Auction alert: 'Atomic Energy' signed by Einstein, Oppenheimer & others
The term “once in a lifetime offer” has unfortunately become an advertising trope, making it difficult to cut through the clutter when something genuinely unicorn-rare comes along. The discovery, weaponization and use of nuclear power will remain one of mankind’s landmark moments while humanity exists, and all of the individuals who contributed to our understanding will be historically important long after a million award winners for entertainment and sport have been worshipped.
A book is going to auction this week that we believe is a “once in eternity” opportunity for those collectors who appreciate significant scientific achievement.
It is a hardcover copy of Atomic Energy in the Coming Era (1949) by David Dietz and it is signed on the endpapers and throughout by a remarkable 49 individuals, representing a who's who of 20th century physics.
Among the signatures are 14 Nobel laureates who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics or Chemistry related to the understanding and harnessing of nuclear energy, plus another 35 pioneering nuclear researchers, military personnel, and Manhattan Project organizers.
The book contains the autograph of such luminaries as Einstein, Oppenheimer, Millikan, Bohr, Van de Graaff and a dozen others who will remain household names across eternity for their contributions to mankind.
In his famous dissertation 'The Bomb and Civilization,' (published 18 August 1945), Bertrand Russell observed: “From the scientific point of view, the atomic bomb embodies the results of a combination of genius and patience as remarkable as any in the history of mankind,” that the men whose work made this bomb possible were for the most part, “both high-minded and public spirited,” and finally that we should not look upon the bomb as a punishment, “for impiety in inquiring too closely into the hidden secrets of nature.” On the contrary he reaffirms his faith that “Science is capable of conferring enormous boons.”
This remarkable compendium of autographs of the scientists that played a role in understanding and harnessing nuclear power is a one-of-a-kind piece – an irreplaceable relic of what is perhaps the most momentous development in history.
The live auction is being held by Remarkable Rarities (RRAUCTION.com), an auction house that regularly auctions significant scientific artifacts. Pre-Live bidding has already taken the price past US$20,000 and it closes on 22 September 2023, with the auction to be held in Boston, MA on 23 September 2023.