THE “GRANDFATHER OF MOLECULAR GENETICS” DNA pioneer. Typewritten carbon copy excerpt: “Part of a letter from Dr. O. T. Avery to his brother Roy C. Avery, dated May 13, 1945, just after his retirement from the Rockefeller Institute, when he was considering moving to Nashville, Tennessee. Original in the possession of R. C. Avery, … [ Read More ]
Collectible Autographs from Famous Scientists
In the field of science, collectors have generally collected autographs, signatures, signed letters, and signed documents of specific individuals, or those within a specific area of science, rather than the entire field. Science, like music and art, is an area of great international appeal, and collectors from many countries compete for autograph material of the same scientists. The earliest of the great scientists whose autograph material is possible to obtain is Isaac Newton. Signed documents by him are extremely rare. Even rarer, but possible to obtain, are documents signed by his great rival, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, who laid the foundation of integral and differential calculus. The founder of modern chemistry, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, lived a relatively short life; it was quite literally cut short by the guillotine during the French Revolution's Reign of Terror. His signed documents are rare, but possible to obtain. Also in France at that time, the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Jacques, were pioneering with balloons, and in 1783 accomplished the first manned ascent. Signed letters by both are very rare.
In England, in the field of chemistry, Joseph Priestley, experimented with gases and discovered oxygen. His signed letters concerning religion are more common than those regarding science, but are rare nevertheless. Humphry Davy, who experimented with various gases, is rare but more commonly found. Early in the 19th century, experiments in electricity were taking place in many countries. In Italy, Alessandro Volta was making great progress toward understanding this new force; his autograph material is very rare, as is that of the Frenchman, André Ampère. Less rare are signed letters of the Englishman, Michael Faraday, who carried on important electrical experiments.
The giant of science in the 19th century was Charles Darwin, author of “The Origin of the Species,” published in 1859. His signed letters are rare, and those with interesting content, very rare. They have been aggressively collected by institutional libraries for decades, and his autograph signatures are very popular with collectors. The French chemists, Pierre and Marie Curie, are quite rare in any autograph form.
The outstanding figure of 20th-century science, Albert Einstein, was famous throughout his life and wrote a large number of signed letters, but those with interesting content have been collected by institutional libraries virtually since his lifetime. Einstein rarely gave his autograph signature, but he did on occasion, and signed letters of his with fairly routine content can be found.
Please browse our selection of science autographs, signatures and memorabilia or you may search our entire inventory alphabetically, by name or by category.
THE YOUNGER GENERATION EXPANDS THE REACH OF BRITISH SCIENCE English mathematician and mechanical genius; perfected a calculating machine, the forerunner of the modern computer. Autograph Letter Signed, C Babbage, two pages, octavo, Com[mitte]e Room, December 1, 1832. To W. Venning. “I regret exceedingly that on consulting my Committee they advise me not to have … [ Read More ]
AMERICAN INVENTOR OF THE TELEPHONE Letter Signed, two and one-half pages, quarto, Northampton, Massachusetts, March 15, 1906. To Dr. A. L. E. Crouter, president of the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf. Also signed by three witnesses. “As I am about to sail for Europe, and since I … [ Read More ]
ANGLO-IRISH NATURAL PHILOSOPHER, CHEMIST, PHYSICIST, INVENTOR, AND GENTLEMAN SCIENTIST Autograph Document Signed, “Ro Boyle,” one page, oblong octavo, June 26, 1675. Also signed by E Anglesey (Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey). “We doe hereby acknowledge to have recd. of the Countess of Orrery our Severall propo[rt]ions of the ballance of this acco[un]t. Witnes our … [ Read More ]
