FORTRAN. [BACKUS, JOHN. 1924-2007. Fortran Introductory Programmer's Manual, etc. New York: I.B.M., March-May, 1957.]
Lot 186
FORTRAN.
[BACKUS, JOHN. 1924-2007.
Fortran Introductory Programmer's Manual, etc. New York: I.B.M., March-May, 1957.]
US$ 1,000 - 1,500
£ 750 - 1,100

The Story of the 20th Century

4 Jun 2014, 13:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
FORTRAN.
[BACKUS, JOHN. 1924-2007. Fortran Introductory Programmer's Manual, etc. New York: I.B.M., March-May, 1957.]
8 items bound together. 4to. Reproduced typescripts. Black cloth, spine gilt-lettered, laminated.
Provenance: Institut für Praktische Mathematik, Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt (inkstamp, call no on spine).

EXTREMELY EARLY AND RARE USER'S MANUALS FOR FORTRAN, THE DOMINANT COMPUTER LANGUAGE OF THE 1950s and the first which would be widely supported across a variety of computer architectures. This set of manuals is contemporaneous to the first release of FORTRAN in April of 1957 and the first title page states that this precedes the forthcoming Introductory Programmer's Manual "to permit its early use for teaching purposes ... The goal of the FORTRAN project was to enable the programmer to specify a numerical procedure using a concise language like that of mathematics and obtain automatically from this specification an efficient [IBM] 704 program to carry out this procedure. It was expected that such a system would reduce the coding and debugging task to less than one-fifth of the job it had been" (p 2, 4th item).
The individual items comprise: "FORTRAN introductory programmer's manual. Section I. New York: Programming Research Department, IBM, March 20, 1957. * "FORTRAN introductory programmer's manual. Section II. New York: Programming Research Department, IBM, April 10, 1957." * "FORTRAN introductory programmer's manual. Section III. New York: Programming Research Department, IBM, June 7, 1957." * "Preliminary operator's manual [for] the FORTRAN automatic coding system for the IBM 704 EDPM." New York: Programming Research Department, IBM, April 8, 1957. * BACKUS et al. "The FORTRAN automatic coding system." N.p, n.d. [1957]. * BACKUS. Photocopy of a Typed letter signed to John Greenstadt. New York, April 24, 1957. * BACKUS. Photocopy of a Typed letter signed to Franz E. Ross. New York, May 7, 1957. * FNEDT1. "FORTRAN editing program. New York: Programming Research Department, IBM, May 8, 1957." Origins of Cyberspace 447.
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