Using addition for multiplication.

I’ve been studying the copy of the Philosophical Transactions at he University of Chicago Library Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center on a Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowship.

The last number of volume two, number 32, has the errata shown at the top of this webpage that explains that the printer used the wrong mark to express multiplication in number 29. Indeed, they used what we would call a dagger, but which readers seem to have taken as an addition sign.

Number 29 additional for multiplication

The printer defends themselves “’tis thought could hardly occasion any mistake in the Intelligent Readers, who might easily see the meaning of the Author by the lines 8, 9, 10 of the next precedent page 570.” (628, 3V4v) That page seems only mildly less confusing to me.

Page 570, lines 8-10

It’s interesting to imagine how a printer thought the second bracketed line was equivalent to specifying the numbers to multiply separated by daggers.