Keuffel & Esser N4053 Polyphase Slide Rule Manual

Keuffel & Esser N4053 Polyphase Slide Rule Manual

Usage conditions apply
The citation information for this paperback book is: William E. Breckenridge, The Polyphase Slide Rule No. N4053: A Self Teaching Manual, 3rd ed. (New York: Keuffel & Esser Co., 1944). According to Clark McCoy, this example comes from the first of two printings of the manual with the 1944 copyright date; the cover and first few pages were changed in the second printing, which was also marked with the K+E logo that was introduced in 1949. This example has the earlier K&E lion logo.
Breckenridge earned an A.M. in mathematics from Columbia University in New York City, was chair of the mathematics department at Stuyvesant High School around 1909–1910, served as an associate editor of The Mathematics Teacher from 1913 to 1928, and apparently also taught at Columbia. He first wrote this manual in 1924. It has 88 pages that describe the uses of slide rules and explain processes for making calculations and locating the decimal point. Breckenridge also discussed the history and theory of the slide rule before providing worked-out examples and exercises for readers to solve. There are also "advanced problems," material on plane trigonometry and triangles, and problems specific to certain occupations and tasks.
At the back of the book, there are advertisements for K&E's specialty slide rules, the all-plastic Ever-There line of slide rules, and surveying instruments such as transits. This manual was received with MA.321780.
References: Clark McCoy, ed., "The Polyphase Slide Rule No. N4053,"; William E. Breckenridge, The Polyphase Slide Rule, [3rd ed.] (New York: Keuffel & Esser Co., 1944),
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Breckenridge, William E.
place made
United States: New York, New York City
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 20 cm x 13.3 cm; 7 7/8 in x 5 1/4 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Transfer from Interstate Commerce Commission
Rule, Calculating
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Slide Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object