Instructions for Pickett Student Slide Rules

Instructions for Pickett Student Slide Rules

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Maurice L. Hartung, associate professor of the teaching of mathematics at the University of Chicago, wrote this sixteen-page pamphlet, How to Use Basic Slide Rules in 3 Easy Steps for Pickett & Eckel, a slide rule manufacturer established in Chicago in the late 1940s. Hartung advocated for the adoption of Pickett slide rules in schools, and he wrote several instruction manuals that the company reprinted and distributed through the 1960s.
The pamphlet uses drawings of slide rules and numerous "call-out" text boxes to explain how students could use the instrument's C and D scales to multiply and divide. The second part of the pamphlet explains the CI scale ("I" stands for "inverse"), provides instructions for finding squares and square roots with the A and B scales, and discusses the role of the K scale in finding cubes and cube roots. The third and final section of the pamphlet addresses logarithmic and trigonometric functions, which were found with the L, S, and T scales.
This copy was packaged with 1991.0445.02; of the scales explained in the instructions, this instrument lacked only the S and T scales for sines and tangents. If sold separately, the booklet would have cost 35 cents. The back of the pamphlet is marked: Pickett Inc.; Chicago 5 • SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA. It is also marked: Form M-20. The location and name of the company suggest the pamphlet was printed after 1964.
Reference: International Slide Rule Museum, "Pickett All-Metal Slide Rules," This site provides a scan of another copy of this pamphlet,
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
after 1964
Pickett Industries
Hartung, Maurice L.
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 22 cm x 14 cm; 8 21/32 in x 5 1/2 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Richard R. Lombardi
Rule, Calculating
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Slide Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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