8468 New Books are Published in the U.K. 1910
8468 new books were published in the United Kingdom in 1910.
8468 new books were published in the United Kingdom in 1910.
From 1910 to 1913 British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic Bertrand Russell and English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead published Principia mathematica in three volumes, taking up the task — first attempted in Russell's never completed Principles of Mathematics (1903) — of proving the logical basis of all mathematics by deducing the whole body of mathematical doctrine from a small number of primitive ideas and principles of logical inference. To do so Russell and Whitehead devised a complex but precise system of symbols that enabled them to sidestep the ambiguities of ordinary language, and to give an outstanding exposition of sentential logic. Russell and Whitehead did not entirely achieve their goal -- certain of their theories and axioms were found to be unsatisfactory-- but their failures inspired further investigation of both their own and rival theories, and possibly contributed more to the development of mathematical logic than their complete success would have done.
Cambridge University Press issued 750 copies of the first volume of this work. Disappointed with the sales of that volume, the publishers reduced the printings of Volumes II and III to 500 copies. Thus the complete set is more difficult to find than copies of Volume I.
Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) no. 1868.
Russian-born James Powers, an engineer hired by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1907 to help the government avoid what were perceived as excessive charges by Herman Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company, managed to avoid patent infringement and created a faster, cheaper electric punched card tabulating machine that was compatible with Hollerith's punched card format. Powers then formed a corporation in Newark, New Jersey to manufacture and sell his device. Originally known as the Powers Tabulating Machine Company, the company changed its name to Powers Accounting Machine Company in order to target a wider market.
In 1927 Powers' company was merged with the Remington Typewriter Company and Rand Kardex to form Remington Rand.
Industrial and environmental chemist Ellen Henrietta (Swallow) Richards published Conservation by Sanitation: Air and Water Supply; Disposal of Waste, a work which is particularly concerned with the management of water pollution and its effect on human health.
In 1911 Karl Wilhelm Bührer and Adolf Saager published Die Organisierung der geistigen Arbeit durch die Brücke (The Organization of Intellectual Work through the Bridge) from Ansbach, Germany. This book described the aims of Die Brücke, Internationales Institut zur Organisierung der geistigen Arbeit (The Bridge, International Institute for the Organization of Intellectual Work), an institution founded in Munich on 11 June 1911 with the financial support of chemist Wilhelm Ostwald who donated his Nobel Prize money for the purpose. In 1910 Ostwald had discussed problems of information management with Paul Otlet, co-founder of the Institut International de Bibliographie in Brussels. After only two years of existence The Bridge ended in 1913. It published numerous pamphlets, and perhaps the chief legacy of the project was the international standard for paper sizes (A4 etc.)
Concerning The Bridge Thomas Hapke wrote:
" 'Die Brücke is planned as a central station, where any question which may be raised with respect to any field of intellectual work whatever finds either direct answer or else indirect, in the sense that the inquirer is advised as to the place where he can obtain sufficient information' (Ostwald, 1913, p. 6, English original).
"The Bridge was supposed to be the information office for the information offices, a 'bridge' between the 'islands' where all other institutions—associations, societies, libraries, museums, companies, and individuals— 'were working for culture and civilization' (Die Brücke, 1910–1911). The organization of intellectual work was intended to occur 'automatically' through the general introduction of standardized means of communication— the monographic principle, standardized formats, and uniform indexing (Registraturvermerke) for all publications. The following facilities were planned: a collection of addresses, a Brückenarchiv as a 'comprehensive, illustrated world encyclopedia on sheets of standardized formats,' which should contain a world dictionary and a world museum catalog; a rückenmuseum; and a head office and Hochschule (college) for organization. 'Close cooperation' with the Institut Internationale de Bibliographie in Brussels was also planned."
Charles R. Flint, a noted trust organizer, merged Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company with the Computing Scale Company, the International Time Recording Company, and the Bundy Manufacturing Company to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR), producing and selling Hollerith tabulating equipment, time clocks, and other business machinery. The new company was based in Endicott, New York and had 1300 employees.
In 1924 CTR became International Business Machines (IBM).
In 1912 Spanish civil engineer and mathematician, and Director of the Laboratory of Applied Mechanics at the Ateneo Científico, Literario y Artístico de Madrid, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo built the first decision-making automaton — a chess-playing machine that pit the machine’s rook and king against the king of a human opponent. Torres's machine, which he called El Ajedrecista (The Chessplayer) used electromagnets under the board to "play" the endgame rook and king against the lone king.
"Well, not precisely play. But the machine could, in a totally unassisted and automated fashion, deliver mate with King and Rook against King. This was possible regardless of the initial position of the pieces on the board. For the sake of simplicity, the algorithm used to calculate the positions didn't always deliver mate in the minimum amount of moves possible, but it did mate the opponent flawlessly every time. The machine, dubbed El Ajedrecista (Spanish for “the chessplayer”), was built in 1912 and made its public debut during the Paris World Fair of 1914, creating great excitement at the time. It used a mechanical arm to make its moves and electrical sensors to detect its opponent's replies." (http://www.chessbase.com/newsprint.asp?newsid=1799, accessed 10-31-2012).
The implications of Torres's machines were not lost on all observers. On November 6, 1915 Scientific American magazine in their Supplement 2079 pp. 296-298 published an illustrated article entitled "Torres and his Remarkable Automatic Devices. He Would Substitute Machinery for the Human Mind."
American ornithologist Robert Ridgway self-published in Washington, D.C. Color Standards and Nomenclature. This evolved out of his 1886 book, A Nomenclature of Colors for Naturalists, and Compendium of Useful Knowledge for Ornithologists, which was one of the first color systems for bird identification.