American mathematician. “The Theory of Recursive Unsolveability”. Typed dissertation accepted by Princeton in May 1950. 96 pps of text plus front matter, end notes, and bibliography. A carbon copy made along with the original typescript. Mathematical symbols not available on the typewriter were inserted by hand by Martin Davis. Price: $1,250 This item is … [ Read More ]
American inventor of the phonograph. Autograph Letter Signed, Thomas Edison, in pencil, two pages, octavo, undated. To Fagan. “Call Patterson’s attention to the fact that if 90 grams of Lithia is right for say an A4 it is not right for any other size as we have found out at Lab. There is an unknown … [ Read More ]
German-born theoretical physicist; enunciated Theory of Relativity. “THE THOUGHT OPPRESSES ME; HOW SMALL MUST BE THE SELECTION, IF IN THE PURSUIT OF YOUR HUMANITARIAN WORK YOU BECOME AWARE OF [ME]….” Typewritten Letter Signed, A. Einstein, one page, quarto, Huntington, Long Island, June 21, 1937. In English, to members of the Rho Pi Phi Fraternity, Boston. … [ Read More ]
EINSTEIN PATENT FOR “A LIGHT INTENSITY SELF-ADJUSTING CAMERA” ALBERT EINSTEIN. German-born theoretical physicist; enunciated the Theory of Relativity. Document Signed, Albert Einstein, two pages, quarto, New York, December 5, 1936. Also signed by Gustav Bucky. Together with a copy of the patent. Einstein signs a patent assignment for the only U.S. patent he ever received … [ Read More ]
ENGLISH INVENTOR AND SCIENTIST; NOTED FOR HIS EXPERIMENTS WITH ELECTRICITY. MICHAEL FARADAY. Autograph Letter Signed, M Faraday, one and two-third pages, octavo, Royal Institution, June 2, 1843. To John Hennell. “The water you describe must I conclude be very hard principally from Carbonate of lime. I do not remember what Lep[uan]tes Patent filter is … [ Read More ]
ROBERT H. GODDARD. American physicist; pioneer in rocket research. Photograph of Robert Goddard standing outdoors and holding his gyroscope stabilizer, Signed R.H. Goddard in the margin below. A second photograph to the right shows Goddard and two others “testing the gyroscope and directing vanes before a flight by inclining and rotating the rocket while … [ Read More ]
English founder of immunology; discovered vaccination for smallpox. Autograph Letter Signed, Edwd. Jenner, one page, small octavo, Berkeley, May 21, 1813. To Dear Madam, possibly a fellow fossil hunter and member of the Barrow Hill Club. “The turbulent state of the weather has prevented me from taking a walk over to Stowe in the course … [ Read More ]
ROBERT KOCH. German microbiologist. Signature, “Prof. R. Koch / Berlin,” in ink, on an off-white card measuring 3 inches wide by 1-1/2 inches high. Working with very limited resources, Robert Koch became one of the founders of bacteriology, the other major figure being Louis Pasteur. Koch’s work began during the Franco-Prussian War when he … [ Read More ]
Swedish botanist; founder of modern systematic botany. Signature, Carl. v. Linné, on a 1 by 6 1/2 inch paper. Fine condition. Framed in buff, coffee and antique gilt, with an engraved portrait of the botanist with a seedling. Framed measurements: 10 inches wide by 13 1/2 inches high. Price: $4,750 This item is associated with … [ Read More ]
Swedish botanist; founder of modern systematic botany. Document Signed, Carl Linnaeus, with his red wax seal following, three full lines on a 3 1/4 by 8 inch sheet. In Swedish. As chair of botany at Uppsala University, Carolus Linnaeus certifies that “…for the year 56 I have received four hundred seventy-three dollars in silver coin … [ Read More ]
THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT ON THE INVESTIGATION OF THE ORIGIN OF COSMIC RAYS ROBERT A. MILLIKAN. American physicist. Typewritten and Autograph Manuscript, thirteen pages, quarto and octavo, undated. Comprising a quarto page of five typewritten lines, with the title and corrections in Robert Millikan’s hand; the first page of the paper (quarto), consisting of nine typewritten … [ Read More ]
