Select Biography. No. XLIX. William Gifford, Esq.
Regular Feature, Biography
Endeavour, Education, Mathematics, Books
As an apprentice shoemaker, Gifford 'possessed but one book in the world—A Treatise on Algebra; of paper, ink, slate or pencil, he was totally destitute, and without a penny to buy any. Being partial to the mathematical sciences, he sat up, night after night, at his studies, and beat out small pieces of leather to a smooth surface, upon which he contrived to work his algebraic problems' (21).
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