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Abstract of the USS Macedonian in the East India Squadron – one of the ships that participated in the opening of Japan by Commodore Perry

[JAPAN], Manuscript Document, 1856, titled “Abstract Cruise of the USS Macedonian bearing the broad pendant of Com. Joel Abbott in the years 1853, /54, /55 & /56.” 2 pp., 7¾ x 12½ in.

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This table provides a detailed chronology of the more than three-year cruise of the USS Macedonian, one of the ships in Commodore Matthew Perry’s 1854 flotilla that opened Japan to trade with the United States.

Item #25036, $2,500

Early Engineer’s Book for the Long Island Railroad, 1835-1872

LONG ISLAND RAILROAD, Memorandum and Letter Book, 1835-1872. 344 pp., of which 212 pp. have writing, 8¼ x 13 x 1¼ in.

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This volume is a fascinating primary source for the nation’s oldest railroad still operating under its original name, including correspondence setting the course for routes now traveled by millions of riders every month. Later use of this book by a New Jersey hatmaker and Civil War veteran gives insights into the daily life and expenses of a craftsman and farmer in the 1870s.

Item #24879, $4,500

John Ericsson, inventor of the USS Monitor, discusses sales of his Caloric Engines

JOHN ERICSSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Unknown Recipient, September 29, 1860. 2 pp.

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I had hoped you were snugly & permanently located on the lung healing slopes of the Hudson at West Point. You will now be much nearer to the metropolis…

Item #21303.01, $900

The Prospectus of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures

[ALEXANDER HAMILTON], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States, September 10, 1791. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: John Fenno. 4 pp., 10 x 16 in. The prospectus is printed on the front page in three columns.

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Contrasting with the agrarian view of many Virginia founding fathers, New Yorker Alexander Hamilton saw an industrial future for the United States. After nearly two years of study and with the aid of Assistant Secretary Tench Coxe, Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton compiled his famed Report on Manufactures at the request of Congress. With the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, Coxe and Hamilton advocate creating the nation’s first public-private partnership to develop the area around the Great Falls of the Passaic River, using the cataract for power.

Item #30014.06, $2,500

Albert Einstein on the search for greater meaning: “Using such apothecary’s methods one cannot reveal any of God’s secrets, I think.” A Swiss chemist’s work leaves Einstein cold, but Schrödinger “has the scent of a deeper truth.”

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Autograph Correspondence Card Signed, to Michele Besso, May 1, 1926, Berlin. In German. 1 p., 4¼ x 5⅞ in.

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Item #25045, $90,000

Jefferson’s Autograph Notes Explaining Napier’s Rule on Spherical Triangles, a Branch of Geometry Crucial to Astronomy, Geodesy, Navigation, & Architecture

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph Manuscript. Notes on Napier’s Theorem. [Monticello, Va.], [ca. March 18, 1814].

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John Napier, who is also credited with inventing logarithms and pioneering the use of the decimal point, first published his rule in 1614. While spherical trigonometry was the foundation for many scientific pursuits including astronomy, celestial navigation, geodesy (the measurement and mathematical representation of the Earth), architecture, and other disciplines, Napier’s Theorum remained largely unknown in America because of its complexity. Since it was so important to his own scholarly pursuits, Jefferson, the Sage of Monticello, was the perfect person to school a professor friend on this important, but complicated mathematical formula.

For instance, a navigator’s distance and position can be determined by “solving” spherical triangles with latitude and longitude lines—essentially very large triangles laid out on a curved surface. Astronomers apply similar principles; stargazers imagine the sky to be a vast dome of stars, with triangles laid out on curved (in this case concave) surface. The distance of stars can be calculated by the viewer, who is considered to be standing at the center (the Earth) and looking up at stars and planets as if they were hung on the inside surface of the sphere. In architecture, spherical triangles fill the corner spaces between a dome that sits on foursquare arches—called a dome on pendentives.

Item #23358, $35,000

A General Account of … Using Atomic Energy
for Military Purposes

H.D. SMYTH, A General Account of … Using Atomic Energy for Military Purposes Under the Auspices of the United States Government 1940-1945. Written at the Request of Major General L. R. Groves, United States Army... Washington, DC: Superintendent of Documents. (1945). Book, 1945. 182 pp, illus. with 2 graphs. With ownership signature of “Erwin Hiebert” twice.

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Item #20807, $750

Einstein Agrees to Allow “a Short Book on the Hydrogen Bomb” to Use His Statement Made on Eleanor Roosevelt’s TV Show

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Typed Document Signed, Princeton, N.J., April 19, 1950. 1 p., 8¼ x 11¼ in. 1 p. On “Didier, Publisher” letterhead paper, addressed to Einstein, in Princeton, and signed by him. Formerly folded, envelope stapled on the back.

