Circular Slide Rules

Slide rules that are round offer the length of a 10" rectangular slide rule in a pocket-sized (roughly 3.6") format, since the scales are on the circumference of circles. The scales are also continuous, so there is no need to make adjustments, such as folded and inverse scales, for results of calculations that go off the ends of the scales. Furthermore, these instruments are relatively easy to construct: the scales are printed on one or more disks, and the disks or a single disk and cursor are fastened together with a pin at the center. However, this simple construction is also not very durable, and so circular slide rules may get out of position and thus they lack accuracy, compared to linear slide rules with slides that move along carefully grooved channels.

This collection suggests the diverse appearances and functions of circular slide rules that were manufactured between the mid-19th and late 20th centuries. For example, before Mannheim-type linear slide rules became popular in the late 19th century, American inventors patented a variety of circular designs. Some circular slide rules were made to look like pocket watches, while others were intended to promote particular businesses—Whitehead & Hoag and Perrygraf were especially influential American manufacturers of promotional items. Inventors and makers such as Albert Sexton, Louis Ross, Claire Gilson, Norman Albree, and Ross Pickett wanted their circular slide rules to compete with linear instruments in the engineering and education markets. Other circular slide rules were designed specifically for surveying, such as stadia computers, or for navigation, such as Dalton instruments that may also be seen in the Smithsonian's exhibition, Time and Navigation. Even more specialized in purpose were slide rules for grading earthworks, determining the effects of nuclear bomb explosions, writing efficient computer programs, and betting on horse races.

The expansion of American engineering in the nineteenth century created a new market for aids to computation.
Description
The expansion of American engineering in the nineteenth century created a new market for aids to computation. The Swedish-born Philadelphia engineer, John William Nystrom (1824–1885), contributed to this movement by inventing a circular slide rule in 1848 and writing a pocket book of mathematical tables that was reprinted at least 21 times between 1854 and 1895.
This is the patent model for Nystrom's calculator. The surface is a brass disc that rests on three wooden feet. It has two graduated brass arms, pivoted about a central spindle, which may be clamped to any desired angular separation and rotated together. Glass magnifiers are attached to both arms. A small dial on the top of the central knob can be moved to record rotations of more than one full circle.
There are four unlabeled circles on the calculating rule, here called a, b, c, and d. They go from the outer rim inward. Circle b is divided into 20 equal parts. Subdivisions of these parts are represented by a series of parallel curves extending between the outer rim and circle b. These, in combination with scales marked on the rim of the arms, allow one to measure subdivisions of the distance between equal parts. The outermost circle (a) is a logarithmic scale ranging from 1 to 10 twice. A series of lines between the two outer circles give intermediate values, which are read from the rotating arms. The circle c, just inside b, is divided from 0 to 90 degrees so that the sine of an angle indicated is given on the outer circle a. The parts of the scale are unequal, with the tens value of degrees from 10 to 49 indicated by large digits. The innermost circle d is divided for finding cosines.
Nystrom promoted the device and solicited a manufacturer in the May 17, 1851, issue of Scientific American. By 1852, he offered the device at three price points, $10.00, $15.00, and $20.00. He was likely making the instrument himself. From 1864 to 1887, the Philadelphia firm established by William J. Young sold Nystrom calculators that were probably handcrafted by George Thorsted. It is unlikely that more than one hundred of these devices ever existed.
References: J. W. Nystrom, "Calculating-Machine" (U.S. Patent 7,961 issued March 4, 1851); Description and Key to Nystrom's Calculator (Philadelphia, 1854), http://history-computer.com/Library/Nystrom's%20Calculator.pdf; "Nystrom's New Calculating Machine," Scientific American 6, no. 35 (May 17, 1851): 273; "Nystrom's Calculating Machine," Scientific American 7, no. 36 (May 22, 1852): 284; John W. Nystrom, Pocket-Book of Mechanics and Engineering, 10th ed. (Philadelphia, 1867); Robert C. Miller, "Nystrom's Calculator," Journal of the Oughtred Society 4, no. 2 (1995): 7–13; Peggy A. Kidwell, "Nystrom's Calculating Rule," Rittenhouse 1 (1987): 102–105.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
before 1851
patentee
Nystrom, John William
maker
Nystrom, John William
ID Number
MA.252682
catalog number
252682
accession number
49064
This square yellow cardboard instrument has circular discs that rotate about a metal pin. The edges of the instrument are bound in red morocco leather. The disc on one side, Fuller's Time Telegraph, is designed to rapidly compute intervals between dates on the calendar.
Description
This square yellow cardboard instrument has circular discs that rotate about a metal pin. The edges of the instrument are bound in red morocco leather. The disc on one side, Fuller's Time Telegraph, is designed to rapidly compute intervals between dates on the calendar. It has linear scales for the 365 days of the year around the edge of the disc and on the surrounding circle on the frame. In addition to the name of the instrument and directions for finding the number of days and weeks between two dates, there is a copyright mark: Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1845 by John E. Fuller in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the State of Massachusetts (/) Eng[rave]d by G. G. Smith, Boston.
The disc on the other side, Palmer's Computing Scale, has logarithmic scales for area, distance, weight, and volume. The scales are marked with various equivalents, such as 5,280 feet to one mile. The surrounding circle on the frame has logarithmic scales for days, months, and costs per hundredweight. The center of the disc is marked: IMPROVED BY (/) FULLER. Near the top of the disc is marked: Use the inner circle for Dollars, Cents & Mills, (/) or Pounds, Shillings & Pence. Below the name of the instrument is a copyright mark: Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843, by Aaron Palmer in the Clerks [sic]Office of the District Court of the State of Massachusetts (/) and by J. E. Fuller 1847. (/) Engraved by George G. Smith 186 Washington St. Boston. Above the name of the instrument is a second copyright mark: Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by J. E. Fuller, In the Clerks [sic] office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.
The instrument fits in a folder with a dark green cover marked: FULLER'S (/) COMPUTING (/) TELEGRAPH. Inside the front cover is a 21-page booklet. The booklet, published in London, is titled: Fuller's Computing Telegraph: Multiplication and Division by one Single Process . . . To Which is Added Fuller's Complete and Perpetual Calendar. The booklet advertises the instrument's capabilities, explains how to solve various problems, and provides more detailed instructions. There are various tables for mechanics and engineers, including squares and cubes and the pressure of steam engines, and rules for solving problems of machines and of geometry. A circular statistical chart for the 35 states of the United States, separated into free and slave states, is also provided. Inside the back cover is a pictorial chart of 178 "mechanical movements," depicting gears and other machines carrying out rectilinear and circular motions. W. Nicholson prepared the chart, O. Pelton engraved it, and John E. Fuller published it.
This instrument was one of the first circular slide rules sold in the United States. It was introduced by Aaron Palmer of Boston, who made a prototype in 1841, took out a copyright for a computing scale in 1843, and published an account of it in 1844. He exhibited both the original and a smaller version at the 18th American Institute Fair, held in New York, N.Y., in 1845. There it may have attracted the attention of John Emery Fuller (1799–1878). By 1846, Fuller had acquired rights to Palmer's instrument and published an account of his improvements. He also added the time telegraph, which he had copyrighted in 1845. Fuller copyrighted the revised form of Palmer's scale in 1847. He exhibited the slide rule at the Crystal Palace exhibition in London in 1851 and prepared an English version of the instrument.
