Mathematical Boy Genius

A Memoir of Zerah Colburn; Written by Himself. Containing an Account of the First discovery of his Remarkable Powers; His Travels in America and Residence in Europe; A History of the Various Plans Devised for His Patronage; His Return to this Country and the Causes Which led Him to his present Profession; With his peculiar Methods of Calculation.

Springfield: Published by G. and C. Merriam, 1833.

Price: $250.00

About the item

First edition. Frontispiece of Colburn as a young boy with a paddle and birdie in hand. 1 vols. 12mo. Mathematical Boy Genius. Original brown cloth, printed paper label, uncut. Some repair and wear to spine and extremities, some fraying and waterstaining of binding, minor marginal browning to text, else a very good copy. Bell “Men of Mathematics” pp. 342-3: Sabin 14257.

Item #30818

Colburn (1804-1839), the “American lightning-calculating boy.” His extraordinary calculating powers became evident when at the age of 6 he could calculate amazing figures. His father took him to various institutions in America and then to Europe showing his feats and to help further his education.
At the back of his account are examples of the sort of questions that he was asked to calculate and also a small collection of verse that he wrote. Following his career as a mathematical prodigy Colburn became a school teacher and a Methodist Minister and in 1835 he became Professor of languages in Norwich University.