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 21 items.
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- This small metal rectangle has nomographic charts engraved on both sides that relate to the process of enriching uranium for use in an atomic reactor. The chart on one side is labeled: NORMAL URANIUM FEED REQUIREMENT. It allows one to find the normal uranium feed required (assuming an assay of uranium that is .711% weight U-235) per kilogram of enriched uranium product, assuming different concentrations of uranium in the tails assay. This side of the chart also has the logo of the Atomic Energy Commission of the United States of America.
- The chart on the other side is labeled: SEPARATIVE WORK REQUIREMENT. It allows one to find the amount of separative work required per kilogram of enriched uranium product, given the percentage by weight of uranium in the product and the tails.
- A card with the object describes its use. This card and the object fit into a white plastic case.
- On the mathematics of nomographic charts, see Lipka.
- Joseph Lipka, Graphical and Mechanical Computation. Part I. Alignment Charts New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1921, pp. 65–67.
- date made
- ca 1960
- U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center