Bobby Feazel counted seven separate issues of the instrument, the four by Palmer listed above and three by Fuller (1847, 1848, 1871). The marks on this example correspond to the sixth issue, which was the English version and was manufactured between 1848 and 1871. The references in the instruction booklet to slave states and data from the 1860 Census suggest a date between 1861 and 1865.
References: Aaron Palmer, A Key to the Endless, Self-computing Scale, Showing Its Application to the Different Rules of Arithmetic, &c. (Boston: Smith & Palmer, 1844); Scientific American 1, no. 8 (October 16, 1845): 3; "The Eighteenth Annual Fair of the American Institute," American Whig Review 2, no. 5 (November 1845): 538–542, on 541; John E. Fuller, Improvement to Palmer's Endless Self-computing Scale and Key: Adapting It to the Different Professions . . . and Also to Colleges, Academies and Schools, With a Time Telegraph, Making, by Uniting the Two, a Computing Telegraph (New York, 1846; new ed., New York, 1851); "Fuller's Computing Telegraph," The Public Ledger, St. John's, Newfoundland, August 11, 1857, 2; Florian Cajori, "Aaron Palmer's Computing Scale" and "John E. Fuller's Circular Slide Rules," Colorado College Publication: Engineering Series 1 (1909): 111–122; Bobby Feazel, "Palmer's Computing Scale," Journal of the Oughtred Society 3, no. 1 (1994): 9–17; 4, no. 1 (1995): 5–8.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1861-1865
maker
George Philip and Son
ID Number
1987.0284.01
catalog number
1987.0284.01
accession number
1987.0284
Some slide rules reveal transformations in materials. A later version of this paper circular slide rule was made from celluloid (1987.0221.02).
Description
Some slide rules reveal transformations in materials. A later version of this paper circular slide rule was made from celluloid (1987.0221.02). Both were designed to reduce data obtained with a surveyor's transit.
On the base, just outside the disc, is a logarithmic scale for readings of a stadia rod used with a transit telescope, in feet. The edge of the disc has two scales involving functions of angles. One scale allows for multiplying the stadia reading by 1/2 sin 2 A, where A is the vertical angle of the transit telescope. This multiplication gives the difference in elevation of the transit and the stadia rod, in feet. The second scale represents multiplying the stadia reading by the square of the cosine of A, to find the horizontal distance of the rod in feet. The instrument bears a copyright date of 1899. Compare this instrument to Webb’s stadia rule (333636) as well as to 1977.1141.41 and 2001.0282.01.
The slide rule has a cloth-covered cardboard cover. Pasted on the inside of the cover is an image of the Light Mountain Transit sold by W. & L. E. Gurley of Troy, N.Y., from 1897 to 1908. The image of the transit in the 1910 Gurley catalog is different, but it is not the same as the image on rule 1987.0221.02. Cox’s stadia computer is not mentioned in any of these catalogs; the device was probably given away as a promotional item.
In 1904, W. M. Beaman, a topographer in the U.S. Geological Survey, devised the “Beaman stadia arc,” a transit attachment that obviated the need for separate computing rules. Beaman obtained a patent for his instrument in 1906, and it was offered in Gurley catalogs from at least 1908.
References: W. & L. E. Gurley, A Manual of the Principal Instruments Used in American Engineering and Surveying, 42nd ed. (Troy, N.Y., 1908), 62–63; Florian Cajori, "A Stadia Slide-Rule," Engineering News 43 (April 5, 1900): 232; Richard Smith Hughes, "Stadia or Tacheometric Slide Rules, Part II," Journal of the Oughtred Society 16, no. 2 (2007): 32–41.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
after 1899
maker
W. & L. E. Gurley
ID Number
1987.0221.01
accession number
1987.0221
catalog number
1987.0221.01
This line of position computer, or mechanical navigator, is essentially a circular slide rule for determining one's location, either from morning or afternoon sightings for longitude or from the St. Hilaire method of finding the line of position.
Description
This line of position computer, or mechanical navigator, is essentially a circular slide rule for determining one's location, either from morning or afternoon sightings for longitude or from the St. Hilaire method of finding the line of position. It has a circular black steel base, a green felt cushioning ring, an engraved brass disc, and a yellowed and warped celluloid disc. The metal and plastic arm that extends over the celluloid disc has a brass thumbscrew at the outer edge. The celluloid disc and arm can rotate together or independently.
The brass disc is calibrated logarithmically in several concentric rings: from 80 to 0 degrees by minute in both directions (altitudes, adjusted by latitude and declination), from 0 to 500 by 1 (numbers), from 100/10/1 to 600/60/6 (logarithms), from 0 to 12 hours (hour angles), from 0 to 70 degrees by 1 X 2 (declinations), from I to XII by I (hour angles), and from 0 to 180 degrees (altitudes and azimuths).
The computer is housed in a square wooden case (lock broken and handle missing) with doors that open from the top. It appears to be impossible to remove the computer from the case. Two copies of an instructional flyer are stored separately (MA.320413.1). These describe the computer as built in two sizes, for military aircraft and for battleships. It is not clear, though, whether the computer was able to place a ship close enough to its actual position (within 0.5 to 9.6 miles, according to the examples in the flyer) to be of use for military purposes around the time of World War I. The scarcity of surviving examples suggests the government and general public had little interest in the instrument. Indeed, aviators preferred inspection tables over slide rules for navigation.
The instrument is engraved near the center: LINE OF POSITION COMPUTER (/) DESIGNED BY (/) CHAS. LANE POOR (/) NEW YORK, U.S.A. (/) PATENT APPLIED FOR.
This computer was sold by the nautical instrument firm founded in 1850 by T. S. & J. D. Negus of New York City. It was invented between 1914 and 1918 (the date of his patent application) by Charles Lane Poor (1866–1951), who earned a Ph.D. under Simon Newcomb at The Johns Hopkins University in 1892. Poor taught at Johns Hopkins until 1899, when he took over his father’s print works in New Jersey. From 1903 to 1944, Poor was professor of celestial mechanics at Columbia University. He was a critic of Einstein’s theory of relativity and an avid yachtsman.
References: Charles Lane Poor, "Navigation Instrument" (U.S. Patent 1,308,748 issued July 1, 1919); Charles Lane Poor, Simplified Navigation for Ships and Aircraft (New York: The Century Co., 1918); Richard Berendzen and Richard Hart, "Poor, Charles Lane," Dictionary of Scientific Biography xi:83–84; National Cyclopaedia of American Biography xxxviii:614; Ronald van Riet, "Position Line Slide Rules: Bygrave and Höhenrechenschieber," https://sites.google.com/site/sliderulesite/position-line-slide-rules.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1914-1918
maker
Negus, T. S. & J. D.
ID Number
MA.320413
catalog number
320413
accession number
242377
Leather belting produced from cowhide tanned in a solution with ground oak bark had been manufactured in New York City from the 19th century.
