Keuffel & Esser 4078 Duplex Slide Rule

This 20-inch mahogany linear slide rule is coated on the front and back with white celluloid; the edges are bare. The scales are labeled on the right end of each side. On both sides, the top of the base has an A scale, and the bottom of the base has a D scale. On one side, the slide has B and C scales; on the other, the slide has BI and CI scales. The rule has two indicators: the original brass double-chisel style indicator, and the frameless glass with plastic edges that Keuffel & Esser adopted in 1915. According to the donor, the second indicator was acquired some years after the original slide rule.
The bottom of the base on one side and the chisel indicator on the other side are both marked: KEUFFEL & ESSER Co. NEW-YORK. The bottom of the base is also engraved: CHAS. C. BRUSH 1901. The symbol for pi has also been scratched on the D scale on that side. On the other side, the bottom of the base is marked: PAT. OCT. 6. 1891. One edge of the frameless indicator is marked: K&E.CO.N.Y. (/) PAT.8.17.15. For information on these patents, see MA*318477 and MA*318475.
The cardboard case is covered with brown morocco leather. It is marked: KEUFFEL & ESSER CO. (/) DUPLEX (/) SLIDE RULE. See the similar case for MA*326613.
According to the donor, the instrument was used by his father, Charles C. Brush (1880–1968), who graduated from high school in Philadelphia in 1898 and subsequently studied at the Franklin Institute. He received a certificate from the School of Naval Architecture there in 1904. The model 4078 is only listed in Keuffel & Esser catalogues for 1901 and 1903, priced at $16.50. The catalog evidence and the date on the slide rule make it reasonable to suppose that Brush acquired the slide rule in the course of his studies. Charles C. Brush was then associated with the Bureau of Lighthouses from 1917 to 1939. When the Lighthouse Service ended in 1939, he served as a marine engineer in the engineering department of the U.S. Coast Guard until his retirement in 1944.
References: Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co., 30th ed. (New York, 1900–1901), 296; Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co., 31st ed. (New York, 1903), 306; accession file.
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating rule
slide rule
date made
Keuffel & Esser Co.
Physical Description
mahogany (overall material)
celluloid (laminate material)
glass (cursor material)
brass (cursor material)
overall: 1.7 cm x 55.5 cm x 5.2 cm; 21/32 in x 21 27/32 in x 2 1/16 in
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Rule, Calculating
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Slide Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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