"Ridgway was with the Smithsonian Institution from the age of 24 until his death. In 1912 he printed 5,000 copies of his book Color Standards and Nomenclature, one of the most influential works on color ever published. This was prompted by his problems with color descriptions in bird portraits. So he developed descriptions of 1,150 colors as well as the technology for making and printing them all; his wife cut all the color swatches by hand and pasted them into the books. In providing a textual description he used very colorful language--deep turtle green, clean fluoride green, malachite green, shamrock green, light Danube green, deep dull green. The books are historic artifacts in and of themselves. But it's important to note that the book is still very much in use. Everyone from stamp collectors to naturalists to chemists refers to 'Ridway colors' to identify specific shades" (Daniel Lewis, "In Living Color. A Conversation with the Dibner Senior Curator of the History of Science & Technology" by Traude Gomez-Rhine, Huntington Frontiers IV, #2  7)
Anthropologist Leslie Leland Locke published "The Ancient Quipu, A Peruvian Knot Record," American Anthropologist, New Series I4 (1912) 325-332.
This was the first work to show how the Inca (Inka) Empire and its predecessor societies used the quipu (Khipu) for mathematical and accounting records in the decimal system. Locke stated his conclusions as follows:
"1. These knots were used purely for numerical purposes.
"2. Distances from the main cord were used roughly to locate the orders, which were on a decimal scale.
"3. The quipu was not used for counting or calculating but for record keeping. The mode of tying the knots was not adapted to counting, and there was ne need of its use for such a purpose, as the Quichua language contained a complete and adequate system of numeration.
"4. Other specimens examined contain the same types of knots there being but ten variations in all, two forms for the single knot and eight long knots. These eight differen from each other and from the single knot only in the number of turns taken in tying. There is nothing about any specimen examined to give the slightest suggesion that it was used for any other than numerical purposes.
"5. If the hypothesis that this quipu is a record of the same classes of objects be correct, it would seem to indicate the colors in this case have no special significance, but were taken according to the fancy or convenience of the maker. This does not signify that there was not a rough color scheme in sue for some purposes.
"6. These specimens confirm in a remarkable way the accuracy with which [the Inca] Garcilasso [de la Vega] described the manners and customs of his people."
In 1923 Locke published an expanded version of his research in a monograph entitled The Ancient Quipu or Peruvian Knot Record.
German scientist, geophysicist, and meteorologist Alfred Wegener published from Gotha, Germany "Die Entstehung der Kontinente" in Mitteilung aus Justus Perthes’ geographischer Anstalt 58 (1912): 185-195; 253-256; 305-309.
Wegener originated the theory of continental drift in this paper on the origin of continents, which he conceived after being struck by the apparent correspondence in the shapes of the coastlines on the west and east sides of the Atlantic, and supported with extensive research on the geological and paleontological correspondences between the two sides. He postulated that 200 million years ago there existed a supercontinent (“Pangaea”), which began to break up during the Mesozoic era due to the cumulative effects of the “Eötvös force,” which drives continents towards the equator, and the tidal attraction of the sun and moon, which drags the earth’s crust westward with respect to its interior. Wegener’s theory attracted little interest until 1919, when he published the second edition of his treatise Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane.
Between 1919 and 1928 continental drift was the focus of much controversy and debate. Later the theory fell into obscurity because Wegener’s drift mechanism was shown to be untenable. With the discovery of new paleomagnetic evidence in the 1950s, and especially with the development of plate tectonics in the 1960s, Wegener's theory of continental drift eventually became widely accepted.
Wegener died at the early age of 50 on an arctic expedition at Eismitte in Greenland.
Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine, no. 2192.
American zoologist, realtor, conservationist, author, poet and songwriter William Temple Hornaday published in New York at the press of the New York Zoological Society (now the Wildlife Conservation Society) Our Vanishing Wild Life: Its Extermination and Preservation. This was "one of the first books wholly devoted to endangered wild animals" (in the words of historian Stephen Fox). http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amrvhtml/cnchron6.html, accessed 01-19-2009.
Hornaday "revolutionized museum exhibits by displaying wildlife in their natural settings, and is credited with discovering the American crocodile, saving the American bison and the Alaskan fur seal from extinction" (Wikipedia article on William Temple Hornaday, accessed 01-19-2009).
French aeronautics engineer, pilot, and theoretician of space flight Robert Esnault-Pelterie published "Considérations sur les résultats d’un allégement indéfini des moteurs," Journal de physique théorique et appliqué, cinquième série, 3 (1913) 218-230.
Esnault-Pelterie’s lecture on “the unlimited lightening of engines,” delivered in 1912 in both St. Petersburg, Russia, and Paris, was the first European work to demonstrate theoretically that space travel was possible.
“The lecture contains all the theoretical bases of self-propulsion, destroying the myth that rockets need atmospheric support and giving the real equation of motion. Anticipated is the use of auxiliary propulsion for guidance and complete maneuverability of rockets. Also contained are calculations of the escape velocity, the phases of a round-trip voyage to the Moon, and the times, velocities, and durations, of trips to the Moon, Mar s, and Venus, as well as thermal problems related notably to the surface facing the sun . . . . (Blosset, 9).
As noted above, the use of rockets for space travel had been discussed by the Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in his Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reactive Devices (1903, 1911-12). "Tsiolkovsky had grasped the principle of reaction flight as early as 1883, and his 'Exploration of Space Using Reactive Devices' contained the first mathematical exposition of the reaction principle operating in space. In ‘Issledovanie mirovykh prostranstv reaktivnymi priborami’ . . . Tsiolkovsky set forth his theory of the motion of rockets, established the possibility of space travel by means of rockets, and adduced the fundamental flight formulas" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography).
