Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 82

The Fall Manuscript, Collectibles, Stamp and Space Memorabilia Auction

Scientists and Engineers
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 1007
Darwin, Charles (1809-1882) British naturalist whose scientific studies and subsequent theory of natural selection form the basis of modern evolutionary theory. Signature and date on 1½ x 3 ½" paper, which is affixed to slightly larger cardstock. Signed in dark brown ink with the date "Jan. 7th 1880." Fine.
Estimated Value $500 - 750.
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Lot 1008
Einstein, Albert (1879-1955) German-born American physicist who developed the theory of relativity; winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1921).

Important typed letter signed ("A. Einstein,"), one page, 10 x 8", Nassau Point, Peconic, Long Island, New York, August 17, 1938. Written in German to Frantisek Navara, a Czech mathematician and physicist who was visiting the U.S. and who had developed the concept of a new type of acoustic directional guidance system which he believed could be adapted to torpedos. In earlier correspondence with Navara, Einstein had not been convinced of the feasibility of Navara's idea but after some adjustments were made, Einstein felt sure that it would work. In full:

"Now I believe that your efforts promise to bear fruit, since the source of sonar emissions is now the ship to be torpedoed. The new steering device would be activated by time switches when the torpedo is no longer too far from its target. One uses two sound receivers with amplifiers. The phase difference of both of these alternating currents will be used to create a rotating field, whose inductance will start turning a rotor in one or the other direction, depending on the sign of the phase difference. This rotor affects the steering. Here as well, the vibrations produced by the torpedo itself will affect the receivers. But it should be possible to achieve the phase coincidence of these effects with great precision. If you decide to follow this plan, you can call on me at any time! For I am convinced of its feasibility. With highest esteem A. Einstein ."
Einstein put Navara in touch with the appropriate naval authorities in Washington and the U.S. government developed Navara's design, incorporating it into the MK 24 "FIDO" torpedo, the first American anti-submarine warfare torpedo to employ acoustic homing. It was used effectively against a German U-boat in 1943.

In today's era of advanced electronic technologies, Navara's invention is no longer relevant, but at that time, it was revolutionary. Mr Navara wanted no credit for his idea; in fact, he insisted on anonymity, knowing that if word of his invention got back to his Czech homeland, his only reward would be the death penalty.

Einstein had been (and would be again) a pacifist, but his involvement in and approval of Navara's invention, shows his recognition of Hitler's threat to the world. A year later, Einstein and Leó Szilárd would write their famous letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt (August 2, 1939) warning that Germany might develop atomic bombs and suggesting that the United States should initiate its own nuclear program.

Light toning and creasing, else fine.
Estimated Value $4,000 - 6,000.
The Arden Family Holdings of Beverly Hills.

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Lot 1009
Einstein, Albert. Photo signed and dated "1933", 9¾ x 7¼", n.p. A handsome headshot. Photographer's imprint, "Tycko / S.A." Signature and date are a little light but quite legible. A few mounting remnants on verso, else fine. Einstein was in the United States when Hitler came to power in Germany in January 1933. Einstein never went back to Germany. He accepted a position at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, with which he remained associated until his death. He became an American citizen in 1940.
Estimated Value $2,000 - 3,000.
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Lot 1010
Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939) Founder of psychoanalysis. Autograph letter signed ("Freud"), one page, postcard, in German, Badgastein, July 27, 1923. To Mr. J.E. Monod-Kerzen, "How very much I regret not to be able to profit from your brief stay in Vienna. I have been away from home since July 1st and will not return before October 1st." Very good; slight ink offset in several words. Matted with an image of Freud and framed to an overall size of 16¾ x 11".

In February 1923, five months before he wrote this letter, Freud detected a growth in his mouth, the result of his heavy smoking habit. The growth became cancer of the jaw, declared to be inoperable and by mid-September 1939, the pain was so severe that Freud had his doctor, fellow refugee Max Schur, put him out of his misery according to a pre-arranged agreement, administering increasing amounts of morphine over a two-day period, resulting in Freud's death on Sept. 23, 1939.
Estimated Value $2,500 - 3,500.
Kenneth W. Rendell Gallery.

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