SAMUEL F. B. MORSE. American artist and inventor of the telegraph. Sketch, in pencil, one page, irregular small octavo sheet pasted onto a quarto sheet, . Morse has drawn the face of a bearded man, wearing a cap, below which is an Autograph Note of Winfield Scott’s Chief of Staff, B[enjamin] B. French, signed … [ Read More ]
HANS CHRISTIAN OERSTED. Danish physicist; founder of the science of electromagnetism. Letter Signed, one page, quarto, Copenhagen, May 12, 1838. On behalf of the Danish Royal Society of Science, Oersted sends the seventh volume of their report to the secretary of the Society of Physics in Geneva. Light discoloration in the blank left margin; otherwise … [ Read More ]
LOUIS PASTEUR. French chemist; developed Pasteurization and inoculation for rabies. Extraordinarily well-executed engraved portrait of Pasteur, head and shoulders, inscribed by him and signed, “L. Pasteur, 26 Septembre 89” in the lower right corner. The engraved portrait, overall 5 7/8 inches wide by 8 inches high, is by Eugène-André Champollion [1848-1901], described in Benezit as … [ Read More ]
LOUIS PASTEUR. French chemist; developed Pasteurization and an inoculation for rabies. Autograph Letter Signed, ‘L. Pasteur,” March 9 [no year]. One page, octavo. In French. “I want to thank you right away for your information on the subject of Mr. Eastlake’s work. I had already seen an interesting summary of it in your fine book … [ Read More ]
RUSSIAN PHYSIOLOGIST; CONDUCTED FAMOUS EXPERIMENT DEMONSTRATING CONDITIONED REFLEX IN DOGS. IVAN PAVLOV. Inscribed copy of Ivan Pavlov’s 1909 lecture at the 12th Congress of Russian natural Scientists and Physicians in Moscow entitled “Natural Science and the Brain” in which he discusses animal adaptation to its external environment and conditioned reflex. Ivan Pavlov has written, in … [ Read More ]
IVAN PAVLOV. Russian physiologist; conducted famous experiment demonstrating conditioned reflex in a dog. A menu from a dinner given at the Leningrad Astoria on August 15, 1935, signed by Ivan Pavlov and numerous others on the second page. A fine example of a very rare autograph, especially for one including Ivan Pavlov. Price: $25,000 This … [ Read More ]
DAVID RITTENHOUSE. American astronomer; first director of the U.S. Mint; built observatory and a telescope, believed to be the first made in America, to observe the transit of Venus; during American Revolution served in the Pennsylvania Assembly and as President of the Council of Safety. Autograph Document Signed, one page, octavo, Philadelphia, February 13, 1781. … [ Read More ]
WILHELM C. RONTGEN. German physicist; awarded first Nobel prize for physics n 1901 for his discovery of X-rays. Autograph Letter Signed, W.C. Röntgen, two pages, small octavo, Hotel Miramare, St. Margherita Ligure, March 19, 1903. On his personal correspondence card, to a colleague. “Although you have learned through the State Institute why I could not … [ Read More ]
WILHELM C. RONTGEN. German physicist; awarded first Nobel prize for physics in 1901 for his discovery of X-rays. Autograph Letter Signed, Dr. W.C. Röntgen, one page, Cadenabbia, March 30, 1909. In German. On his personally imprinted correspondence card to the Court Secretariat of his Royal Highness Prince Alfons of Bavaria. “Enclosed I am sending you … [ Read More ]
Italian physicist; pioneer in electricity, the volt, an electrical unit is named in his honor. Partly printed Document Signed, A. Volta / Director, two pages, oblong large quarto, Imperial Royal University of Pavia. Alessandro Volta signs a Catalogue of the students of the scholastic year 1817-1819 which reports statistics on the number of students, their … [ Read More ]
Polish-born Israeli chemist and politician who was the first President of Israel. Autograph Letter Signed, Chaim Weizmann, one page, octavo, August 4, 1940. On imprinted stationery of the Dorchester Hotel in London, to Dr. Josef Cohn at the Zionist Organization of American in New York City. “I would like to thank you for your reports. … [ Read More ]