Instruction Manual for Gerber Variable Scale

The citation information for this 40-page stapled booklet is: H. Joseph Gerber, The Gerber Variable Scale: An Application and Instruction Manual (Hartford, Conn.: The Gerber Scientific Instrument Company, 1981). Gerber wrote these instructions in 1953 to accompany his invention; see 1994.0113.01. He inscribed this copy to Steve Lubar, who was chair of the division of history of technology when Gerber donated examples of several mathematical instruments he had invented.
The booklet explains the construction and use of the Gerber Variable Scale. It then describes typical problems that could be solved with the instrument, including finding points in a family of curves, translating curves, reading graphs more precisely, converting between proportional scales, enlarging and reducing engineering drawings, normalizing curves, interpolating points, counting cycles of frequencies, dividing one curve by another, determining the center of gravity, reading oscillograms, and mapping aerial photographs.
Currently not on view
date made
Gerber Scientific Instrument Co.
place made
United States: Connecticut, Hartford
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: .3 cm x 14 cm x 21.6 cm; 1/8 in x 5 1/2 in x 8 1/2 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Rule, Calculating
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History


I've always wanted to learn how to use the additional scales. I hope the manual is in better shape than the photo copy pdf I've seen elsewhere.

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