Tsiolkovsky’s work was published only in Russian, and remained little known to Western scientists until the 1920s. Whether Esnault-Pelterie (known as REP to friends and colleagues) knew of Tsiolkovsky's work before he wrote his 1912 paper is unclear. However, considering that he had published little up to this time, one wonders how he would have been invited to speak in Russia if he had not been in communication on these topics with people in Russia before this date. This leaves open the possibility that he may have had access to Tsiolkovsky's work in some form prior writing his paper. REP did not refer to Tsiolkovsky’s work in his 1912 paper-- at least not in the abridged form it which it was published-- but at the very minimum he must have been informed of Tsiolkovsky's work during his trip to Russia, as by this time Tsiolkovsky's paper had been published twice in Russian. What sort of reception his speech received seems also to be unknown. In his L’Astronautique (1930) Esnault-Pelterie mentioned that his 1912 speech was never published in Russia. He also acknowledged Tsiolkovsky's contributions in print for the first time when he mentioned Tsiolkovsky's papers in the historical introduction (pp. 17-38) of his L’Astronautique.
Esnault-Pelterie’s 1912 lecture first appeared in print in the Journal de physique théorique et appliqué, but in abridged form, due to both space considerations and the trepidations of the Journal’s editor, who was shocked by Esnault-Pelterie’s ideas on space travel.
“REP deplored the exaggerated condensation of the lecture, which was the cause for an apparent divergence between Goddard’s and his own opinions concerning the possibility at the time of building vehicles capable of escaping from the earth’s gravitation. In fact, Goddard wanted only to send a projectile loaded with powder to the moon and observe its arrival by telescope. REP considered the conditions necessary for transporting living beings from one celestial body to another and returning them to the earth; his more pessimistic conclusions were based on considerations of the substantial initial mass required for a rather small final mass, in view of the limited means available at the time” (Blosset, “Robert Esnault-Pelterie: Space pioneer,” in Durant and James, First Steps toward Space  5-31; pp. 23-31 contain an English translation of the unabridged lecture).
Fourteen years after his initial publication on space travel, on June 8, 1927, REP gave a lecture at the Sorbonne before the Société Astronomique de France on rocket exploration of the upper atmosphere and the possibility of interplanetary travel, in which he communicated the results of his continuing theoretical research in astronautics; this lecture was published the following year under the title "L’Exploration par fusées de la très haute atmosphère et la possibilité des voyages interplanétaires." In his lecture Esnault-Pelterie devoted special attention to the problem of escape velocity necessary to overcome the earth’s gravitational pull, estimating this at 10,000 meters / second (22,369 mph); the accepted figure at present is c. 25,000 mph. This paper was published as a supplement to the March 1928 issue of the Bulletin de la Société Astronomique de France.
Continuing to research rocketry and space travel, in 1930 REP published his most extensive work on the subject, entitled L'Astronautique. L’Astronautique was the first work to popularize the word astronautics among the scientific community. The book encompassed all that was then known about rocketry and space flight. The work was
"a veritable treatise on space vehicles that served as a basis for all later works on this subject. It is a very profound theoretical study based on the thorough knowledge of celestial mechanics, astrophysics, and ballistics, as well as physical chemistry and physiology. Nothing in it has yet been invalidated.
"This book is a basic text for all interested in astronautics. One needs only to scan the chapter titles to see that it is both a scientific and technical document and an encyclopedia of precious practical knowledge:
-Rocket Motion in Vacuum and Air
-Density and Composition of the Very High Atmosphere //-Expansion of Combination Gases through a Nozzle
-Combustion in a Chamber
-Possible Use of Rockets (high altitude exploration, launching projectiles to the moon, high-speed travel around the earth, and travel through the atmosphere)
-Interplanetary Travel (with sections on the conditions under which trips around the moon will be carried out, the design of the spaceship, guidance, navigation and piloting devices, the conditions for habitation).
"For these last points, [Esnault-Pelterie] states that the spaceship could be filled with pure oxygen, which would reduce the pressure to about a tenth that of the atmosphere . . . [He] also suggests that the spaceship, for its return to earth, be turned and braked first by its own engines (today’s retrorockets) and then by the use of a parachute" (Durant and James, First Steps toward Space, pp. 11-12).
In 1934 REP published L'Astronautique complément “in which he presented the practical conditions and the advantages of interplanetary trips” (Durant and James, p. 12). The work included studies of rocket motion, combustion gas expansion nozzles and combustion thermodynamics, as well as prophetic considerations of nuclear propulsion and the use of radioactive elements in rocketry.
Von Braun & Ordway, History of Rocketry and Space Travel, 74-75.
English physicist Henry G. J. Moseley published "The High-Frequency Spectra of the Elements," Philosophical Magazine 26 (1913): 1024-34; 27 (1914): 703-13. 1 plate.
Moseley's outstanding contribution to physics was the justification from physical laws of the previous empirical and chemical concept of the atomic number. This stemmed from his development of Moseley's Law concerning the characteristic x-rays that are emitted by atoms published in his paper of 1913. "It is historically important in quantitatively justifying the conception of the nuclear model of the atom, with all, or nearly all, positive charges of the atom located in the nucleus, and associated on an integer basis with atomic number. Until Moseley's work, 'atomic number' was merely an element's place in the periodic table, and was not known to be associated with any measureable physical quantity. Moseley was able to show that the frequencies of certain characteristic X-rays emitted from chemical elements are proportional to the square of a number which was close to the element's atomic number; a finding which supported van den Broek and Bohr's model of the atom in which the atomic number is the same as the number of positive charges in the nucleus of the atom" (Wikipedia article on Moseley's Law, accessed 07-10-2011).
In 1913 Moseley, a member of Ernest Rutherford’s Manchester Institute, set out to test the doctrine of atomic number by mapping the characteristic K and L spectra of the elements. Using a modification of the x-ray spectroscopy techniques developed by the Braggs, Moseley “obtained the principal lines of the x-ray spectra of most elements by registering their ionization and photographic images. In November of that year he reported his results to Bohr as confirming the new theory of atomic constitutions and being ‘extremely simple.’ . . . He also succeeded in correcting the sequence of transition elements to be Fe-Co-Ni according to increasing ‘atomic number’ Z (rather than to their atomic weight A). That is, the neutral nickel atom possessed a higher nuclear charge and one electron more than the neutral cobalt atom, despite the fact that it had a smaller atomic weight” (Twentieth Century Physics I, pp. 158-59).
