.), woodcut folding plate, woodcut diagrams and illustrations, some full-page, woodcut arms on verso of title, two early manuscript corrections of Greek on p.11, contemporary vellum, modern folding cloth box, slight damp-stain at foot of a few leaves at beginning and end, title lightly dust-soiled, minor loss to one corner of cover, lacking ties

[with English translation] William Gilbert of Colchester, Physician of London. On the magnet, magnetick bodies also, and on the great magnet the earth [translation by the founder-members of the Gilbert Club, edited by Silvanus Thompson]. London: Chiswick Press, 1900, folio, illustrations throughout, 250 copies printed, original vellum with green woven ties, [T&W G44; Instruments in print 59]


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Provenance

Bulengerus, contemporary signature on title (i.e. Jules-César Boulenger, 1558-1621?); bought from Jonathan Hill, New York, 1984, Catalogue 20, item 60, $8,000

Literature

Tomash & Williams G43; ESTC S121112; Horblit 41; Norman 905; PMM 107; STC 11883; USTC 832373

Catalogue Note

A GOOD COPY OF THE FIRST SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM.

Gilbert's De magnete was the first major English scientific treatise based on experimental methods of research and influenced Kepler (in his Astronomia nova of 1609), Bacon, Boyle, Newton and Galileo, who referred to it in his Dialogo.

"The importance of magnetic phenomena in the development of modern computing machinery, particularly storage media, can hardly be overstated. Magnetic tape, magnetic drums, magnetic cores and magnetic discs have served as essential memory elements in both early and recently developed computer systems" (Tomash & Williams).

There are two ink emendations on p.11 (of the Greek text), but there are no corrections to pp. 22, 47 and 63, suggesting that this was an early copy from the press, issued before those mistakes were noticed.

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

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London