Computers & Information Science

Wiener, Norbert | Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

  • First US edition, published just a few months after the Paris edition, offset from sheets of that edition and with a new title and half title. With the contemporary ownership signature of a female pharmacologist.

    Wiener’s Cybernetics, a treatise on natural and artificial feedback systems, is one of the key scientific works of the 20th century and “the first conventionally published book, rather than a technical report, to include a serious discussion of electronic digital computing” (Origins of Cyberspace 991).

    Interestingly, this copy was owned by a female pharmacologist, Nellie Perry Watts, who graduated from Case Western Reserve University and either attended or worked at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (where she signed a 1943 petition to Congress in support of female physicians in the Medical Reserve Corps). A significant part of her career was spent in the Department of Therapeutics of the New York University Medical School, and she also worked in the Department of Pharmacology at Abbott Research Laboratories in Chicago. Two of her publications are present in the accessible historical record: “Prophylactic Use of Schistosomal Antigen”, published in the Journal of Immunology in June, 1949, and “Hospital Pharmacist’s Relation to the Medical Intern”, in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association in February, 1945.

  • New York & Paris: John Wiley & Son, Inc. & Hermann et Cie, 1948.

    Octavo. Original red cloth blocked in black and white. With the dust jacket. Contemporary ownership signature to the front free endpaper and an envelope with related clippings tipped-in on the front pastedown. Cloth bright and fresh, minor bumps and light rubbing at the corners and ends of spine, partial tanning of the front endpapers, some spotting of the edges of the textblock. A very good copy in the lightly rubbed and dulled jacket with a ring stain and large spot on the upper panel and some smaller spots on the lower panel.