Stanley Slide Rule Invented by James Hogg

Description
By the late 19th century, several American inventors proposed special-purpose slide rules. One of them was James Hogg (1851–1930), an English mechanical engineer who came to the United States in 1880 and soon was overseer at the Globe Worsted Mill in Lawrence, Mass. During his time in Lawrence, Hogg devised this slide rule and arranged to have it manufactured by the Stanley Rule & Level Company of New Britain, Conn. He went on to patent a spindle for spinning machies (U.S. Patent 401,703) and feeding mechanisms for carding machines (U.S. Patents 562,610; 686,071; and 686,072).
This instrument is a wooden linear slide rule with a metal slide and metal edges on all four sides. The scales on the top of the base are lettered A, B, and C; the scales on the slide are lettered D and E; and the scales on the bottom of the base are lettered F, NUM, and LOG. The A and NUM scales range from 1 to 10, divided logarithmically. The B, C, D, and E scales range from 1 to 10 and then from 1 to 10 again, divided logarithmically. The F scale is divided like the B, C, D, and E scales, but runs in the opposite direction. The LOG scale is a scale of equal parts, ranging from 1 to 100 and divided in increments of one-half. The back of the slide is a twelve-inch scale divided to tenths of an inch and to eighths of an inch.
The back of the rule also has a twelve-inch scale divided to tenths of an inch on one edge and a twelve-inch scale divided to eighths of an inch on the other edge. In between are tables providing conversion factors from the volumes of geometric solids to cubic inches and feet; conversion factors from the volumes of geometric solids to the weights in pounds of various substances; the areas of polygons from 5 to 12 sides; the gauge points of a circle; and gauge points for pumping engines, to find the diameters of steam cylinders that will work pumps of specified diameter at 7 pounds per square inch. Compare to 1981.0934.01.
The back is marked: PAT. APPLIED FOR IMPROVED SLIDE RULE (/) ARRANGED & CONSTRUCTED BY (/) JAS. HOGG LAWRENCES MASS. U.S.A. (/) MANUFACTURED BY (/) STANLEY RULE & LEVEL CO. NEW BRITAIN, CONN. No patent has been found for the instrument.
Hogg moved from Lawrence in 1888 and subsequently worked for Stephen Sanford & Sons, Inc., in Amsterdam, N.Y., and the Bigelow Carpet Company in Lowell, Mass. An 1888 advertisement reported that the rule and instruction book sold together for $4.00. The instrument was still on sale in 1908, with instruction book, for a price of $3.50.
References: James Hogg, A Practical Course in Instruction with Hogg's Improved Slide-Rule in Arithmetic and Mensuration (Boston: Rand, Avery Co., 1887); "James Hogg," Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 52 (1930): 77; "Hogg's Improved Slide Rule," Wade's Fibre & Fabric 7, no. 182 (August 25, 1888): 203, 209; "New Publications," Textile World Record 36 (1908): 631; Thomas Wyman, "Slide Rules of the Stanley Rule & Level Company and other American Makers," The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association 54, no. 3 (2001): 114–117.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating rule
slide rule
date made
1880-1888
maker
Stanley Rule and Level Company
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (part material)
Measurements
overall: .5 cm x 30.6 cm x 4.5 cm; 3/16 in x 12 1/16 in x 1 25/32 in
place made
United States: Connecticut, New Britain
ID Number
1991.0556.01
catalog number
1991.0556.01
accession number
1991.0556
subject
Science & Mathematics
Mathematics
Slide Rules
Rule, Calculating
Invention
Manufacturing
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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