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Newcomb’s Mathematical Course
Jul 16, 2020

Til yesterday I did not know that Simon Newcomb wrote a series of textbooks covering everything from algebra to calculus.

Simon Newcomb (March 12, 1835 – July 11, 1909) was a Canadian–American astronomer, applied mathematician and autodidactic polymath, who was Professor of Mathematics in the United States Navy and at Johns Hopkins University.

Though he had little conventional schooling, he made important contributions to timekeeping as well as other fields in applied mathematics such as economics and statistics in addition to writing a science fiction novel.

From the bibliography of the National Academy of Sciences’ biographical memoir of Simon Newcomb:

Algebra for Schools and Colleges. (Newcomb’s Mathematical Series.)

New York, Holt, June, 1881. Eleven other editions or reprints were printed: Sept., 1881; Aug., 1882; Sept., 1883; Aug., 1884; July, 1885; Aug., 1887; Aug., 1888 (destroyed by fire); Feb., 1889; Aug., 1895; Dec, 1896; Aug., 1903.

1881 2nd ed.
Internet Archive, Google Books, HathiTrust, HathiTrust
1882 3rd ed., revised (microform)
Internet Archive, Hathi Trust
1884 4th ed.
Internet Archive
1884 5th ed., revised
HathiTrust
1884 5th ed., revised (microform)
HathiTrust
1887 6th ed., revised
Internet Archive, Google Books, HathiTrust

Key to Algebra for Schools and Colleges. (Newcomb’s Mathematical Series.)

New York, Holt [April], 1882. The second edition was published in July, 1885. The third and last edition appeared in Aug. 1889.

1882 1st ed.
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Elements of Geometry (Newcomb’s Mathematical Course).

1881 1st ed.
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1884 3rd ed., revised (microform)
Internet Archive, Internet Archive, HathiTrust
1889 4th ed., revised
Google Books, HathiTrust

Elements of plane and spherical trigonometry with logarithmic and other mathematical tables and examples of their use and hints on the art of computation. (Newcomb’s Mathematical Course.)

1882 1st edition
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1883 2nd ed., revised
Internet Archive, Google Books, HathiTrust
1898 3rd ed., revised
Google Books, HathiTrust

Elements of plane geometry and trigonometry, with four-place logarithmic and trigonometric tables.

No online editions found.

A School Algebra. (Newcomb’s Mathematical Course.)

1882 1st ed.
Internet Archive
1887 3rd ed.
Internet Archive, Internet Archive, Google Books

Key to School Algebra.

No online editions found.

Elements of analytic geometry. (Newcomb’s Mathematical course.)

1884 1st ed.
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1885 2nd ed.
Internet Archive, Google Books
1895 5th ed.
Internet Archive, HathiTrust

Essentials of trigonometry, plane and spherical, with three and four place tables, logarithmic and trigonometric. (Newcomb’s Mathematical course.)

1884 1st ed.
Internet Archive

Elements of the differential and integral calculus. (Newcomb’s Mathematical course.)

1887 1st ed.
Internet Archive, Internet Archive
1887 1st ed. (microform)
Internet Archive, HathiTrust