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 yew rule has straight brass ends and two slides, which fit between the three parts of the base. On one side, the top scale on the base (labeled A), the two scales on the upper slide (labeled E), the first scale in the middle of the base (labeled D), and the two scales on the second scale (labeled B and C) are identical logarithmic scales that run from 1 to 10 twice in the length of the rule. The second scale in the middle runs from 1 to 100 and is labeled SEGT ST (segments standing). The lowest scale on the base is labeled SEGT LY (segments lying).
- These scales are used with the slides to find the volume of the liquid in a cask that is not full, either when it is standing on its base or lying horizontally. The ImB and ImG points, for just over 2200 cubic inches in an imperial bushel and 277.42 cubic inches in an imperial gallon, are marked on the A scale. On the D scale, point 18.95 is marked IG for the diameter of a cylinder containing one imperial gallon; point 46.3 is marked MS, for the side of a square vessel that contains one solid bushel per inch of depth; and point 52.32 is marked MR, for the side of a square vessel that contains one malt bushel per inch of depth.
- The reverse side of the rule has a scale on the base labeled A that runs logarithmically from 1 to 10. Both slides have identical scales (the one on the upper slide is labeled C) that run from over 80 (UNDER PROOF) down to 0 (PROOF) and then up to 70 (OVER PROOF). The middle of the base has a scale labeled B that runs logarithmically from 4 to 40 and a scale labeled C that runs logarithmically from 300 to 30. The bottom of the base has a scale, also labeled C, that runs logarithmically from 100 to 10. There is no indicator.
- One edge of the instrument has a scale labeled SPHD and a scale labeled 2ND VARIETY. These scales are for determining the diameters of two different shapes of barrels. The other edge is marked: L. LUMLEY & CO LTD 1 AMERICA SQUARE LONDON. L. Lumley & Company, a distributor of packing cases and related materials for bottling, was in business in London from at least 1884 though 1929.
- For slide rules with similar two-slide designs but different purposes, see MA*318478 and 1987.0693.01. For earlier gauger's rules, see MA*319510 and 1980.0588.04.
- Reference: Ronald E. Manley, "Gauging," http://www.sliderules.info/a-to-z/gauging.htm.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- L. Lumley & Company Limited
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center