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.