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History of Science & Technology

History of Science and Technology auctions celebrate scientific and technological endeavour and feature not only rare books and manuscripts from the 15th through 21st centuries, but also scientific instruments, technological devices from the earliest known scientific artefacts, to computing rarities from the 20th and 21st centuries. The works of celebrated minds such as Darwin, Babbage, Newton, Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler are well represented, as is the work of more recent greats such as Einstein, Gödel, Turing and Feynman. Scientific instruments offered range from early telescopes, astrolabes, armillary spheres, globes, microscopes, surveying and navigational instruments, sundials and medical instruments while technological items have included cypher machines, important computers and components, telecommunication devices, robots, motion picture cameras and more.

The sales take place annually in New York or Los Angeles. Highlights and record-breaking sales include a manuscript by computing pioneer Alan Turing on the foundations of mathematics and computer science for $1,025,000; a fully operational Apple-1 computer for $950,000; a first edition, author's presentation offprint of Gödel's groundbreaking paper "Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme I" for $68,750; a Steve Jobs autograph letter signed sold for $500,312; a working Apple Macintosh prototype sold for $150,075; and a fully operational 3-Rotor Enigma machine at $269,000 to name but a few. Bonhams is a market leader is this rapidly growing field.

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Adam Stackhouse


Adam Stackhouse is a Specialist in the Fine Books and Manuscripts Department at Bonhams in San Francisco. He joined the department in 1997 and was promoted to Specialist in 2001. His areas of expertis…

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