Was the google search limited to English? I would have looked for first mention to other languages, German, French, Latin, ...
On Mon, 16 Feb 2009, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau@netscape.com> wrote:
> I would have thought the idea went back at least to Descartes, but a search through Google Books did not return anything earlier than 1899. > > http://books.google.com/books?id=QjEAAAAAMAAJ&q=%22number+line%22+date:1890-1900&dq=%22number+line%22+date:1890-1900&lr=&as_brr=0&as_pt=ALLTYPES&pgis=1 > > This was (according to Google Books) in Telephone Magazine, 1899, page 303.It was a snippet view, so the citation is incomplete: > > "?¦Gauss?s representation of complex numbers is not systematic, on account of the direct step from the number line to the num-" > > The original is in the New York Public Library, on the off-chance you want to look it up. > > Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. > > James A. Landau > Northrop-Grumman Information Technology > 8025 Black Horse Pike, Suite 300 > West Atlantic City NJ 08232 USA > > --- Samuel.Kutler@sjca.edu wrote: > > From: "Kutler, Samuel" <Samuel.Kutler@sjca.edu> > To: <JJJRLandau@netscape.com>, <MATH-HISTORY-LIST@ENTERPRISE.MAA.ORG> > Subject: RE: Sir Andrew Wiles > Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2009 06:23:13 -0500 > > When did the term real number line appear, and when did someone say that > there is a one-to-one correspondence between the real numbers and the points on the real number line? > > > > > > > _____________________________________________________________ > Netscape.Just the Net You Need.