John Seller (1630-1697), the author of *A Pocket Book [*… *of Mathematical Tables],* identified himself as “Hydrographer to the King” (Charles II)*, *thus he had some mathematical and scientific training. The contents of this book provide a good example as to the seventeenth century needs and uses of mathematical data. There were at least three editions after the 1677 edition shown here.

1677 - A Pocket Book, containing severall choice collections in Arithmetick, Astronomy, Geometry, Surveying, Dialling, etc. / [by] Seller, John, Hydrographer.

1680 - A pocket booke containing severall choice collections in arithmetick, etc. / [by] Seller, John, Hydrographer.

1685 - A pocket book, containing several choice Collections in Arithmetic, Geometry, &c, &c / [by] Seller, John.

1700 - A Pocket Book. Containing severall choice collections in arethmetick [sic], astronomy, etc. [By John Seller.] MS. notes. / [by] Seller, John, Hydrographer; POCKET BOOK.

A “Table of Tides” supplied vital information for merchants importing or exporting goods, and a computation of interest earned on principal was of common value.

A “Tychonican” diagram of the positions of the planets aided in astrological predictions. The name referred to Tycho Brahe, the sixteenth century Danish astronomer.

A table of dry measure; a table of liquid measure: wine, oil, etc.; and a chart of assized bread measures would have been important to the common people. Since medieval times, the sizes of bread loaves, the food for the masses, were fixed by law.

*These images are provided courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. You may use them in your classroom; all other uses require permission from the **Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library**. The Mathematical Association of America is pleased to cooperate with the Beinecke Library and Yale University to make these images available to a larger audience.*

Index of Mathematical Treasures