Description
Leather belting produced from cowhide tanned in a solution with ground oak bark had been manufactured in New York City from the 19th century. By the end of the century, the firm of Fayerweather & Ladew in Glen Cove, N.Y., had developed methods of waterproofing leather belting so that it could be used in wet and humid conditions. After the death of Edward R. Ladew in 1905, the firm operated as Estate of Edward R. Ladew. It was renamed Edw. R. Ladew Co., Inc., about 1919, and in 1920 it was sold to Graton & Knight Manufacturing Co. of Worcester, Mass.
To publicize its products, the company began distributing the Ladew Belting Strength Computer in 1914. This tan circular slide rule was made by the Whitehead & Hoag Company of Newark, N.J., under a June 6, 1905, patent for printing on pyroxylin (celluloid). It has a rotating disc and another rotating circular segment, pivoted about a metal rivet and attached to a rectangular celluloid base. The logarithmic scales allow computation of the horsepower a leather belt of known quality will transmit, given the width of the belt, the diameter of the pulley, and the rate of revolution of the pulley. The scales also make it possible to calculate the working strain of the belt, according to the kind of belt used and the horsepower transmitted. Instructions are provided on the back of the instrument.
For a linear slide rule for computations relating to cloth belting, see the Computer for Belting and Computer for Shafting made by J. A. & W. Bird & Co. of Boston (1988.0323.02). For information on Whitehead & Hoag, see 1984.1080.01.
References: Frank R. Norkross, A History of the New York Swamp (New York: The Chiswick Press, 1901), 103–107; Richard E. Roehm, "Process of Printing Upon Pyroxylin Materials" (U.S. Patent 791,503 issued June 6, 1905); Library of Congress, Catalogue of Copyright Entries, part 1, group 2, n.s., vol. 11, no. 8 (Washington, D.C., 1914): 754; "Ladew Belt Mill Sold," New York Times (February 13, 1920), 23; "Business Changes," Steam 25, no. 4 (May 1920): 145; accession file.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1914-1920
maker
Whitehead & Hoag Company
ID Number
1988.0350.01
accession number
1988.0350
catalog number
1988.0350.01
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, several circular slide rules were made to resemble pocket watches. Fowler & Co., of Manchester, England, was a particularly notable manufacturer of this type of slide rule.
Description
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, several circular slide rules were made to resemble pocket watches. Fowler & Co., of Manchester, England, was a particularly notable manufacturer of this type of slide rule. The company was in business from 1898 to 1988 and made a large variety of calculators, although the labor-intensive nature of its manufacturing process produced expensive instruments that never sold in large numbers.
This example is the "long scale" model, consisting of a metal case with a ring, two knobs, and two rotating paper discs covered with glass. The front has a short logarithmic scale and a long logarithmic scale, laid out in six concentric circles rather than in a spiral. These scales are rotated by the knob on the left. The glass is marked with two hairlines. The interior of the disc reads: FOWLER'S (/) LONG SCALE CALCULATOR (/) PATENT (/) FOWLER & Co MANCHESTER.
The other knob rotates the seven scales on the back of the instrument: multiplication and division, reciprocals, logarithms, square roots, logarithmic sines, logarithmic tangents, and a second scale for logarithmic sines. The interior is marked: FOWLER'S (/) CALCULATOR (/) PATENT (/) FOWLER & Co MANCHESTER. There is one hairline indicator on the glass. The slide rule is with a tarnished square metal case, lined with purple velvet. The outside of the case is engraved: Fowler's (/) CALCULATOR. The inside is stamped: Fowler & Co. (/) CALCULATOR (/) SPECIALISTS (/) Manchester (/) ENGLAND.
William Henry Fowler (1853–1932) and his son, Harold Fowler, took out several British patents for improvements to circular calculators between 1910 and 1924. The first Fowler calculator with two knobs on the rim was patented in 1914. In 1927, Fowler & Co. introduced the Magnum Long Scale Calculator, which extended the scale length to 50 inches. Thus, this example is dated between 1914 and 1927.
Charles Looney (1906–1987), the donor of this slide rule, catalogued engineering drawings and trade literature at the Smithsonian after he retired from the University of Maryland–College Park, where he served as chair of the Department of Civil Engineering. He also donated his library of books and pamphlets to the Museum.
References: Peter M. Hopp, "Pocket-Watch Slide Rules," Journal of the Oughtred Society 8, no. 2 (1999): 45–51; Richard Blankenhorn and Robert De Cesaris, "The Fowler Calculators: A Catalogue Raisonné," Journal of the Oughtred Society 11, no. 2 (2002): 3–11; Museum of History and Science in Manchester, "Fowler & Co.," http://www.mosi.org.uk/media/33870536/fowlerandco.pdf; accession file.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1914-1927
maker
Fowler & Co.
ID Number
MA.333849
catalog number
333849
accession number
303780
This instrument consists of a plastic disc riveted to a plastic base. It is similar to a paper instrument of the same name (see 1987.0221.01).The base, just outside the disc, has a logarithmic scale that represents readings in feet of a stadia rod used with a transit telescope.
Description
This instrument consists of a plastic disc riveted to a plastic base. It is similar to a paper instrument of the same name (see 1987.0221.01).
The base, just outside the disc, has a logarithmic scale that represents readings in feet of a stadia rod used with a transit telescope. The base, just outside the disc, has a logarithmic scale that represents readings in feet of a stadia rod used with a transit telescope. The edge of the disc has two scales of functions of angles. Applying the first scale multiplies the stadia reading by 1/2 sin 2A, where A is the vertical angle of the transit telescope. This multiplication gives the difference in elevation of the transit and the stadia rod, in feet. The second scale multiplies the stadia reading by the square of cos A, to find the horizontal distance of the rod in feet.
The back of the instrument bears an advertisement for W. & L. E. Gurley, a maker of instruments in Troy, N.Y. A transit is depicted; it appears to be Gurley's Explorers [sic] precise transit. This was the smallest and lightest Gurley transit, shown in the Gurley catalogs for 1910 and 1912 (with a different image than is on this rule) and 1921 (with same image as on rule), but not the 1928 catalog. The 1921 catalog advertises the celluloid form of the Cox stadia computer and indicates that it sold for 75 cents.
A maker's mark at the bottom of the back of the computer is not legible, but the firm of Whitehead and Hoag of Newark, N.J., is known to have manufactured the instrument for Gurley in the second quarter of the 20th century.
References: W. & L. E. Gurley, Catalogue of Gurley Engineering Instruments (Troy, N.Y., 1921), 50; Florian Cajori, "A Stadia Slide-Rule," Engineering News 43 (April 5, 1900): 232; Laine Farley, "Whitehead & Hoag Celluloid Bookmarks," http://www.bibliobuffet.com/on-marking-books-columns-195/archive-index-on-marking-books/1039-whitehead-a-hoag-celluloid-bookmarks-053109.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1921
maker
W. & L. E. Gurley
ID Number
1987.0221.02
accession number
1987.0221
catalog number
1987.0221.02
This circular slide rule consists of a silver-colored metal dial, 8-1/2" wide, mounted on a silver-colored metal disc. Three oblong holes on the base disc permit the reading of trigonometric scales on a white celluloid and cardboard disc that is between the metal discs.
