Slide Rules -- Index by Purpose

Index by Purpose

An image of various slide rules from the collection of the Division of Medicine and Science at the National Museum of American History.

While many slide rules were made as general calculating instruments, for multiplying numbers and solving equations with squares, cubes, trigonometric functions, and logarithms, many others were made to ease the calculations associated with a specific task. Click on items in the list below to see rules in the collection with an identifiable specialized purpose. For comparison, a few illustrative examples of all-purpose slide rules are shown under the link to General Calculation.

Accessibility Engineering, Electrical Navigation
Agriculture Engineering, General Novelty Forms
Astronomy Firefighting Promotion & Sales
Business & Office Work Gauging Shipping
Carpentry General Calculation Statistics
Computing Government Surveying
Construction Manufacturing Television
Conversion Charts Metalworking Transportation
Education Meteorology Wagering
Engineering, Aeronautical Military Applications