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Item #24253, $12,500

Shortly Before his Self-imposed Exile from Germany, Albert Einstein Supports an International Language to Promote Peace and Understanding

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Typed Document Signed, Berlin, Germany, December 18, 1929. 1 p., 8¼ x 11¼ in. In German, with Einstein’s autograph accomplishments.

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“I am willing to join the federation for the introduction of an international auxiliary language to promote understanding, peace, and cooperation among nations.”

Einstein was a lifelong champion of efforts to eliminate of the nationalist divisions that leaders erected between peoples, often to deadly effect. Esperanto, the “international auxiliary language,” was an easy to learn, politically neutral language invented by L.L. Zamenhof, a Polish ophthalmologist, in the 1870s-1880s. His goals, to transcend nationalism and create harmony and peace in the world community, were certainly shared by Einstein — and pilloried as a Jewish conspiracy by Adolf Hitler. Considering the date of the pledge, Einstein was taking an early stand against the Fascist future into which Europe was about to descend.

Item #24023, $6,000

The Building Blocks of Albert Einstein’s Creative Mind

[ALBERT EINSTEIN], Ephemera. Set of Anker-Steinbaukasten children’s building blocks by F. Ad. Richter & Cie., Rudolstadt, [Germany], c.1880s. Approximately 160 composite quartz sand, chalk, and linseed oil blocks in red, limestone and slate gray, in various sizes and shapes, together with three or more sets of building plans, all contained in two wooden boxes with printed Anker-Steinbaukasten labels.

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A unique and important artifact of his childhood.

Item #24284, $180,000

Leasing Turtle Bay for Use by the Royal Navy, 1741

[NEW YORK], Manuscript Document Signed. Fifty-year lease on Turtle Bay from Captain Robert Long to Peter Warren. Signed by Peter Warren (with his wax seal), his father-in-law Stephen Delancey, and two other witnesses. New York, March 2, 1741. 1 p., 13 x 16 in. Docketed on verso, with later notes on payment through 1750 signed by Long.

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A future hero of the French and Indian War leases Turtle Bay for fifty years of use by the British Navy. From the beginning of European settlement, it offered sailing vessels refuge from the East River’s treacherous currents and winter storms. Today, it helps weather different kinds of storms: it was filled in and is the site of the present United Nations complex.

Item #23647, $4,400

Membership Certificate to the Naval Library
and Institute for Lt. Cmdr. George Dewey

[GEORGE DEWEY], Printed Document. A lithographed membership certificate to the Naval Library and Institute. Signed by Charles Steedman, President, & witnessed twice by Oliver L. Fisher. Navy Yard, Boston, Mass October 15, 1871. 11½ x 16½ in.

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Item #22023.01, $750

1790 Massachusetts Newspaper Discussing Nantucket Whalers

[NANTUCKET], Newspaper, The Columbian Centinel. Boston: Benjamin Russell, December 15, 1790. 4 pp.

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Item #30000.007, $450

Patent for Improvement in the Life Preserver

JOHN FORSYTH, Document Signed, as Secretary of State, issued to John J. White, Patent for improvement on the life preserver. Washington, April 7, 1838.

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Item #21838, $700

Louis Bleriot and the First Airplane
to Cross the English Channel

LOUIS BLERIOT, Hand-Colored Lithograph Signed (“L. Bleriot”). Entitled “Louis Bleriot passes the White Cliffs of Dover in May, 1909.” Lithograph published by the Wright Aeronautical Corporation, 1928. Showing the Bleriot XI craft in flight, with a fountain pen inscription “To Mr. Guy W. Vaughan, L. Bleriot.” The month of May is crossed out and corrected to July in Bleriot’s hand. 15” x 17 ½”.

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Item #20389, $975

Early Electricity and the Spread of the Telephone from the Documents of George C. Maynard

GEORGE C. MAYNARD, Archive. Journals, notebooks, notes, and related papers regarding the spread of telephone communications in the late 19th century. Nineteen items.

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Item #23012, $4,500

William Maury Logbook from the USS Saratoga, one of the “Black Ships” in Commodore Perry’s East India Squadron famous for the Opening of Japan, and early trips to Macau, China and Hong Kong

[WILLIAM L. MAURY]. [JAPAN], Autograph and Manuscript Logbook for the USS Saratoga, Pacific voyage, July 20, 1850 (to November 12, 1852 in Maury’s hand) to April 26, 1853. Original half-sheep ledger book. 145 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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at 6 PM U.S.S.S. ‘Mississippi’ bearing Broad Pendt of Commo M. C. Perry arrived and anchored. saluted him with 13 guns, which was returned with 7.”—April 7, 1853

This logbook, mostly written by Lieutenant William L. Maury, covers the first two-thirds of the sloop-of-war Saratoga’s historic voyage, sailing from Norfolk, Virginia, to China and then on duty in the western Pacific. The Saratoga was part of the East India Squadron. This logbook includes Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s April 1853 arrival in Hong Kong on his mission to open Japan to American trade.

Item #23424, $5,500