Science & Mathematics
The Museum's collections hold thousands of objects related to chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, and other sciences. Instruments range from early American telescopes to lasers. Rare glassware and other artifacts from the laboratory of Joseph Priestley, the discoverer of oxygen, are among the scientific treasures here. A Gilbert chemistry set of about 1937 and other objects testify to the pleasures of amateur science. Artifacts also help illuminate the social and political history of biology and the roles of women and minorities in science.
The mathematics collection holds artifacts from slide rules and flash cards to code-breaking equipment. More than 1,000 models demonstrate some of the problems and principles of mathematics, and 80 abstract paintings by illustrator and cartoonist Crockett Johnson show his visual interpretations of mathematical theorems.
"Science & Mathematics - Overview" showing 1 items.
- This 72-page salmon-colored paperback book was received with 1981.0933.03 and 1981.0933.05. Its citation information is: William Cox, The Mannheim (Polyphase) and the Duplex (Polyphase-Duplex) Slide Rules Complete Manual (New York: Keuffel & Esser Co., 1920). It sold for 50 cents. William Cox helped introduce the Mannheim slide rule to the United States, invented the duplex slide rule, and served as a mathematical consultant to Keuffel & Esser Company of New York, thus launching that firm into pioneering the American manufacture of slide rules. He first wrote this manual in 1891 and revised it in 1917, adding instructions for K&E's Polyphase Duplex slide rule (model 4088-3).
- A notice inside the front cover explained how K&E had updated the Mannheim line (models 4031–4056) since Cox first wrote the manual. Cox thoroughly described the characteristics, operations, and scales of Mannheim and Polyphase (which was especially useful for problems involving powers or roots) slide rules. He provided a lengthy table of equivalents for the base scales, C and D, as well as methods for working out mechanical and other formulas. He then went through a similar discussion for the eight-inch Duplex rule (model 4065) and for the ten-inch Polyphase-Duplex rule (model 4088). A supplement by J. M. Willard of the State College of Pennsylvania addressed the solution of problems in plane trigonometry. Finally, there are advertisements for K&E's general and specialty slide rules, the frameless indicator patented in 1915, a magnifier, and surveying equipment.
- References: William Cox, "Engineer's Slide-Rule" (U.S. Patent 460,930 issued October 6, 1891); Florian Cajori, A History of the Logarithmic Slide Rule and Allied Instruments (New York: Engineering News Publishing Company, 1909); Dieter von Jezierski, Slide Rules: A Journey Through Three Centuries, trans. Rodger Shepherd (Mendham, N.J.: Astragal Press, 2000), 14, 35; Clark McCoy, ed., "K&E Slide Rule Manuals," http://www.mccoys-kecatalogs.com/KEManuals/manuals.htm.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Cox, William
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- accession number
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center