When World War I broke out Moseley left his research work at the University of Oxford to volunteer for the Royal Engineers of the British Army. He was assigned to the fighting force that invaded the region of Gallipoli, Turkey, in April 1915, as a telecommunications officer. During the Battle of Gallipoli on August 10, 1915 Moseley was shot and killed at the age of 27. Some prominent authorities have speculated that Moseley would have been deserving of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1916 — which went unawarded — if he had not died in the service of the British Army.
Carter & Muir, Printing and the Mind of Man, no. 407.
The International Exhibition of Modern Art, organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, occured in New York City's 69th Regiment Armory. It displayed some 1,250 paintings, sculptures, and decorative works by over 300 avant-garde European and American artists, including Impressionists, Fauvists, and Cubists. Known as the Armory Show, this exhibition is credited with introducing "modern art" to the United States.
"News reports and reviews were filled with accusations of quackery, insanity, immorality, and anarchy, as well as parodies, caricatures, doggerels and mock exhibitions. About the modern works, President Theodore Roosevelt declared, 'That's not art!' The civil authorities did not, however, close down, or otherwise interfere with, the show.
"Among the scandalously radical works of art, pride of place goes to Marcel Duchamp's Cubist/Futurist style Nude Descending a Staircase, painted the year before, in which he expressed motion with successive superimposed images, as in motion pictures. An art critic for the New York Times wrote that the work resembled 'an explosion in a shingle factory,' and cartoonists satirized the piece" (Wikipedia article on Armory Show, accessed 03-13-2009).
You can tour a virtual recreation of the Armory Show prepared by the American Studies Program at the University of Virginia at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~museum/armory/armoryshow.html.
Danish physicist Niels Bohr published "On the Constitution of Atoms and Molecules," Philosophical Magazine. S. 6, Vol. 26 (1913) 1-25, 476-502, 857-875.
Modern theories of the atom incorporating quantum mechanics began with Bohr’s great three-part paper of 1913, in which he postulated the existence of stationary states of an atomic system whose behavior may be described in terms of classical mechanics, while the transition of the system from one stationary state to another represents a non-classical process accompanied by emission or absorption of one quantum of homogeneous radiation whose frequency is connected with its energy by Planck’s equation. Bohr introduced the theory of electrons traveling in orbits around the atom's nucleus, the chemical properties of each element being largely determined by the number of electrons in the outer orbits of its atoms. Bohr also introduced the idea that an electron could drop from a higher-energy orbit to a lower one, in the process emitting a photon (light quantum) of discrete energy. Bohr received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1922 for his study of the structure of atoms and of the radiation which emanates from them, as enunciated in this three-part paper.
“Atoms had been postulated in ancient times. As the year 1913 began, almost unanimous consensus had been reached, after much struggle, that atoms are real. Even before that year it had become evident that atoms have substructure, but one one yet knew by what rules their parts moved. During that year, Bohr, fully conscious that these motions could not possibly be described terms of classical physics, but that it nevertheless was essential to describe a link between classical and quantum physics, gave the first firm and lasting direction toward an understanding of atomic structure and atomic dynamics. In that sense he may be considered the father of the atom” (Pais, Niels Bohr’s Times  152).
Mehra & Rechenberg, Historical Development of Quantum Theory 1, 189-92. Pais, Niels Bohr’s Times (1991) 149-55.
To combat false and misleading claims for circulation, advertisers, advertising agencies, and newspapers founded the Audit Bureau of Circulations. This was the world's first circulation auditing organization.
In his junior year of college studying electrical engineering at Columbia University American Edwin Armstrong invented and patented the regenerative circuit from his parents' home in Yonkers, New York.
"Lee De Forest filed a patent in 1916 that became the cause of a contentious lawsuit with the prolific inventor Armstrong, whose patent for the regenerative circuit had been issued in 1914. The lawsuit lasted twelve years, winding its way through the appeals process and ending up at the Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of De Forest, although the experts agree that the incorrect judgment had been issued.
"At the time the regenerative receiver was introduced, vacuum tubes were expensive and consumed lots of power, with the added expense and encumbrance of heavy batteries or AC transformer and rectifier. So this design, getting most gain out of one tube, filled the needs of the growing radio community and immediately thrived. Although the superheterodyne receiver is the most common receiver in use today, the regenerative radio made the most out of very few parts" (Wikipedia article on regenerative circuit, accessed 11-10-2009).
Willard C. Brinton published Graphic Methods for Presenting Facts in New York at The Engineering Magazine Company. This was the first book on information graphics published in the United States.
Filed under: Graphics / Visualization / Animation/ CGI
The Napier Tercentenary Celebration marking the three hundredth anniversary of the publication of Napier's Mirifici logarithmorum canonis descriptio (1614), was held at the Royal Society of Edinburgh from July 24 to July 27, 1914 — just five days before the start of World War I. Participants in the exhibition included individuals and companies from Scotland, England, France, and Germany. The meeting was intended to include a colloquium on the mathematics of computation, but that was canceled because war was considered imminent.
