Book, Georg's Freiherrn von Vega Logarithmisch-Trigonometrissches Handbuch

By the late eighteenth century, those carrying out extensive calculations routinely multiplied and divided numbers by adding and subtracting logarithms of those numbers. Mathematicians prepared tables of logarithms of ordinary numbers as well as trigonometric functions such as sines, cosines, and tangents. The Slovenian-born mathematics teacher and artillery officer Georg Vega (1754-1802) published his first book of tables in 1793. Ten years later, he published in both German and Latin the first edition of this book, the Logarithmisch trigonometrisches Handbuch. His publisher, the firm of Weidemann, would publish German editions of it into the 1960s. This example is the seventy-fifth edition, published in Berlin in 1894. The title page mentions not only Vega but two later authors, Karl Bremiker (1804-1877), who edited the volume from at least 1856 until his death, and Friedrich Tietjen (1834-1895). Bremiker was an official at the Prussian Board of Trade and later director of the Prussian Geodetical Institute. Tietjen was a longtime associate of the Berlin Observatory, rising to the rank of University Professor of Astronomy and director of the Computing Bureau there.
The volume contains an introduction describing the procedures used in computing the tables, a table of common logarithms of the integers from 1 to 100,000 (to seven places), and a table of the logarithms of sines and tangents (and cosines and cotangents) from second of arc to second of arc from 0 to 45 degrees. A brief appendix gives tables relating to the refraction of starlight.
This example of the publication is from the library of the donor, computer pioneer Carl Hammer.
MacTutor History of Mathematics website.
Eberhard Knobloch, “Vega and the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin,” Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Sciences, 2008, vol. 58, pp. 171-184.
Accession file.
Currently not on view
date made
Vega, Georg
Bremiker, Karl
Tietjen, Friedrich
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 3.5 cm x 15.5 cm x 23.3 cm; 1 3/8 in x 6 3/32 in x 9 3/16 in
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Carl Hammer
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Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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