Posographe photographer’s exposure computer WITH LETTER FROM THE INVENTOR

Posographe photographer’s exposure computer WITH LETTER FROM THE INVENTOR

Stock Number: 240592


Exceptional analog computer with historically significant letter explaining how the device was designed


98 x 139 x 12mm (cased posographe); leaflet 100 x 130mm; letter is a single sheet, 257 x 270mm




Auguste-Robert Kafmann

Country of manufacture


Categories: Bookshop, Scientific, Technology, Scientific Books, Early Technology, Calculating, Photography


‘Posographe’ Analog Computer (with booklet, and a letter from the inventor)
By Auguste-Robert Kafmann, c.1922

One of the most elegant analog computers ever made. The Posographe is a photographer’s exposure computer – one side works for indoor and the other for outdoor conditions. The user inputs various information – level of sunlight, colour of the walls, etc. – and the internal mechanism delivers an exposure time. In computing terms, the Posographe calculates two discrete functions of six variables each – all in a pocket-sized instrument without a single gearwheel.

This incredible piece of engineering was patented by Kaufmann in May 1922. This early example is accompanied by an important letter from Kaufmann, dated 1 September 1922. The letter is addressed to Maurice d’Ocagne, inventor of the Nomogram, and in it Kaufmann explains the Posographe and even sheds valuable light on how he created the brilliant internal mechanism (see image to the left). The text is in a secretary’s hand, but bears Kaufmann’s distinctive signature.

Near fine condition: Posographe in its original case; fully functioning; leaflet very good; letter folded but very good.


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GB Boris Jardine Rare Books

Boris Jardine Rare Books specializes in history of science and technology, and scientific instruments.

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