Slide RulesIndex by Material
Slide rules were sometimes distinctive by the materials from which they were made. Early rules were often made from boxwood and other woods. By the late 19th century, German manufacturers and Keuffel & Esser of New York City had not only switched to the more uniform and durable mahogany but were also coating the wood with early forms of plastic (celluloid). Around the turn of the 20th century, Japanese firms used bamboo, which did not expand and shrink as much as wood, thus reducing errors in the results of calculations. Later, Pickett slide rules were notable for their aluminum construction and proprietary yellow color. Although the rules tended to be less affordable and popular than wooden rules, manufacturers have used brass and other metals throughout the history of slide rules. Plastic and paper became increasingly widespread for inexpensive rules in the 20th century.
"Slide Rules - Index by Material" showing 1 items.
- This small, one-sided sterling silver slide rule is in the form of a tie clip. It has A and D scales on the base and a C scale on the slide. A clear plastic indicator has a red line and is in a metal frame. The back of the clasp is marked: VERNON. It is also marked: STERLING.
- The donor recalled that he obtained this tie clasp from Edmund Scientific Company. The 1965 catalog of the company lists a tie clasp with a "silver oxide" finish that cost $2.00. The 1971 catalog lists a tie clasp with a gold finish that cost $3.00. However, these tie clips had screws in each corner, while this example has no screws.
- References: Edmund Scientific Company, Catalog 661 (Barrington, N.J., 1965), 44; Edmund Scientific Company, Catalog 721 (Barrington, N.J., 1971), 59; Dieter von Jezierski, "Slide Rule Tie Bars," Journal of the Oughtred Society 16, no. 1 (2007): 33–35.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1965
- date received
- Edmund Scientific Company
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center