Description
This circular slide rule consists of a silver-colored metal dial, 8-1/2" wide, mounted on a silver-colored metal disc. Three oblong holes on the base disc permit the reading of trigonometric scales on a white celluloid and cardboard disc that is between the metal discs. The celluloid disc is marked: COPYRIGHTED (/) L. ROSS, SAN FRANCISCO (/) PATENTS PENDING.
On the front of the instrument, the top dial is divided along the outer edge into 400 equal parts. In each quadrant of the dial, the scale is marked from 100 to 1,000, with every tenth division marked. Inside of this scale, there is a spiral scale with 25 coils divided logarithmically from 0 to 1,000, making the rule equivalent to a linear slide rule about 50 feet long. These scales are marked in purple and are worn away in several places, including around much of the edge and underneath where the indicators rest.
Affixed to the center of the disc is a brown metal linear rule, 1-1/8" wide, marked with N, M (Sum), D (Difference), and Root scales. This rule is made of three pieces, but the center no longer slides. Also affixed to the center is a yellow celluloid hairline indicator, 3/4" wide, and a second yellow celluloid indicator, 1-1/2" wide. This indicator is marked on the left side by fours from 0 to 100, labeled Quadrants, and on the right side at varying intervals from 100 to 1,000, labeled Nos. It is attached to a metal handle lined with yellow-white celluloid. The handle is also attached to a pivot at the center back of the instrument. The handle is marked: THE ROSS (/) PRECISION COMPUTER (/) Computer Mfg. Co. (/) San Francisco. The handle has reminders for setting the device for multiplication, division, and proportion, and there is a thumbscrew for making adjustments.
The instrument also came with a loose, wedge-shaped piece of yellow celluloid with a hole at one end for attaching to the center of the computer. It is marked with the names of various trigonometric functions and various angles. The round part of the instrument fits into a black leather case with two snaps, stamped both inside and outside: x THE ROSS ÷ (/) PRECISION COMPUTER (/) COMPUTER MFG. CO. (/) SAN FRANCISCO U.S.A. (/) PAT. PEND. COPYRIGHTED. An instruction manual (1996.3077.02) and a letter and advertising literature (1966.3077.03) sent to the purchaser, Roy Kegerreis of New York, were received with this instrument. The letter is dated July 31, 1918, and the manual was copyrighted in 1919.
Louis Ross of San Francisco designed three circular slide rules in the 1910s: the Precision Computer, the Meridi-o-graph, and the Rapid Computer. Advertisements and reports of surviving instruments indicate that the Precision Computer varied in appearance and size.
The Computer Manufacturing Company sold the Precision Computer for $20.00. A clamp for mounting the rule above a desk sold separately for $2.50. The company claimed its customers included the Panama Canal Commission, DuPont Powder Works, and General Electric. The company's offices were originally located on 25 California Street in San Francisco; in 1921, the factory moved from 268 Market to 340 Sansome. The Sansome address is handwritten inside the instruction manual, suggesting Kegerreis learned about the computer in 1918 but did not purchase one until 1921.
Dr. Roy Kegerreis (1886–1968) obtained his BS in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 1907, his MS in Mathematics from Harvard, and his PhD in Physics from the University of Michigan in 1917. At the time he purchased this slide rule, he apparently was living in New York City. Kegerreis went on to get an MD in 1934, and he worked for many years as a radiologist. This slide rule was given to the Smithsonian by his daughter, in his memory.
References: Accession file; Edwin J. Chamberlain, "Long-Scale Slide Rules," Journal of the Oughtred Society 8, no. 1 (1999): 24–34, "Long-Scale Slide Rules Revisited," 13, no. 1 (2004): 23–43, and "Circular Slide Rules with Very Long Scales," 17, no. 1 (2008): 52; "A Five-Place Calculating Device," Electrical World 66, no. 11 (1915): 604; "San Francisco Companies Move to New Quarters," San Francisco Business 3, no. 19 (November 11, 1921): 22; "Ross Precision Computer," NIST Museum Digital Archives, http://nistdigitalarchives.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15421coll3/id/266.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1921
maker
Computer Manufacturing Company
ID Number
1996.3077.01
nonaccession number
1996.3077
catalog number
1996.3077.01
This brass circular slide rule is the size and shape of a pocket watch. The base is a silver-colored disc surrounding a rotating brass ring.
Description
This brass circular slide rule is the size and shape of a pocket watch. The base is a silver-colored disc surrounding a rotating brass ring. The silver-colored indicator, which moves the brass ring and a forked pointer screwed to the center of the instrument, is attached to a small suspension ring. The indicator extends around the back of the instrument for use in reading the scales inscribed there.
Three scales are on the front: two logarithmic scales on the outermost rings (the equivalent of D and C scales on a linear slide rule) and a two-part scale for square roots around the silver-colored circle at the center (corresponding to the A scale on a linear slide rule). Around the center is engraved: CALCULIMETRE G. CHARPENTIER; BREVETÉ S.G.D.G. The serial number 35 is engraved below "Charpentier." The back of the instrument bears a scale of equal parts, a logarithmic scale, and an innermost scale of equal parts. The indicator arm is engraved: FRANCE.
Around 1882, G. Charpentier patented this design in France (as indicated by the "breveté" mark) and Great Britain. Several French instrument makers manufactured the device. In the United States, the Calculimetre was retailed for $5.00 by Keuffel & Esser from 1895 to 1927 and by Dietzgen from 1904 to 1931. According to the donor, John W. Olson, a Wall Street investment banker and collector of "unusual items" named Edward Hamilton Leslie purchased this slide rule around 1925.
References: Robert K. Otnes, "The Charpentier Calculator," Journal of the Oughtred Society pilot issue, vol. 0, no. 0 (1991): 9–11; Florian Cajori, A History of the Logarithmic Slide Rule and Allied Instruments (New York: Engineering News Publishing Company, 1909), 94; Peter M. Hopp, Slide Rules: Their History, Models, and Makers (Mendham, N.J.: Astragal Press, 1999), 81, 161, 193; Catalogue & Price List of Eugene Dietzgen Co., 7th ed. (Chicago, 1904), 174; Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co., 33rd ed. (New York, 1909), 307.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1925
ID Number
1995.0261.01
accession number
1995.0261
catalog number
1995.0261.01
This 10-inch, one-sided aluminum circular slide rule is on a square base coated with plastic. The outer ring of the rule is a C scale divided logarithmically from 1.0 to 10.
Description
This 10-inch, one-sided aluminum circular slide rule is on a square base coated with plastic. The outer ring of the rule is a C scale divided logarithmically from 1.0 to 10. Inside the ring is a spiral of 30 coils, divided logarithmically from 100 to 1,000, and the equivalent of a C scale 50 feet long. The outer edge of the coil has 30 markings on it, indicating the number of the coil on the spiral that corresponds to a given segment of the scale on the outer ring.
Two transparent celluloid cursors rotate both separately and together. For instance, to multiply two numbers, the longer cursor is set at the index point on the outer ring and the shorter cursor is set at the first number. Then, the longer cursor is moved to the second number, carrying the shorter cursor to the product. The process can be repeated with the numbers on the coils to provide an answer with five significant digits.
