Mathematical Charts and TablesSpecial Purpose Tables
Special Purpose Tables
From at least the 1930s through the 1960s, American manufacturers distributed a variety of tables that customers might use. This was sometimes in the form of a pamphlet, such as the set of miscellaneous hydraulic tables for designers prepared by the Southwark Foundry and Machine Company Division of Baldwin-Southwark Corporation in 1931. Other special purpose tables, distributed on slide charts of various sorts, described properties of such materials as leaded bronze, nickel alloys, specialty steels, wire cloth, glass, and salt/water mixtures. Others gave properties of compressors, elements of screw threads, and data on the dietary advantages of various forms of meat, The Aetna insurance company prepared a table instructing drivers on the safe distances to be maintained between cars. As late as 1969, a manufacturer of paper goods distributed a slide chart for calculating the cost per ounce of groceries, and urged consumers to make careful comparisons of prices. Some tables were not associated with any specific product. Thus the “Menu Minder,” distributed in the mid-1970s, allowed one to quickly alter recipes to serve more or fewer people. It may have been distributed as a kitchen novelty by any number of firms.
Tables distributed by business machine manufacturers have been mentioned already. In addition to covering the needs of commerce and special forms of manufacturing, some of these offered ways to estimate square roots and cube roots.
Specialized tables also were prepared for government use. Military contractors prepared tables to assist in aiming guns and filling out Air Force inventory forms. The Atomic Energy Commission prepared a table for use in uranium enrichment plants.
"Mathematical Charts and Tables - Special Purpose Tables" showing 1 items.
- Mathematical tables like this one were distributed by producers to persuade consumers of the value of their products. This instrument consists of a disc with a smaller disc that rotates above it. A metal clasp at the center holds the two pieces together. A slot in the upper disc reveals one column of the table printed on the disc below. This table gives the percentage of daily recommended dietary allowances supplied by a 3.5 oz serving of beef, lamb, pork, and veal. The percentages are given for children of ages 3-4 years, 4-6 years, 7-9 years, and 10-12 years; teenaged boys 13-15 and 16-19 years old; teenaged girls 13-15 and 16-19 years old; women of ages 25, 45, and 65; and men of ages 25, 45, and 65. The daily requirements of protein, calories, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin supplied by a serving of meat are indicated. The back lists the nutrition provided by strained meat fed to infants and gives references for the calculations. These references date from 1950 and 1958.
- The instrument is marked on the front: The percentages of (/) daily recommended dietary (/) allowances supplied by one (/) 3 1/2 oz. serving of cooked MEAT for moderately active children and adults. It is marked on the front and the back: NATIONAL LIVE STOCK AND MEAT BOARD. It is marked on the back: A Product of Graphic Calculator Co., Chicago 5, Ill.
- Graphic Calculator Company was a slide rule and slide chart manufacturing and design company founded in Chicago in 1940 by Capron R. Gulbransen, and apparently still in business at the time of Gulbransen’s death in 1969. By 1965, the firm had moved to Barrington, Illinois.
- Obituaries, Chicago Tribune, August 11, 1969, p. A6.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1960
- Graphic Calculator Company
- ID Number
- nonaccession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center