A celebration of Napier's pivotal role in the history of calculation, the exhibition featured displays of many different types of calculating machines, as well as exhibits of other aids to calculation such as mathematical tables, the abacus and slide rules, planimeters and other integrating devices, and ruled papers and nomograms. These were described in the Napier Tercentenary Celebration. Handbook to the Exhibition, which contained separate sections, with chapters by various contributors, devoted to each type of calculating device. Among the notable chapters is Percy E. Ludgate's "Automatic Calculating Machines" (pp. 124-27): apart from Ludgate's "On a proposed analytical machine" (Scientific Proceedings of the Royal Dublin Society 12 : 77-91), this chapter contains the only discussion of his improvements to Babbage's Analytical Engine (none of which was ever realized). Also of note is W. G. Smith's "Notes on the Special Development of Calculating Ability" (pp. 60-68), discussing human "lightning calculators" and mathematically gifted "idiot savants," such as were employed by Gauss. Prior to the advent of electronic digital computers, these human computers were often faster than their mechanical counterparts.
The most widely used tools for calculation at the time of the Napier tercentenary were mathematical tables, which are thoroughly surveyed, explained, and described in the Handbook (bibliographical descriptions of the rare mathematical tables exhibited were published the following year in the Napier Tercentenary Memorial Volume. The Handbook also contains a large illustrated section on calculating machines, which were divided into four types: (1) stepped-gear machines based on the Leibnitz wheel, such as those of Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar; (2) machines with variable-toothed gears, such as the Brunsviga; (3) key-set machines like those made by Burroughs; and (4) key-driven machines such as those made by Felt and Tarrant.
The Handbook was published in two forms: a softcover version presented to those who registered for the exhibition; and a hardcover version issued for sale under the title Modern Instruments and Methods of Calculation. Relatively few copies of the softcover version seem to have been distributed at the exhibition, partly because the exhibition took place in Edinburgh, but mainly because war broke out just after it began. Most copies were bound in cloth and sold in London.
"The events of the First World War caused no less upheaval in the world of computing than in the rest of society. A great many technical changes, such as the ever-increasing use of punched-card accounting machines, were to cause computing to assume a different character in the time between the two World Wars. Thus the Handbook should be viewed as a report on the state of the art just before these changes were to begin taking place" (Williams 1982, [x]).
Hook & Norman, Origins of Cyberspace (2001) no. 322.
Germany declares war on Russia (August 1) and on France (August 3). World War I begins.
Filed under: Military / Warfare / Cyberwarfare
As they plundered the city of Leuven, the invading German Army destroyed the library of the Catholic University of Leuven, the oldest and most prominent university in Belgium, founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V.
Along with the historic libary building about 300,000 books, and an untold number of manuscripts, including irreplaceable medieval and renaissance treasures, were lost. The destruction of this library was part of brutal retaliations by the Germans for the extensive activity of "francs-tireurs" against the occupying forces.
German mathematician Leopold Löwenheim of Berlin published Über Möglichkeiten im Relativkalkül, containing the first appearance of what is now known as the Löwenheim-Skolem theorem, the first theorem of modern logic, anticipating Kurt Gödel’s completeness theorem of 1930.
Löwenheim's paper was first published in Mathematischen Annalen 76 (1915) 447-470. A summary and English translation are in van Heijenoort, From Frege to Gödel (1967) 228-51.
On January 25, 1915 the AT&T long-distance telegraph network, the development of which began in 1885, finally reached from New York to San Francisco, allowing Alexander Graham Bell in New York and Thomas Watson in San Francisco to participate in the first transcontinental telephone call.
"Four locations participated in the first call. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone and co-founder of AT&T, led a group of dignitaries in New York. His one-time assistant Thomas Watson, led a group in San Francisco. AT&T President Theodore Vail [cousin of telegraphy inventor Alfred Vail] spoke from Jekyll Island, Ga. And U.S. President Woodrow Wilson spoke from the White House.
At one point during the call, someone asked Professor Bell if he would repeat the first words he ever said over the telephone. He obliged, picking up the phone and repeating 'Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.' To which Watson, in San Francisco, replied, 'It would take me a week now.' "(http://www.corp.att.com/history/nethistory/transcontinental.html, accessed 01-24-2010).
The Literary Digest, an influential general-interest weekly magazine published by Funk & Wagnalls, conducted a national survey of voter preference, mailing out millions of postcards and counting the returns, partly as a circulation-raising exercise. Using these results the Digest correctly predicted the election of Woodrow Wilson as president of the United States. This may be the first national opinion poll.
American plant ecologist Frederic E. Clements published from the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C. Plant Succession: An Analysis of the Development of Vegetation. This was a seminal work of ecological science, establishing a dynamic model of species succession toward an eventual "climax" equilibrium under the influence of climate and other factors in a given habitat.
"From his observations of the vegetation of Nebraska and the western United States, Clements developed one of the most influential theories of vegetation development. Vegetation cover does not represent a permanent condition but gradually changes over time. Clements suggested that the development of vegetation can be understood as a sequence of stages resembling the development of an individual organism. After a complete or partial disturbance, vegetation grows back (under ideal conditions) towards a mature "climax state," which describes the vegetation best suited to the local conditions. Though any actual instance of vegetation might follow the ideal sequence towards climax, it can be interpreted in relation to that sequence, as a deviation from it due to non-ideal conditions" (Wikipedia article on Frederick Clements, accessed 01-19-2009).
From the bibliographical standpoint, the publication of this work is rather unusual for a journal article. There are three different issues--the journal publication, the true offprint from the journal (extremely rare), and a commercially published offprint or separate edition. This separate edition went through several reprintings which are easily confused with the first printing. See Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) nos. 695 & 696.
A summary of the different aspects of the theory linked to more details on different aspects follows:
"General relativity or the general theory of relativity is the geometric theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1916. It is the state-of-the art description of gravity in modern physics. It unifies special relativity and Newton's law of universal gravitation, and describes gravity as a property of the geometry of space and time, or spacetime. In particular, the curvature of spacetime is directly related to the four-momentum (mass-energy and linear momentum) of whatever matter and radiation are present. The relation is specified by the Einstein field equations, a system of partial differential equations.