The rule is marked near the center: THE (/) ATLAS CALCULATOR (/) PATENTED 1-17-1922. (/) TAVELLA SALES CO. (/) 25 W. Broadway, (/) New York. The Atlas was designed by George W. Richardson, who sold his business to Clair Amasa Gilson in 1919. Gilson received a patent for improving the design in 1922. The instrument was then manufactured by the Gilson Slide Rule Company, which moved from Niles, Michigan, to Stuart, Florida, in 1927. Gilson typically did not mark its rules with the company name or instrument model. Several American instrument dealers retailed Gilson instruments; the Tavella Sales Company distributed not only the Atlas but the TASCO adder (1986.0663.01). Tavella sold the Atlas for $7.50 around 1931.
The instrument has a black imitation leather folding case. It was received with instructions, which are in the accession file. See also 1979.0816.01, 1989.0832.01, and 1998.0119.01.
References: Clair A. Gilson, "Mechanical Calculating Device," (U.S. Patent 1,404,019 issued January 17, 1922); Henry Aldinger and Ed Chamberlain, "Gilson Slide Rules," Journal of the Oughtred Society 9, no. 1 (2000): 48–60 and 9, no. 2 (2000): 47–58; Eugene Dietzgen Company, Slide Rule Manual: Instructions for Using the Atlas Slide Rule (Chicago, n.d.), http://sliderulemuseum.com/Manuals/M216_Gilson_Atlas_Manual_Dietzgen1797A.pdf; The Slide Rule Manual: Instructions for Using the Midget Slide Rule (New York: Tavella Sales Co., [about 1931]), 12, http://sliderulemuseum.com/Manuals/M15_MidgetBinarySlideRuleManual_refC03.pdf; George W. Richardson and J. J. Clark, The Slide Rule Simplified, 7th ed. (Scranton, Pennsylvania: Technical Supply Company, 1918), 98.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1920s-1930s
distributor
Tavella Sales Company
maker
Gilson Slide Rule Company
ID Number
MA.316707
catalog number
316707
accession number
227907
In the first half of the 20th century, electric lighting became commonplace in American stores, factories, and homes.
Description
In the first half of the 20th century, electric lighting became commonplace in American stores, factories, and homes. Firms such as Macbeth Daylighting Company of New York City and Corning Glassware of Corning, N.Y., developed special glass filters that transmitted incandescent light with optical properties similar to those of natural light. Macbeth distributed this white paper circular slide chart, which allowed the user to compare the efficiency and color temperature of Macbeth Whiterlite filters and Corning Daylite filters.
The device is marked: MACBETH DAYLIGHTING CO., Inc. (/) 227–239 West 17th Street (/) New York. It probably dates from between 1920 and 1950. A tan paper envelope is also marked with the company's address.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1920-1950
maker
Macbeth-Evans Glass Company
ID Number
1979.3074.01
nonaccession number
1979.3074
catalog number
1979.3074.01
This yellow paper circular rule consists of two discs, one with a protruding tab for rotating the disc, held together with a metal grommet. The device reduces the observed volume of a gas to the corresponding volume under standard conditions (0°C, 760 mm pressure).
Description
This yellow paper circular rule consists of two discs, one with a protruding tab for rotating the disc, held together with a metal grommet. The device reduces the observed volume of a gas to the corresponding volume under standard conditions (0°C, 760 mm pressure). Scales for temperatures from 10 degrees to 35 degrees centigrade and for pressures from 700 to 790 mm run along the lower edge of the rule. Setting the device for an observed temperature and pressure reveals a volume factor and the logarithm of the volume factor in the lower interior of the instrument. The factor is multiplied by the observed volume on the scale along the upper edge of the instrument to arrive at the reduced volume.
The instrument is marked: CentralScientificCo. (/) CENCO (/) CHICAGO U.S.A. (/) GAS VOLUME REDUCTION CHART. It is also marked: Copyrighted 1921, by Central Scientific Co. An advertisement for the "new rotary CENCO hyvac pump," available from Central Scientific's Bulletin No. 92, appears on the back of the device. For another instrument made by Central Scientific Co., see 1982.0147.02.
The front of the instrument indicates that Prof. E. M. Jones of Adrian College in Adrian, Mich., proposed its design. Jones also wrote "Laboratory Versus Recitation," School Science and Mathematics 8 (1923): 749–759. In 1920, he was appointed to the city of Adrian's first water board.
Reference: "Adrian H2O: Over One Hundred Years," http://www.ci.adrian.mi.us/Services/Utilities/History.aspx.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
after 1921
maker
Central Scientific Company
ID Number
1979.3074.02
nonaccession number
1979.3074
catalog number
1979.3074.02
This paper circular rule consists of two paper discs, a celluloid indicator, and a metal screw that holds everything together.
Description
This paper circular rule consists of two paper discs, a celluloid indicator, and a metal screw that holds everything together. Going out from the center of the rotating discs, there are scales of versed sines [3 yellow circles labeled from 3 to 80 degrees—the versed sine of an angle x is (1 - sin x)], the fifth power of N (5 white circles labeled from 1 to 9.5), tangents (3 yellow circles labeled from 5 degrees through 84 degrees), N cubed (three white circles labeled from 1 through 9.5), sines (two circles labeled from 6 to 84 degrees), N squared (two circles labeled from 1 to 95), secants (one yellow circle labeled from 10 degrees to 84 degrees), and a logarithmic B scale running from 1 to 10. On the base disc is a logarithmic A scale, running from 1 to 10, and an equally divided scale for finding logarithms that runs from 0 to 10. THoles in the base make it easier to rotate the disc.
The base disc is marked around the edge: SEXTON'S OMNIMETRE; COPYRIGHT IN THE UNITED STATES 1896. ENTERED AT STATIONERS HALL LONDON FOR INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT 1896; NUMERI MUNDUM REGUNT; ENTERED ACCORDING TO ACT OF THE PARLIAMENT OF CANADA IN THE YEAR 1896 BY THADDEUS NORRIS, ENLARGED AND REVISED EDITION. The smaller disc is marked near the center: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (/) PATENT 1895 U.S. CANADA & EUROPE. The back of the instrument is engraved: THEO. ALTENEDER & SONS (/) PHILADELPHIA. DANKERS is handwritten near the center of the back.
Albert Sexton was a resident of Philadelphia who, according to his own account, read a lecture delivered by Colman Sellers at the Franklin Institute on 20 May 1891. Although the subject of the lecture was the utilization of the power of Niagara Falls, Sellers also mentioned the advantages of the slide rule. Intrigued by these comments, Sexton began to acquire slide rules. He concluded that a less expensive, more complete instrument was needed, and he designed one. When he provided samples to gentlemen visiting a local steam engine manufacturer, Southwark Foundry and Machine Company, he found they were most interested. Arthur Marichal, a Belgian civil engineer, wrote on his sample “Sexton’s Omnimetre” and added the Latin phrase “Numeri Mundum Regunt.” Sexton adopted both the name and the motto.
