Padova: per Paolo Frambotto, 1649. Third Edition. Octavo, , 80 pages; VG; bound in contemporary paper, ink titling to spine; some wear and rubbing to binding; Terza edizione; with folding plate, wide margins; tide-mark to lower half of gutter, extending along lower edge, primarily to first few leaves; red ink name to the ffep; front pastedown, *4v, page 36, 38-39 with writing, title page, page 17, 30 with ink ownership; closed tear to lower margin of page 38 from writing; page 50 with 4 numbers hand-corrected.; leaf A5 with archival repair to top edge; SP consignment; shelved case 3.
Shelved Dupont Bookstore
Galileo invented the geometric and military compass, his first commercial scientific instrument, in 1597. The device, which resembled two rulers that moved over a third, curved piece, acted as an early calculator. Merchants could use it to work out monetary exchange rates, shipwrights when testing hull designs in scale model, and soldiers could use the compass to determine the charge for a cannon.
It was based on the proportional compass, an instrument first developed by Commandino prior to 1568, but Galileo's version included numerous additions and improvements that rendered it the most useful mathematical instrument of its period and even beyond a calculating device, Galileo's compass remained unsurpassed until the advent of the slide rule in the mid-nineteenth century. His pamphlet is the first published work on an analogue calculator. The success and popularity of Galileo's instrument naturally made it attractive to imitators, and Galileo deliberately omitted any illustration of the compass in his treatise as a deterrrent to unauthorized copying. At the very end of his life, Galileo finally authorized a large engraving illustrating his invention (included in the 1640 edition of the Operazioni del compasso), thereby ending the virtual monopoly on its manufacture that he had been careful to preserve. This Third Edition includes a re-engraving of the plate.;