847
847
Jevons, William Stanley (1835-1882)
ON THE MECHANICAL PERFORMANCE OF LOGICAL INFERENCE. [IN:] PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY, VOL. 160- PART II, PP.497-518. LONDON: ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON, 1870
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847
Jevons, William Stanley (1835-1882)
ON THE MECHANICAL PERFORMANCE OF LOGICAL INFERENCE. [IN:] PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY, VOL. 160- PART II, PP.497-518. LONDON: ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON, 1870
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Details & Cataloguing

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

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London

Jevons, William Stanley (1835-1882)
ON THE MECHANICAL PERFORMANCE OF LOGICAL INFERENCE. [IN:] PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY, VOL. 160- PART II, PP.497-518. LONDON: ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON, 1870
4to, plates, original printed wrappers, Jevons's text unopened, modern folding cloth box, tears to first gathering and wrappers, one tear to one leaf of Jevons's text, spine defective, staining at beginning and end of text and to wrappers (slight staining to the three plates accompanying Jevons's text), slight foxing
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Provenance

bought from Biblion, 1983

Literature

Tomash & Williams J15; Origins of Cyberspace 330; Randell 1979 p.140

Catalogue Note

JEVONS'S LANDMARK PAPER PRESENTING HIS MACHINE FOR LOGICAL INFERENCE, HIS "LOGICAL PIANO", THE FIRST MACHINE WITH ENOUGH POWER TO SOLVE COMPLICATED PROBLEMS WITH SUPERHUMAN SPEED.

Jevons had been working on a "reasoning machine, or logical abacus" (Papers, 4.69) since 1865. The machine had piano-like keys for entering the terms of the logical elements and Jevons had it constructed by a Salford clock-maker (for a full description see Buck and Hunka, "W. Stanley Jevons, Allan Marquand, and the Origins of Digital Computing", Annals of the History of Computing, Vol.21, No.4, 1999, pp.21-27). Despite Jevons's fear that it might be laughed at it was in fact much admired when exhibited at the Royal Society in 1870 since it was able to solve logical problems with extraordinary, superhuman speed. The machine, one of the key precursors of the modern computer, is preserved at the Oxford Museum of the History of Science.

"...it will be evident that mechanism is capable of replacing for the most part the action of thought required in the performance of logical deduction..."

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

|
London