With the assistance of Philadelphia resident Thaddeus Norris, Sexton introduced several versions of his instrument, including the most complete form, which is represented by this object. Sexton (and Norris posthumously) received the John Scott Medal of the Franklin Institute on 4 January 1899. The instrument was manufactured by the Philadelphia firm of Theodore Alteneder & Sons. The different forms sold for $1.00 to $3.00 around 1900, and this version sold for $4.00 by 1940.
The donor acquired this example in 1938, when he joined the U.S. Navy’s Preliminary Ship Design Branch. He used it in the design of ships from PT boats to aircraft carriers, until his retirement in 1968.
References: Peggy A. Kidwell, "Computing Devices, Mathematics Education and Mathematics: Sexton's Omnimetre in Its Time," Historia Mathematica 36 (2009): 395–404; Thaddeus Norris, "Marker for Slide-Rules" (U.S. Patent 540,184 issued May 28, 1895).
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1938
maker
Theodore Alteneder and Sons
ID Number
2008.3041.01
nonaccession number
2008.3041
catalog number
2008.3041.01
This two-sided circular slide rule is a white plastic disc with two transparent, pivoting green plastic arms on one side and a third arm on the back.
Description
This two-sided circular slide rule is a white plastic disc with two transparent, pivoting green plastic arms on one side and a third arm on the back. On the front, from the edge to the center, there is a C scale, CI scale, a scale of logarithms, a scale of squares, a "binary" scale, a log-log scale, a scale for the decimal equivalent of fractions, a scale of drill sizes, and a scale of thread sizes. The rule is marked: MADE IN U.S.A. (/) Copyrighted 1936 (/) Patented.
Three concentric circles forming a scale of degrees, sines, and tangents are on the back. Inside this scale is a scale of decimal equivalents for fractions. The back of the instrument is marked: COPYRIGHTED (/) 1931.
The rule has a green synthetic leather case. On the inside of the flap, it is marked in ink: Donald Mela, and stamped in red: Gordon's (/) DRAFTING MATERIALS (/) 162 W. Madison St. Chicago. The instrument was received with a small paper manual, 1998.0119.03. See also 1989.0032.01.
Claire A. Gilson founded the Gilson Slide Rule Company in Niles, Mich., in 1915. The firm moved to Stuart, Fla., in 1927 and remained in business until about 1975. This example of the firm's Midget model was probably manufactured around 1940.
References: Henry Aldinger and Ed Chamberlain, "Gilson Slide Rules," Journal of the Oughtred Society 9, no. 1 (2000): 48–60 and 9, no. 2 (2000): 47–58; Bobby Feazel, "[Letters of] Richard A. Gilson," Journal of the Oughtred Society 2, no. 2 (1993): 8–12; Ross Grable, "Analysis of a Gilson Circular Rule," Journal of the Oughtred Society 7, no. 1 (1998): 53–55; International Slide Rule Museum, "Time Line for Gilson Slide Rule Company," http://sliderulemuseum.com/SR_Dates.htm#Gilson.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1940
maker
Gilson Slide Rule Company
ID Number
1998.0119.01
catalog number
1998.0119.01
accession number
1998.0119
The base of this orange, black, and white cardboard circular chart has scales for the number and size of plows and for the size of combines, planters, or harrows. Riveted to the rectangular base is a disc with a scale of tractor speed in miles per hour.
Description
The base of this orange, black, and white cardboard circular chart has scales for the number and size of plows and for the size of combines, planters, or harrows. Riveted to the rectangular base is a disc with a scale of tractor speed in miles per hour. Setting the dial for the appropriate tractor speed opposite the size and type of machinery employed reveals the approximate number of acres worked per day.
According to its markings, Perry Graf Corporation of Maywood, Ill., copyrighted this "Tractor Calculator" in 1938 and made it for the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company's Tractor Division in Milwaukee, Wis. A curator's note indicates the copyright was not issued until November 27, 1941. Perrygraf (spelled variously as "Perrygraf" and "Perry Graf") designed special purpose "slide charts," which were often distributed by manufacturers to their customers.
The back of the calculator contains an advertisement for Allis-Chalmers, titled: WORK-PER-DAY THE A-C WAY. For other rules distributed by Perrygraf, see 1983.3009.06 and 1996.3029.01.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1941
maker
Perry Graf Corporation
ID Number
1983.3009.04
catalog number
1983.3009.04
nonaccession number
1983.3009
This circular calculating rule is made of an aluminum disc 4-1/4" in diameter. The disc has a white plastic coating on both sides. There are two green transparent plastic indicators on the front and one indicator on the back.
Description
This circular calculating rule is made of an aluminum disc 4-1/4" in diameter. The disc has a white plastic coating on both sides. There are two green transparent plastic indicators on the front and one indicator on the back. A metal screw and two supports hold the instrument together. The scales and markings are exactly like those on 1998.0119.01. A green synthetic leather case is marked in ink inside the flap: MATLACK.
The scales are also similar to those on 1979.0816.01, the Binary Slide Rule of Gilson Slide Rule Company of Stuart, Fla. Gilson manufactured slide rules under U.S. patent 1,404,019, issued to Clair A. Gilson for a "Mechanical Calculating Device" on January 17, 1922. The company was known for not putting its name on its products, which were resold by several American dealers of mathematical instruments.
The donor, Dr. Albert S. Matlack, purchased this object around 1942, when he was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. He also used it as a research chemist at the Hercules Research Center in Wilmington, Del.
Reference: Accession file.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1942
maker
Gilson Slide Rule Company
ID Number
1989.0032.01
catalog number
1989.0032.01
accession number
1989.0032
This two-sided aluminum circular slide rule is coated with white celluloid enamel. The front has two interlocking yellow-green plastic arms, pivoted at the center with a metal nut and bolt with metal washers on both front and back. The back has one rotating arm.
Description
This two-sided aluminum circular slide rule is coated with white celluloid enamel. The front has two interlocking yellow-green plastic arms, pivoted at the center with a metal nut and bolt with metal washers on both front and back. The back has one rotating arm. Thirteen circles of scales are on the front, including C (for multiplication, division, and proportion), CI (C inverted), A (squares), K (cubes), logarithms, a spiral log-log scale (marked from 1.0015 to 1,000,000), two binary scales for adding and subtracting fractions, a scale of drill sizes, a scale of thread sizes, and millimeters. The front is marked near the center: THE BINARY SLIDE RULE (/) MADE IN U.S.A. (/) COPYRIGHTED 1940.
Three concentric circles forming a scale of degrees, sines, and tangents are on the back. Inside this scale is a chart for decimal equivalents of fractions. The back is marked: COPYRIGHTED (/) 1931 (/) GILSON SLIDE RULE CO. (/) STUART, FLA. The sets of scales are almost the same as those on 1998.0119.01 and 1989.0032.01, which are both Gilson Midget circular slide rules, but the scale of thread sizes is in United States Form instead of United States Standard. Because it does not have alternating yellow and white stripes, this rule is unusual for a Gilson Binary slide rule. There is a case for this rule.
