A Computer Perspective
A Computer Perspective

EAMES, Charles & Ray. A Computer Perspective.

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EAMES, Charles & Ray. A Computer Perspective. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973.

4to., half black cloth over cream linen boards; spine lettered in silver; in the incredibly fragile wrapper, printed in a red and green design overlaid with black lettering; pp. 174, [ii]; profusely illustrated throughout with black and white photographs; boards ever-so-slightly bowed; else fine, the jacket remarkably intact, with light splitting along the spine expertly repaired, and chips to spine ends; evenly toned, but still a superior example, rare in such condition.
First edition, presentation copy inscribed by both Charles and Ray Eames to the philanthropist and Time magazine publisher Henry Luce III: "To Hank Luce/ Charles and Ray/ Jan 1, 1973."
A photo-illustrated history of the first forays into early computing, with many two-colour diagrams detailing the technological advances of the collaboration between design and engineering. The publication covers the period from the 1890s with the tabulating and sorting devices used in the 1890 United States Census, and follows the progression through to the 1940s, and the "modern problem-solving computer", with a brief overview of the computer up to the 1970s. Among the diverse and fascinating items included in the collection are: the pocket kit carried by Francis Galton to take his friend's fingerprints; a letter from the philosopher Charles S. Pierce containing the first description of a switching circuit designed to solve logic problems, Leonardo Torres' chess-playing machine, and a page of the first program written for a modern computer.
Charles and Ray Eames were innovative designers known largely for their modern furniture and architecture. They were, however, active in industrial and graphic design, and in 1952 produced their first multi-media show. This book is based upon an exhibition conceived and assembled for the International Business Machines Corporation, and, like the exhibition itself, the book is not so much a history in the narrow sense, but more a flowing chronology of concepts and devices.
Henry Luce III, affectionately referred to here as 'Hank', was an American magazine magnate who has been referred to as "the most influential private citizen in the America of his day". He founded Time in 1923 with Briton Hadden, and in 1936 bought the rights to Life, which quickly became the first all-photographic American news magazine.