Scale RulesCalculating Rules
In addition to length measurements, scale rules could be marked with aids for calculation. Perhaps the most notable rule of this type was Gunter's scale, which was similar to a sector or a slide rule. Gunter's scales are named after Edmund Gunter, a 17th-century English mathematical practitioner who figured out how to put a table of logarithms on a rule so that logarithmic calculations could be made with the aid of dividers. These instruments were especially handy for mathematicians and navigators.
The mathematics collections contain several other objects, ranging from the 18th to the 20th centuries, that were used to simplify computations for tasks including designing sundials, keeping track of calendar dates, and plotting data for aeronautical engineering. A few of these rules were designed specifically for positioning artillery.
"Scale Rules - Calculating Rules" showing 1 items.
- The citation information for this 52-page stapled booklet is: H. J. Gerber, The Gerber GraphAnalogue (Hartford, Conn.: The Gerber Scientific Instrument Company, 1953). The booklet explains the construction and use of the Gerber GraphAnalogue. (See 1994.0113.02.)
- It then describes typical problems that could be solved with the instrument: plotting a family of curves; reading printed graphs without having to replot them; reproducing drawings at unusual scales; normalizing curves; interpolating points; counting frequency cycles; enlarging or reducing diagrams; determining pressure ratios; solving navigation and center of gravity problems; reading oscillograms and aerial photographs; spacing rivets; setting up engineering scales; determining a rate of elevation; estimating functions; and multiplying and dividing. The company sold specially-sized graph paper that could be laid on the base in order to plot curves.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Gerber Scientific Instrument Co.
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center