References: Sphere Research Corporation, "Gilson Binary/Atlas Circular Slide Rule Operating Information," http://www.sphere.bc.ca/test/circular-man2.html; Clippings Scrapbook, page 82, Cummings Library, Palm City, Fla.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
after 1940
maker
Gilson Slide Rule Company
ID Number
1979.0816.01
catalog number
1979.0816.01
accession number
1979.0816
This two-sided white plastic circular slide rule helped railroad procurement officers determine the amount and cost of coal or oil needed to efficiently operate the boiler of a train engine.
Description
This two-sided white plastic circular slide rule helped railroad procurement officers determine the amount and cost of coal or oil needed to efficiently operate the boiler of a train engine. It consists of three concentric discs, with the two smaller discs on the front and back and one large disc in the middle. The metal fastener holding the discs together is tarnished. On the front, the outer edge of the large disc bears an evenly-divided scale for "Fuel Cost per Million Btu's and Steam Cost per 1000 lbs." The smaller disc has scales for coal cost per ton/oil cost per gallon, BTUs per pound, and evaporation for a high viscosity of fuel. A bell-shaped indicator has a scale for the weight of oil in pounds per gallon.
On the back of the instrument, from the outside in, there are scales and windows for reading the feed water temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit), difference in height (in BTUs per pound), steam pressure (in pounds per square inch), boiler efficiency, the heat value of fuel (in BTUs per pound), a boiler at high pressure, the factor of evaporation and equivalent evaporation, saturated steam pressure (in degrees Fahrenheit), and steam pressure (in pounds per square inch). There is a hairline indicator. The instrument fits into a black leather case.
The front of the device is marked: FRED Q. SAUNDERS (/) RICHMOND, VIRGINIA; FUEL-STEAM CALCULATOR; PAT. 2,328,881. The indicator on the front is marked: N & W (/) Ry. (/) CARRIER OF (/) FUEL SATISFACTION. This is the logo for the Norfolk & Western Railway, which transported coal east from the Pocahontas Coal and Coke Company in the Appalachian mountains. N&W was a relatively small railroad with a significant role in American transportation in the 19th and 20th centuries. It expanded into other activities in 1964 by merging with several other railroads; around this time, it also completed the transition from steam-powered to diesel locomotives. In 1998, the company was merged into Norfolk Southern Corporation.
Inside one of the windows on the back of the instrument is marked: 459; WHITEHEAD-HOAG, NEWARK, N.J. Founded in 1892 and in business until 1959, Whitehead and Hoag was a major producer of paper and plastic advertising novelties. Headquartered in Newark, it had branch offices in about thirty cities around the world. For other slide rules made by this company, see 1987.0221.02 and those described by the MIT Museum and Dick Rose's Catalog for Vintage Instruments (October 2000) at their web sites.
Besides his patent on this device, Fred Q. Saunders of Richmond, Va., copyrighted a "Fuel Steam Calculator Manual" on July 2, 1945 (cit. no. 21463). In 1952, he received patent no. 2,763,873 for a portable, collapsible bath tub to be used on hospital beds.
References: Fred Q. Saunders, "Fuel Engineer's Calculator" (U.S. Patent 2,328,881 issued September 7, 1943); Library of Congress Copyright Office, Catalog of Copyright Entries: Part 1, Books, Group 2, Pamphlets, Etc., new ser. 42 (1945): 397; Mason Y. Cooper, "An Introduction to the Norfolk & Western Railway," Norfolk & Western Historical Society, http://www.nwhs.org/about_nw.html; Thomas W. Dixon, Jr., Appalachian Coal Mines & Railroads (Lynchburg, Va.: TLC Publishing, Inc., 1994); Joseph T. Lambie, From Mine to Market: The History of Coal Transportation on the Norfolk and Western Railway (New York: New York University Press, 1954); "Whitehead and Hoag Collection," Nehushtan Antiques, http://www.nehushtanantiques.com/whitehead_and_hoag.html.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1943-1959
maker
Whitehead & Hoag Company
ID Number
1984.1080.01
accession number
1984.1080
catalog number
1984.1080.01
This is Norman Albree's pilot model for a two-sided circular logarithmic chart. The side labeled A has a double logarithmic scale arranged in a spiral of seven turns. Its outer edge is marked from 1 to 3.15. The inner edge is marked from .0 to .5.
Description
This is Norman Albree's pilot model for a two-sided circular logarithmic chart. The side labeled A has a double logarithmic scale arranged in a spiral of seven turns. Its outer edge is marked from 1 to 3.15. The inner edge is marked from .0 to .5. The side labeled B also has a spiral double logarithmic scale, marked from .315 to 1 on the outer edge and from .5 to 1 on the inner edge. A clear plastic cursor folds over the edge of the instrument and is pivoted at the center on both sides.
The A side is marked inside the fourth spiral: 19©45, and at the center: TRULOG DUPLEX. The B side is marked inside the fourth spiral: 19©45 (/) G. N. Albree, and at the center: G. NORMAN ALBREE. The instrument was received with a hand-sewn brown leather pouch. George Norman Albree, the inventor and donor, was an aeronautical engineer. See also MA.335484 and MA.335486.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
after 1945
maker
Albree, G. Norman
ID Number
MA.335487
catalog number
335487
accession number
321674
This is Norman Albree's pilot model for a one-sided logarithmic chart. It is white paper on a wooden disc painted black. There is a clear celluloid indicator that pivots at the center and is cushioned on purple felt.
Description
This is Norman Albree's pilot model for a one-sided logarithmic chart. It is white paper on a wooden disc painted black. There is a clear celluloid indicator that pivots at the center and is cushioned on purple felt. The scale permits readings of logarithms from 10,000 to 100,000. The instrument is marked at the center: ALBREE TRULOG SPIRAL (/) G. NORMAN ALBREE (/) BOSTON. Inside the fifth ring of the spiral is marked: ©1945.
George Norman Albree (1888–1986), the inventor and donor, attended Amherst College with the Class of 1911 and graduated from Dartmouth in 1912. He is best known for designing the first monoplanes purchased by the U.S. Army in 1917. However, after testing, the military deemed the aircraft too unreliable and slow and declined to order a production run from Albree's employer, the Pigeon Hollow Spar Company of East Boston, Mass.
See also 335484 and 335487.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
after 1945
maker
Albree, G. Norman
ID Number
MA.335486
catalog number
335486
accession number
321674
Aeronautical engineer George Norman Albree (1888–1986) designed airplane components and slide rules. This is an example of his Duplex slide rule, which he intended to be used by grade school children.
Description
Aeronautical engineer George Norman Albree (1888–1986) designed airplane components and slide rules. This is an example of his Duplex slide rule, which he intended to be used by grade school children. It is printed on both sides of a cardboard circle and consists of a logarithmic spiral scale for numbers from 10,000 to 32,100 on the front or "A" side and numbers from 31,170 to 100,000 on the back or "B" side. A rotating clear plastic indicator wraps around both sides.
