Keuffel & Esser 4053-3 Polyphase Mannheim Duplex Slide Rule

This ten-inch one-sided wooden slide rule is coated with white celluloid. The indicator is glass with white plastic edges attached by metal screws. The base has A, D, and K scales. The slide has B, CI, and C scales on one side of the slide and S, L, and T scales on the other side. The top and bottom edges are beveled; the top has a simply divided scale 10 inches long and divided to sixteenths of an inch, while the bottom has a simply divided scale 25 centimeters long and divided to millimeters.
The left end of the slide has the model number in red: 4053-3. The right end is marked in red: © (/) K+E. The left end of the back of the slide has a serial number: 169518. Underneath the slide is marked: KEUFFEL & ESSER CO.; MADE IN U.S.A. Engraved directly on the back of the rule are tables of measures labeled: CONVERSION FACTORS. Centered underneath the tables is: KEUFFEL & ESSER CO.
Keuffel & Esser made slide rules of this type from 1909 to 1967. McCoy notes that this version of model 4053-3 (with this model number and the engraved tables) was introduced in 1954. In 1959, the rule sold in a plain case for $13.50. In 1962, model number 4053-3 was changed to 68-1622. The serial number suggests a date closer to the late 1950s than to the early 1960s. Compare to the earlier rule, 1981.0933.05.
References: Peter M. Hopp, Slide Rules: Their History, Models, and Makers (Mendham, N.J.: Astragal Press, 1999), 192; Clark McCoy, "Collection of Pages from K&E Catalogs for the 4053 Family of Slide Rules,"; K+E Catalog, 42nd ed. (New York, 1954), 271; Ed Chamberlain, "Estimating K&E Slide Rule Dates,"; Eric Marcotte, "The Evolution of a Slide Rule – The K&E 4053-3,"
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating rule
slide rule
date made
Keuffel & Esser Co.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
plastic (laminate material)
glass (cursor material)
overall: 1 cm x 28 cm x 4 cm; 13/32 in x 11 1/32 in x 1 9/16 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 John White
Additional Media

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