A Memoir of Zerah Colburn; Written by Himself. Containing an account of the first discovery of his remarkable powers;...
Edition: First edition
Springfield [Massachusetts]: G. and C. Merriam, 1833. Title page continues: "his travels in America and residence in Europe; his return to this country and the causes which led him to his present profession; with his peculiar methods of calculation." 12mo, original publisher's glazed brown cloth, printed paper spine label. pp , (viii), (9)-204,  + frontispiece. Spine label is a little darkened with a bit of wear and loss of a few letters; small chip and neat repair lower spine; narrow chips and neat repair along front joint; VG otherwise, internally clean, tight, unworn, fine. Autobiography by this child prodigy and "mental calculator" who for a brief period was a sensation on two continents. "Colburn's abilities developed rapidly and he was soon able to solve such problems as the number of seconds in 2,000 years, the product of 12,225 and 1,223, or the square root of 1,449. When he was seven years old he took six seconds to give the numbers of hours in thirty-eight years, two months, and seven days. Zerah is reported to have been able to solve fairly complex problems. For example, the sixth Fermat number...The question is whether this number, 4,294,967,297, is prime or not. Zerah calculated in his head that it was not and has a divisor of 641. The other divisor is 6,700,417 and can easily be found using a calculator." -Wikipedia. He lost his powers with the onset of adulthood. After nine years of service as an itinerant Methodist preacher, eventually ended up a professor of languages at Dartmouth College. Colburn died of TB at age 34. Bell "Men of Mathematics" pp. 342-3: Sabin 14257.
Condition: Binding: Hardcover