"The predictions of general relativity differ significantly from those of classical physics, especially concerning the passage of time, the geometry of space, the motion of bodies in free fall, and the propagation of light. Examples of such differences include gravitational time dilation, the gravitational redshift of light, and the gravitational time delay. General relativity's predictions have been confirmed in all observations and experiments to date. Although general relativity is not the only relativistic theory of gravity, it is the simplest theory that is consistent with experimental data. However, unanswered questions remain, the most fundamental being how general relativity can be reconciled with the laws of quantum physics to produce a complete and self-consistent theory of quantum gravity.
"Einstein's theory has important astrophysical applications. It points towards the existence of black holes—regions of space in which space and time are distorted in such a way that nothing, not even light, can escape—as an end-state for massive stars. There is evidence that such stellar black holes as well as more massive varieties of black hole are responsible for the intense radiation emitted by certain types of astronomical objects such as active galactic nuclei or microquasars. The bending of light by gravity can lead to the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, where multiple images of the same distant astronomical object are visible in the sky. General relativity also predicts the existence of gravitational waves, which have since been measured indirectly; a direct measurement is the aim of projects such as LIGO. In addition, general relativity is the basis of current cosmological models of an expanding universe" (Wikipedia article on General Relativity, accessed 12-22-2008).
In 1916 the distinguished London antiquarian booksellers Maggs Bros bought the penis of Napoleon Bonaparte from the descendants of Abbé Ange Paul Vignali, who had given the last rites to Napoleon on St. Helena. Vignali brought the penis along with a collection of more conventional mementos of Napoleon to Corsica, and died in a vendetta in 1828. He passed on the mementos to his sister, who at her death passed them on to her son, Charles-Marie Gianettini. After holding the Vignali collection of Napoleon memorabilia for eight years, Maggs sold it to the legendary American antiquarian bookseller Dr. A.S.W Rosenbach of Philadelphia for £400 (then $2000) in 1924.
Though the authenticity of the other Napoleon memorabilia in the Vignali collection was never in doubt, authenticity of the penis, which resembled something "like a maltreated strip of buckskin shoe-lace or shriveled eel," "rested mainly on a memoir by the valet, Ali (Saint-Denis), published in 1852 in the celebrated Revue des [Deux] Mondes. Ali claimed that he and Vignali had removed certain unnamed portions of Napoleon's corpse during the autopsy" (Charles Hamilton, Auction Madness  54-55).
With his characteristic flair Dr. Rosenbach received considerable publicity for this purchase. According to the May 12, 1924 issue of Time Magazine:
"The collection numbers about 40 pieces, half of which consist of documents. The most interesting are: death mask from the matrix moulded by Dr. Antomarchi, Napoleon's doctor; a letter from Antomarchi to Vignali; the last cup ever used by the ex-French Emperor, a silver goblet inscribed with the Imperial arms; a silver knife, fork and spoon also engraved with the Imperial arms; a shirt, handkerchiefs, pair of white breeches, white pique waistcoats; Church vestments from the Longwood Chapel, some marked with the Imperial cypher; last, the most gruesome relic, a mummified tendon taken from the ex-Emperor's body during the postmortem" (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,718332,00.html, accessed 08-02-2009).
Dr. Rosenbach had the penis "enshrined" in an elaborate blue morocco and velvet box. In 1927 he exhibited it, along with the other Vignali relics, in the Museum of French Art in New York.
Though I had heard of this most unusual purchase in Dr. Rosenbach's career I was not aware that The Rosenbach Company had issued a catalogue describing the collection until a copy of Description of the Vignali Collection of the Relics of Napoleon (1924) was offered early in 2010. This I acquired, and we mounted a scan of the 20 page catalogue in the Traditions section of our website.
In that catalogue the description of item number 9 reads as follows:
"A mummifled tendon taken from Napoleon's body during the post mortem. (The authenticity of this remarkable relic has lately [in 1852!] been confirmed by the publication in the Revue des Deux Mondes of a posthumous memoir by St. Denis, in which he expressly states that he and Vignali took away small pieces of Napoleon's corpse during the autopsy.)"
As historic as the Vignali collection was, it was not readily salable. According to the standard biography, Rosenbach by Edwin Wolf II and John F. Fleming (1960), a work which was inspirational in my early career, the Vignali collection remained in the inventory of The Rosenbach Company for 23 years until it was finally purchased by collector Donald Hyde in 1947.
But wait, the story continues:
According to Charles Hamilton, when Donald Hyde died in 1966 his widow, Mary, also a serious collector, turned the Vignali collection over to Dr. Rosenbach's successor, John Fleming. Fleming in turn sold it to dealer Bruce Gimelson for $35,000. Finding the collection difficult to resell, as had Maggs and Rosenbach, Gimelson consigned it to Christie's in London for sale en bloc at a reserve price equal to his cost, but with no success. When the collection failed to sell London tabloids ran the naughty headline, "Not Tonight, Josephine!"
Eight years later Gimelson consigned the collection in Paris at Drouot Rive Gauche. This time the collection was dispersed, and the penis was purchased by John K. Lattimer, professor emeritus and former chairman of urology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, for the equivalent of $3000. The object fit in well with other historical objects in Lattimer's collection:
"Dr. John Lattimer possessed Abraham Lincoln's bloodstained collar and a treasure trove of items from his own idiosyncratic relationships to some of the most important historical events of the 20th century. He was an attending urologist to Nazi prisoners at the Nuremberg trials and had acquired Herman Goering's suicide vial. He worked on the autopsy of John F. Kennedy and possessed upholstery from the president's limousine in Dallas" ("The Twisted Story of Napoleon's Privates" http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92126411, accessed 05-23-2010).
Engineer Lucien Alphonse Legros, son of the painter Alphonse Legros, and writer John Cameron Grant published Typographical Printing-Surfaces. The Technology and Mechanism of their Production (London, 1916). This 732 page work, with 609 figures in the text and 109 plates, became the standard and most authoritative work on hot-metal casting and composition technology. It also contained a complete listing of British patents pertaining to printing through 1912, and American patents through 1913.
