David Eugene Smith Quote
In 1673 he wrote his great work De Algebra Tractatus; Historicus & Practicus, of which an English edition appeared in 1685. In this there is seen the first serious attempt in England to write on the history of mathematics, and the result shows a wide range of reading of classical literature of the science. This work is also noteworthy because it contains the first of an effort to represent the imaginary number graphically by the method now used. The effort stopped short of success but was an ingenious beginning.
History of Mathematics (1923) Vol.1