Paris: Mallet-Bachelier, 1863. 1st Edition. 1st EDITION OF WIBERG’S EXTENSIVE 1863 REPORT ON HIS MODIFICATION, PRAISED AS ‘INGENIOUS’ BY THE FRENCH ACADEMY, OF THE SCHEUTZ DIFFERENCE ENGINE. ALSO, 1st EDITION OF THE NEURO RESEARCH & EXPERIMENTS WHICH LED TO SECHENOV’S PIONEERING BOOK ON CEREBRAL REFLEX ACTIVITY. ALSO, 1st EDITION OF KELLER & KELLER’S WAVE MODEL USING A LE SAGE TYPE MECHANISM IN COMBINATION WITH LONGITUDINAL WAVES OF THE AETHER.
Martin Wiberg was a Swedish “computer pioneer” (Wikipedia). Interested in printing, he wanted to develop a ‘composing’ machine. To raise funds to begin Wiberg “decided to publish a set of interest tables, hoping to use the machine of his compatriot Scheutz for computing and printing” (History of Computers Portal; Origins of Cyberspace 82). Scheutz’s machine, however, had already been sold, so Wiberg set out to build his own calculating machine – one similar to Scheutz’s but considerably smaller.
Wiberg’s machine had the same capacity as did Scheutz’s – both able to compute 4th differences of 15-digit numbers. Instead of the “rectangular array of number wheels that had characterized the Scheutz machines however, [Wiberg’s] was made more compact by substituting identical metal disks for the counting wheels used by Babbage and Scheutz and by arranging these linearly along a common axis. This meant that 75 disks were arranged in 15 groups of 5, each group corresponding to the tabular values and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th difference, arranged from left to right.
“A second axis, parallel to the first, carried thirty hooks, which could cause as many of the disks to be acted upon at the same time, making possible the simultaneous addition of two sets of 15-digit figures. Thus, [a key] operating features of the Scheutz machine had been preserved: one turn of the crank caused even differences to be added, another turn, odd ones; carrying was again effected separately” (ibid).
After improving the print mechanism of his machine, Wiberg presented it to the French Academy of Sciences in 1863 with a detailed paper [this paper] describing the method of finite differences and the workings of his machine. The Academy praised the machine strongly, calling it ‘ingenious’ and commending “it for its efficient mechanical construction, which had led to a substantial saving of space and utmost reliability” (ibid).
ALSO INCLUDED: Sechenov's classic research papers (complete in two parts) which led to his seminal work on cerebral reflex activity published later the same year. Sechenov, the father of Russian physiology, laid the foundation for the study of reflexes, animal and human behavior, and neuroscience. He set out to explain “all human behavior in terms of stimuli and physiological mechanisms” (Hergenhahn, 370). “Sechenov did not deny consciousness or its importance, but he insisted that there was nothing mysterious about it and sought to explain it in terms of physiological process triggered by external events” (ibid).
Using frogs as subjects, Sechenov’s papers describe in detail his experimental set-up and the results he achieved. Note that Sechenov’s foundational book -- again, published later the same year -- is based upon the research presented in these papers.
ALSO INCLUDED: Keller & Keller’s wave model of gravity combined a Le Sage type mechanism “in combination with longitudinal waves of the aether. They supposed that those waves are propagating in every direction and losing some of their momentum after the impact on bodies, so between two bodies the pressure exerted by the waves is weaker than the pressure around them” (Wikipedia). Item #932
CONDITION & DETAILS: Complete. Ex-libris bearing only a small stamp on the back of the title page and slight ghosting at the spine where a label has been removed. 4to. , 1323, . Tightly bound in clean full blue cloth, gilt-lettered spine. Toned preliminaries, otherwise exceptionally clean throughout. Comptes Rendus pages do not scan well and always appear wrinkled. To the naked eye, they are not. Very good.