The Proclamation of the Irish Republic, a broadside roughly 30 x 20 inches in size, was printed in an edition of around 1000 copies on Sunday, April 23, 1916 in advance of the Easter Rising in Ireland, which began on April 24, 1916. The reading of the proclamation by Patrick Pearse outside the General Post Office on Sackville Street (now called O'Connell Street), Dublin's main thoroughfare, marked the beginning of the Rising.
In the Proclamation the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, styling itself the "Provisional Government of the Irish Republic,"proclaimed Ireland's independence from the United Kingdom.
The proclamation was printed secretly on an old and poorly maintained Wharfedale Stop Cylinder Press in the printing office that had been set up by James Connolly in the basement in the original Liberty Hall in Beresford Place, Dublin. Because of its secret printing problems arose which affected the layout and design. The typesetters, Willie O'Brien, Michael Molloy and Christopher Brady, lacked a sufficient supply of type, and as a result there are various examples of wrong font in the text. The headline of the proclamation, "IRISH REPUBLIC", was also set in a very worn sans serif type, with the right foot of the first capital R defective.
Roughly 30 copies of the original printing have survived, of which eight are preserved in Dublin institutions, and three in the United States.
Various copies have appeared in the sale rooms since 1998:
5 December 1998. Mealy’s, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny. £26,000.
1 January 2001. Whyte’s, Dublin. £52,000.
11 December 2003. Sotheby’s, London (L03409). Lot 5. £69,600.
8 July 2004. Sotheby’s, London (L04407). Lot 9. £123,200.
16 December 2004. Sotheby’s, London (L04413), Lot 35. £168,000.
12 June 2005. Whyte’s, Dublin. €125,000.
12 April 2006. James Adam & Sons, Dublin. Lot 404. €200,000.
17 April 2007. James Adam & Sons, Dublin. Lot 409, €240,000.
15 April 2008. Adam’s and Mealy’s, Dublin. Lot 587. €360,000.
11 December 2008. Sotheby’s, New York (N08501). Lot 179. Estimate $180,000 to $275,000. No sale.
28 April 2009. Adam’s and Mealy’s, Dublin. Lot 630. €220,000.
The best account that I have found of the complex, yet well documented, printing of the Proclamation, and of the numerous reprints which may easily be confused with the originals, is in the Typefoundry blog entry of January 6, 2010 of James Mosley of the Typography and Graphic Communication Department at the University of Reading (accessed 07-26-2011).
Austrian mathematician Johann Radon, professor at Technische Universität Wien, introduced the Radon transform. He also demonstrated that the image of a three-dimensional object can be constructed from an infinite number of two-dimensional images of the object.
About sixty-five years later Radon's work was applied in the invention of computed tomography.
"This work, for the Anti-Submarine Division, was undertaken in utmost secrecy, and used quartz piezoelectric crystals to produce the world's first practical underwater active sound detection apparatus. To maintain secrecy no mention of sound experimentation or quartz was made - the word used to describe the early work ('supersonics') was changed to 'ASD'ics, and the quartz material 'ASD'ivite. From this came the British acronym ASDIC. In 1939, in response to a question from the Oxford English Dictionary, the Admiralty made up the story that the letters stood for 'Allied Submarine Detection Investigation Committee', and this is still widely believed, though no committee bearing this name has ever been found in the Admiralty archives."
During World War II Americans developed a similar underwater active sound detection system which they called SONAR, and this term eventually replaced the British ASDIC.
Wlliam Barnes and G. Clifford Noble opened the first Barnes and Noble book store in Manhattan.
Filed under: Book & Manuscript Trade
The October "Bolshevik" Revolution began. Having gained a majority in the government, the Bolshevik party voted for Vladimir Lenin's seizure of power. Bolshevik groups seized control of local governing bodies across Russia.
Filed under: Social / Political
The American Engineering Standards Committee (AESC) was formed by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (now IEEE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers (AIMME) and the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM).
Its purpose was to establish a national body to coordinate standards development and to serve as a clearinghouse for the work of standards developing agencies. The U.S. Departments of War, Navy and Commerce were invited to join this organization. AESC became the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1969.
Germany signed the Armistice, ending World War I.
Early versions of the Enigma cipher machine were built in Europe.
Filed under: Codes / Cryptography / Cryptanalysis
800,000 Burroughs calculating machines were sold worldwide by 1919.
The number of titles of fifteenth century books (incunabula) present in North American libraries at this time: 6,292. Number of copies: 13,200. (Goff, Incunabula in American Libraries, 3rd census  xv.).
Russian and Soviet inventor Léon Theremin at the Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg invented the Theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, and the first musical instrument that was played without being touched.
"The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the position of the player's hands and control radio frequency oscillator(s) for frequency with one hand, and volume with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. The theremin is an electrophone, a subset of the quintephone family.
"To play, the player moves his or her hands around the antennas, controlling frequency (pitch) and amplitude (volume). The theremin is associated with an "eerie" sound, which has led to its use in movie soundtracks such as those in Spellbound, The Lost Weekend, and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Theremins are also used in art music (especially avant-garde and 20th century "new music") and in popular music genres such as rock."
"The theremin was originally the product of Russian government-sponsored research into proximity sensors. The instrument was invented by a young Russian physicist named Lev Sergeivich Termen (known in the West as Léon Theremin) in 1919 after the outbreak of the Russian civil war. After positive reviews at Moscow electronics conferences, Theremin demonstrated the device to Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin. Lenin was so impressed with the device that he began taking lessons in playing it, commissioned six hundred of the instruments for distribution throughout the Soviet Union, and sent Theremin on a trip around the world to demonstrate the latest Soviet technology and the invention of electronic music. After a lengthy tour of Europe, during which time he demonstrated his invention to packed houses, Theremin found his way to the United States, where he patented his invention in 1928 ( ). Subsequently, Theremin granted commercial production rights to RCA."
