Traite de nomographie. Théorie des abaques. Applications pratiques.
Ocagne, [Philibert] Maurice, d’.

Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1899. First edition. This work was preceded by a ninety-one page pamphlet, published the same year. This is a fuller explication of the ideas discussed there. Old printed bookplate preserved. A very good, clean copy, in a handsome new binding. Rebound in quarter calf over marbled boards. Octavo. xiii, [1], 480 pp. Numer (Item ID: 7852)


The use of graphic schemes for computation goes back to antiquity. The graphic solution of spherical triangles was in use in the time of Hipparchus, 150 B.C., and simple charts were signed by the mathematicians of the Middle Ages. The publication of René Descartes’s Discours de la méthode (1637), which introduced analytic geometry to the world, gave a powerful impetus to graphical methods and provided their analytical background. However, the construction of nomograms remained an art, more than a science, until the pioneering work of Maurice d’Ocagne (1862-1938) of the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. “He developed the subject in many papers and books and particularly in his treatise of 1899, Traité de nomographie, in which were brought together both the general theories and a multitude of practical applications. D’Ocagne may be properly called the creator of nomography” (Encyclopedia Britannica, “Nomography” article, 1961).

Cajori, p. 481-2.

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