On both sides, the center of the spiral is marked: ALBREE TRULOG DUPLEX (/) MODEL 18. Inside the fifth ring of the spiral on the front, the instrument is marked: ©1945 (/) G. NORMAN ALBREE (/) BOSTON MASS. The instrument arrived with a plain square paper case, an instruction manual, and a green paper bag. The cover of the manual reads: MANUAL (/) of the (/) TRULOG DUPLEX (/) Precision Pocket Calculator (/) Multiply - Divide - Raise to Any Power - Extract Any Root. The booklet was copyrighted in 1948. The bag is marked: THE (/) TRULOG DUPLEX (/) With Right Hand Instruction System.
Albree renewed the copyrights for the Albree Trulog Duplex (R560370) and Albree Trulog Spiral (R560371) in 1973. See also MA.335486 and MA.335487.
References: Timothy Hughes, "The George Norman Albree Papers," New England Ancestors 5, no. 3 (2004): 46, http://www.americanancestors.org/PageDetail.aspx?recordId=134553447; Library of Congress, Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 4, n.s. 40 (1945 index): 287; Catalog of Copyright Entries: Books: Part 1A, 3rd ser. 2, no. 1 (1948): 313; Library of Congress Copyright Office, Renewal Registrations: Works of Art (July-December 1973): 476; Henry W. Syer and Donovan A. Johnson, "Aids to Teaching," Mathematics Teacher 43, no. 5 (1950): 215–221, on 220; accession file.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
after 1948
maker
Albree, G. Norman
ID Number
MA.335484
catalog number
335484
accession number
321674
This circular device was an aid to programming the UNIVAC solid state computer. It consists of a paper disc, with equal divisions running from 1 to 200 near the edge, and a clear plastic rotating disc. These are pivoted together at the center.
Description
This circular device was an aid to programming the UNIVAC solid state computer. It consists of a paper disc, with equal divisions running from 1 to 200 near the edge, and a clear plastic rotating disc. These are pivoted together at the center. The upper disc is marked in red with two perpendicular diameters. The lower disc is marked: MINIMUM LATENCY CALCULATOR FOR THE UNIVAC SOLID-STATE COMPUTER. The UNIVAC had a magnetic storage drum on which locations were specified numerically. The latency calculator allowed programmers to write code for the machine to make the most efficient possible use of the drum memory.
The back of the instrument gives a list of instruction codes and corresponding execution times for words. It is marked: Remington Rand Univac. It is also marked: U1767 Rev. 1 PRINTED (/) IN (/) U.S.A. The rule was received in a paper bag.
Reference: Sperry Rand Corporation, Simple Transition to Electronic Processing, UNIVAC Solid-State 80, (1960), 18–26.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
after 1950
maker
Remington Rand Univac
ID Number
2005.0271.01
accession number
2005.0271
catalog number
2005.0271.01
This instrument consists of concentric turquoise and white paper discs and a paper indicator held together with a metal rivet. Around the edge of the turquoise disc is a logarithmic scale of weight in pounds that ranges from 2 to 1,000.
Description
This instrument consists of concentric turquoise and white paper discs and a paper indicator held together with a metal rivet. Around the edge of the turquoise disc is a logarithmic scale of weight in pounds that ranges from 2 to 1,000. Inside this is a scale of lengths from 10" to 50". The white disc has a scale of heights from 5" to 50" and a scale of widths from 6" to 50". The indicator has a scale in densities in cubic inches per pound from 100 to 300 and instructions for setting the dimensions and density of a parcel in order to read off the parcel's weight.
The indicator is marked: PAN AMERICAN WORLD (/) AIRWAYS (/) 506 West Sixth Street (/) Los Angeles 14, California (/) Phone: Michigan 2121 (/) CLIPPER CARGO (/) Dimensional (/) WEIGHT COMPUTER. The white disc is marked: Clipper, Trade Mark, Reg. U. S. Pat. Off. Printed in U.S.A. (/) Copyright 1951, Pan American World Airways, Inc. (/) Slide-Chart by PERRYGRAF, Maywood, Ill. The back of the instrument has a Pan Am compass rose logo at the center of advertising text: ANY WAY YOU MEASURE (/) MAKE CLIPPER CARGO YOUR RULE (/) For All Your Export Shipping (/) See Us For A Free Cost Analysis of (/) CLIPPER CARGO SERVICE (/) via PAN AMERICAN WORLD AIRWAYS.
A slide chart is a slide rule that performs a specific calculation, usually commissioned by a company as a promotional item. In 1934, machinery inspector Lester E. Perry (1901–1991) came up with the idea of equipping salespeople with slide charts so that they could immediately answer customers' questions. Perrygraf Corporation, the company he established in the Chicago, Ill., suburbs, quickly became a dominant force in this market. Pan Am was the principal international air carrier in the United States for most of the 20th century. See also 1996.3029.02, whose copyright date suggests that the latest date this chart was made was 1957.
References: George Melloan, "Pocket Slide Charts Aid Engineers, Help Sell Steel, Lipstick," Wall Street Journal, September 4, 1953, 1; "People: Perrygraf," Waywiser, Harvard University Department of the History of Science website.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1951-1957
maker
Perry Graf Corporation
ID Number
1996.3029.01
nonaccession number
1996.3029
catalog number
1996.3029.01
This white plastic circular rule has a clear plastic indicator attached with a metal grommet in the center. The rule has scales of H (horizontal factor), theta (vertical angle), and V (vertical factor). A diagram on the instrument gives the formulas for these factors.
Description
This white plastic circular rule has a clear plastic indicator attached with a metal grommet in the center. The rule has scales of H (horizontal factor), theta (vertical angle), and V (vertical factor). A diagram on the instrument gives the formulas for these factors. The instrument is marked: KB (/) STADIA REDUCTION COMPUTER (/) KEGELMAN BROS. (/) HUNTINGDON VALLEY PA. (/) COPYRIGHT, 1956 (/) BY WILLIAM KEGELMAN P.E. It is in a cream-colored paper envelope stamped: WILLIAM KEGELMAN (/) 393 COUNTY LINE ROAD (/) HUNTINGDON VALLEY, PA.
George Kegelman (1900–1985) began his career with Heller & Brightly of Philadelphia. He established his own shop around 1943 and began to work with his brother, William (1907–1985). In 1951, the pair formed Kegelman Brothers, which became best known for its Model 101 engineers transit. William Kegelman received a copyright (A245443) for this device, which was intended to process readings taken with the transit, on July 9, 1956.
For other slide rules for reducing data from observations made with stadia rods, see MA.333636, 1977.1141.41, 1983.0472.01, 1987.0221.01, and 1987.0221.02.
References: Robert C. Miller, "George Kegelman and Kegelman Brothers: Mathematical and Optical Instrument Makers," Rittenhouse 5 (1991): 56–58; Charles E. Smart, The Makers of Surveying Instruments in America Since 1700 (Troy, N.Y.: Regal Art Press, 1962–1967); Catalog of Copyright Entries: Books and Pamphlets, 3rd ser. 10 (1956): 324, 1161; Kegelman Bros., Instruction Manual for Engineers Transit (Hunting[d]on Valley, Pa., 1957) 9–10 (see 2001.0282.02).
Location
Currently not on view
date made
after 1956
maker
Kegelman Bros.
ID Number
2001.0282.01
accession number
2001.0282
catalog number
2001.0282.01

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