Four-Sided Gauger's Slide Rule by Cook

Description
This is a twelve-inch, four-sided boxwood slide rule used in England for measuring and taxing barrels of liquid. Each of the four slides has a brass guide at one end, and the various special points on the rules are marked with inset brass pegs. On one side, the base has a D scale, logarithmically divided from 1 to 3.2 and from 3.2 to 10. Point 18.789 is marked G, the circular gauge point, for determining the mean diameter of a barrel. Point 46.3 is marked MS, for the side of a square vessel that contains a solid bushel per inch of depth, and point 52.32 is marked MR, for the side of a square vessel that contains a malt bushel per inch of depth. The slide has two identical B scales, logarithmically divided from 1 to 10. Point 277.42 is marked G for the imperial gallon.
On the second side, the base has logarithmic scales that run from 1 to 8 and from 8 to 100. It is labeled SEGT ST (Segments Standing) at the top left and SS at the bottom right. The slide has two identical C scales, logarithmically divided from 1 to 9. This side was used to estimate the volume of a barrel that was standing vertically and partially filled. The back of the slide lists gauge points, divisors, and factors for circles for malt and for gall (another substance used in making alcoholic beverages) in circular and square containers.
On the third side, the base has an A scale, logarithmically divided from 1 to 10, and an MD (Malt Depth) scale that runs logarithmically in the opposite direction from somewhat less than 3 to 20. Point 2219 is marked B, for the number of cubic inches in a bushel under the imperial system of measurement, and point 277.42 is marked G, for the imperial gallon. The slide has two identical C scales, logarithmically divided from 1 to 9. The back of the slide has a scale of inches, a scale labeled SPH[EROI]D, and a scale labeled 2D VAR[IETY]. These scales are for determining the diameters of two different shapes of barrels. Underneath the slide is marked: COOK. MAKER TO THE HONBLE BOARD OF EXCISE. LATE WELLINGTON CROWN COURT SOHO LONDON NO 2950.
On the fourth side, the base has logarithmic scales that run from 0 to 4 and from 4 to 100. It is labeled SEGT LY (Segments Lying) at the top left and SL at the bottom right. The slide has two identical B scales, logarithmically divided from 1 to 9. Underneath the slide, points 3.9 and 99 are connected by a line marked with H.
The use of the Imperial system of units dates this slide rule to after 1824. It is of the style developed by Thomas Everard in 1683 and, at 12 inches, represents one of the two standard "pocket" sizes (the other was 9"). Laban Cook(e) succeeded Alexander Wellington (d. 1825) as a Maker to the English Board of Excise and remained in business until 1834. Compare to the older rule for gauging and ullage (the amount a container is lacking to be full), MA*319510.
References: D. Baxandall, Catalogue of the Collections in the Science Museum: Mathematics I. Calculating Machines and Instruments (London, 1926), 42; Colin Barnes, "The Customs and Excise Gauging Slide Rule," Journal of the Oughtred Society 4, no. 2 (1995): 53–57; Peter M. Hopp, Slide Rules: Their History, Models, and Makers (Mendham, N.J.: Astragal Press, 1999), 72, 245; Gloria Clifton, Dictionary of British Scientific Instrument Makers (London: National Maritime Museum, 1995), 64.
Location
Currently not on view
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating rule
slide rule
date made
1825-1834
maker
Cook, Laban
Cook
Physical Description
boxwood (overall material)
brass (part material)
Measurements
overall: 2.9 cm x 2.9 cm x 30.5 cm; 1 5/32 in x 1 5/32 in x 12 in
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
ID Number
1980.0588.04
catalog number
1980.0588.04
accession number
1980.0588
subject
Taxes
Rule, Calculating
Science & Mathematics
Mathematics
Slide Rules
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Slide Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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