Keuffel & Esser N4058-W Beginner's Simplex Slide Rule

This ten-inch wooden linear slide rule is painted white. The indicator is frameless plastic. The base has A, D, and K scales. The slide has B, CI, and C scales on one side and S, L, and T scales on the other side. The back of the rule is printed with a table of equivalents and abbreviations, based on National Bureau of Standards Circular No. 47. Compare to 1984.1068.01. The back is marked: KEUFFEL & ESSER CO.; BEGINNER'S SLIDE RULE. N4058W; MADE IN U. S. A. There is no serial number. The case is green leatherette and is marked: K+E.
In 1897, Keuffel & Esser began to sell a slide rule for students. It was constructed inexpensively and was intended to be replaced once students had mastered the basic operations. The version with this model number and these scales was offered between 1944 and 1959, although the all-plastic indicator was not introduced until 1954. Model N4058W sold for $2.50 in 1959. Longtime NMAH staff member Barbara Coffee donated this example to the Smithsonian.
Reference: Clark McCoy, "Collection of Pages from K&E Catalogs for the 4058 Family,"
Currently not on view
Object Name
slide rule
date made
Keuffel & Esser Co.
Physical Description
plastic (cursor material)
wood (overall material)
fabric (case material)
overall: 1.1 cm x 29.3 cm x 5.2 cm; 7/16 in x 11 17/32 in x 2 1/16 in
place made
United States: New Jersey, Hoboken
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Slide Rules
Rule, Calculating
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Slide Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Barbara J. Coffee
Additional Media

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