NEW YORK, DEC. 2 -- The earliest surviving version of Einstein's "Theory of Relativity" was sold at auction at Sotheby's today for $1,155,000 -- the highest price ever paid for a manuscript in the United States.
The 72-page handwritten manuscript was written in 1912 and lists his famous E=MC
equation with an extra algebraic constant that was crossed out.
A Sotheby's spokeswoman said the manuscript, given by Einstein to friends, was bought by a private dealer for an anonymous client. It had been expected to fetch about $700,000. The name of the seller was withheld by Sotheby's.
Einstein published his most famous theory in 1915.
In it, he postulated a constant velocity for light (C) and its consequence, the equivalence of mass (M) and energy (E).
In the version sold at Sotheby's, the equation E=MC
is listed as EL=MC
with the "L," an extra algebraic constant, crossed out.
The early version was written for a series of scientific articles being published by a German professor, but the series was never printed because of World War I.
The version survived because Einstein had given it to friends as a gift. Usually he discarded his manuscripts once they were published.
The world record price for a manuscript was the $11.8 million paid in 1983 for the "Gospels of Henry the Lion," which was sold in London.