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Science, Technology, and Transportation

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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, $160,000

Andrew Jackson Signs a Patent on a Corn Shelling Machine

ANDREW JACKSON, Partially Printed Document Signed as President. Two partially printed vellum pages acknowledging that Joseph Ross has developed improvements for “the machine of shelling corn.” Washington, D.C., April 12, 1833. Countersigned by the Acting Secretary of State Edward Livingston and Attorney General Roger B. Taney. Approximately 11 x 13, framed to 20 x 31 in. The blind embossed paper Seal of the United States is affixed at lower left. The pages are attached with pink ribbon to the above letters patent.

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Item #23910, $4,500

William Tecumseh Sherman on the Army’s Role in Building the Northern Pacific Railroad

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, Autograph Letter Signed, April 5, 1883, to E.V. Smalley, Washington, D.C., on Headquarters Army of the United States. 3pp.

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Sherman comments on the close cooperation of the Army and the railroads. Key to the development of the American West, this was arguably the Army’s most important role during Sherman’s post-Civil War service.

Item #23562.06, $1,750

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

The Charter for Hamilton’s “Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures”

[ALEXANDER HAMILTON], Newspaper. Gazette of the United States, September 10, 1791. Philadelphia: John Fenno. 4 pp. 10 x 16 in. Including the Charter for the Society of Useful Manufactures in full, and a report on Joseph Brant, the famous Mohawk Indian Chief.

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Item #30019, $2,500

Ulysses S. Grant Signed Naval Commission

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Document Signed as President and “Geo[rge] M. Robeson” as Secretary of the Navy; July 9, 1870, 1p. With engravings of eagle, colors and cannon, and Neptune and other mythical sea figures, with blue wafer seal of the War Office.

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Scarce post-war Naval appointment of Robert F. Bradford as Commander of the Navy. Bradford had served on the “flying squadron” and blockading squadrons during the Civil War, and retired as commandant of Portsmouth Naval Yard.

Item #1752, $2,500

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

From Smallpox Inoculations to Farm Threshing Machines:
A Declaration Signer Discusses Cutting-Edge Technologies

GEORGE CLYMER, Autograph Letter Signed “GC.” to Harry C?. No place, January 5, 1805. 4 pp., 6½ x 8 in.

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George Clymer emphasizes revitalizing the nation’s first agricultural society and reports the technological innovations the forthcoming secretary was observing in his effort to rebuild the organization.

Item #22748, $2,350

“Black Valley Railroad” Temperance Broadside

NATIONAL TEMPERANCE SOCIETY OF NEW YORK, Multi-colored Broadside. Ca 1863. 11 ½” x 16 ½”

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Item #20034, $1,200

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

Benjamin Guggenheim, Who Would Perish on the Titanic, Works in His Family Business

BENJAMIN GUGGENHEIM, Autographed Document Signed. Pueblo, Colo. August 29, 1888. 1 p. 8 ¼ x 13 ½ in. With embossed Philadelphia Smelting and Refining Company Seal.

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Item #22388, $3,500

Joining Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s Expedition to Japan, a Line Drawing and Rigging Plan for Converting
the U.S.S. Macedonian to a “Razeed” Sloop-of-War

U.S.S. MACEDONIAN, Line drawing and rigging plan, on waxed linen, c. 1851-1852, 36 x 25 ¾ in. “Razee a Spar Deck Ship” written in different hand than plan design’s hand and initials.

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This ship plan shows the design for the U.S.S. Macedonian to be converted from a 36-gun frigate into a 20-gun sloop-of-war “razee,” (from the French raser, “to shave”) a warship that has been lowered in height by removing the spar (main) deck.  The vessel’s sails were also enlarged in the process.  The changes made the ship faster and lighter for Perry’s mission, but both alterations required new standing (support) rigging, and hull reinforcements, shown in red in this plan.

Item #22458, $7,500

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

Noted Edison Chief Engineer Charles Lorenzo Clarke Draws and Describes “Prismatic Halo” Vision Problem

CHARLES LORENZO CLARKE, Archive.

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Fascinating small archive from the man who, during his long collaboration with Thomas Edison, drew the now familiar horseshoe filament for the light bulb and became Chief Engineer of Edison Electric Light Co. The topic here is not the lightbulb, but Clarke’s vision problems. The archive’s highlight is a beautiful watercolor illustration of a “prismatic halo.”

Item #23325, $2,950