Filed under: Music
American physicist and inventor Robert H. Goddard published A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes. "Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections" 71, no. 2.
This was earliest practical treatise on the development of rocketry for space flight. Like the Russian Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (Tsiolkovskii; Russian: Константи́н Эдуа́рдович Циолко́вский);and the Romanian-German Hermann Oberth, Goddard worked out the theory of rocket propulsion independently. Having explored the mathematical practicality of rocketry since 1906 and the experimental workability of reaction engines in laboratory vacuum tests since 1912, Goddard began to accumulate ideas for probing beyond the Earth’s stratosphere. His first two patents in 1914, for a liquid-fuel gun rocket and a multistage step rocket, led to modest recognition and financial support from the Smithsonian Institution.
The publication in 1919 by the Smithsonian of A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes gave Goddard distorted publicity because he had suggested that rocket power or jet propulsion could be used to attain escape velocity and that this theory could be proved by crashing a flash-powder missile on the moon. Sensitive to criticism of his moon-rocket idea, he worked quietly and steadily toward the perfection of his rocket technology and techniques.
"Goddard began experimenting with liquid oxygen and liquid-fueled rockets in September 1921, and tested the first liquid-fueled engine in November 1923. It had a cylindrical combustion chamber, using impinging jets to mix and atomize liquid oxygen and gasoline.
"He launched the first liquid-fueled (gasoline and liquid oxygen) rocket on March 16, 1926, in Auburn, Massachusetts. His journal entry of the event was notable for its laconic understatement: 'The first flight with a rocket using liquid propellants was made yesterday at Aunt Effie's farm.' The rocket, which was dubbed "Nell", rose just 41 feet during a 2.5-second flight that ended 184 feet away in a cabbage field, but it was an important demonstration that liquid propellants were possible." (Wikipedia article on Robert H. Goddard, accessed 05-15-2010)
Among Goddard’s successful innovations were "fuel-injection systems, regenerative cooling of combustion chambers, gyroscopic stabilization and control, instrumented payloads and recovery systems, guidance vanes in the exhaust plume, gimbaled and clustered engines, and aluminum fuel and oxidizer pumps" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography).
On March 19, 1936 the Smithsonian published Goddard's Liquid Propellant Rocket Development. The remainder of his work was documented in patents.
"Goddard avoided sharing details of his work with other scientists, and preferred to work alone with his technicians. Frank Malina, who was then studying rocketry at the California Institute of Technology, visited Goddard [in Roswell, New Mexico] in August of 1936. Goddard refused to discuss any of his research, other than that which had already been published in Liquid-Propellant Rocket Development. Theodore von Kármán, Malina's mentor at the time, was unhappy with Goddard's attitude and later wrote, 'Naturally we at Caltech wanted as much information as we could get from Goddard for our mutual benefit. But Goddard believed in secrecy. . . . The trouble with secrecy is that one can easily go in the wrong direction and never know it.' Goddard's concerns about secrecy led to criticism for failure to cooperate with other scientists and engineers.
"By 1939, von Kármán's Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at Caltech [GALCIT] had received Army Air Corps funding to develop rockets to assist in aircraft take-off. Goddard learned of this in 1940, and openly expressed his displeasure. Malina could not understand why the Army did not arrange for an exchange of information between Goddard and Caltech, since both were under government contract at the same time. Goddard did not think he could be of that much help to Caltech because they were designing rockets with solid fuel and Goddard was using liquid fuels" (Wikipedia article on Goddard).
Goddard’s booklet of 1919 was preceded by the theoretical writings of Tsiolkovsky published in Russian 1903-14 and the theoretical paper by Robert Esnault-Pelterie published in French in 1913.
Goddard & Pendray, The Papers of Robert H. Goddard, I, 233-38.
Among the experimental results predicted by Albert Einstein’s 1916 theory of general relativity was the bending of light by massive bodies due to the curvature of spacetime (space-time) in their vicinity. To test this prediction, Frank Watson Dyson, the Astronomer Royal, and astronomer Arthur Stanley Eddington organized two expeditions—one to Principe Island off West Africa, and the other to Sobral in Brazil—for the purpose of observing the solar eclipse on May 29, 1919; the sun served as the “massive body,” and an eclipse was necessary in order to observe the light coming from other stars.
“The results were in agreement with Einstein’s prediction, the Sobral result being 1.98 ± 0.12 arcsec and the Principe result 1.61 ± 0.3 arcsec [about twice the amounts predicted by Newtonian theory]. Because of the technical difficulty of these observations, the precise value of the deflection remained a controversial issue, which was not laid to rest until the development of radio interferometric techniques in the 1970s” (Twentieth Century Physics III, 1722-23).
On November 6, 1919 Dyson reported to a joint meeting of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society concerning A Determination of the Deflection of Light by the Sun’s Gravitational Field, from Observations Made at the Total Eclipse of May 29, 1919. The paper, reproducing photographs of the eclipse made by Eddington, was published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1920.
In response to the paper, the president of the Royal Society, Sir J.J.Thomson, said, “This is the most important result obtained in connection with the theory of gravitation since Newton’s day, and it is fitting that it should be announced at a meeting of the society so closely connected with him. . . . The result [is] one of the highest achievements of human thought” (quoted by Pais, Subtle is the Lord, 305).
On November 7 confirmation of Einstein’s discovery was headlined in The Times of London, and on November 9 in The New York Times. This article was copied or adapted by newspapers all over the world, and it had the effect of turning Einstein, whose fame had previously been limited to the theoretical physics community, into a world-famous celebrity. For the rest of his life Einstein remained the world’s most famous scientist, and relativity remained the puzzling, but fascinating subject that most people did not believe they could understand.