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.
- This rotating cylindrical table helps a cook to alter the quantities of ingredients in recipes.
- A three-column table on the left side indicates how quantities should be multiplied for a recipe with four servings to one with six or eight servings. The rightmost column (for four servings) has the numbers 1, 1-1/3, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, and 12, with the numbers in the middle column ranging from 1 1/2 to 18 and the numbers in the third column from 2 to 24.
- A second table show how one should alter the number of cups, tablespoons and teaspoons in a recipe to change it by a factor of 3, 2, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 2/3, or 1/3. The cylinder has knobs at both ends for rotation. It is enclosed in a brown plastic case with a clear plastic front that has a sticker attached to it. Two windows in the sticker show the tables.
- A mark on the center of the sticker reads: MENU MINDER (/) A RECIPE CALCULATOR. A mark on its right edge reads; COPYRIGHT WILLE ENTERPRISES 1974. A mark on the back reads: MFG BY (/) PROTO PRODUCTION PLAS [. . .] (/) BOULDER COLO. The mark on the back is partly obscured by two of five magnets that will hold the Menu Minder to a metal surface.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Willie Enterprises
- Proto Production Plastic
- ID Number
- nonaccession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center