This non-commercial website was a novel 60th birthday present from Ros. But the site name is thanks to another family member - our daughter Siân. When asked as a teenager what I did, she often told her friends: “My Dad? Oh, he collects expensive sticks of wood!”
When the latest PC/tablet is out-of-date in 6 months it may come as a surprise that the Englishman in the image, the Rev. William Oughtred (1575-1660), invented a calculator around 1621 that would be in continual daily use for nigh on the next 400 years. My hobby is collecting and writing about this analogue calculating wonder - the SLIDE RULE. The analogue concept behind the slide rule was successfully adopted and adapted by many trades and professions. Being able to use such an elegant instrument from a bygone age is still a licensing condition private and commercial pilots have to meet.
This site is a virtual “display cabinet” for my collection (as it gets uploaded) of slide rules, slide charts and the odd mechanical calculating aid plus a “bookshelf” for my published articles - enjoy browsing.
Anyone needing a “memory jogger” or is just intrigued how such analogue calculators of the past worked, the International Slide Rule Museum has a richly illustrated “How To Use The Slide Rule” teach yourself course or download a self-running introduction course with synchronised audio I digitalised. Afterwards try out some test calculations with Derek Ross’ online simulation of a Pickett N909-ES slide rule. If all this gets you thinking about starting your own collection then the UKSRC/OS “Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Slide Rules” can be a great help.
For any educators looking for maths related inspiration & teaching aids/material then you need to look no further than Nicola Marras’ website. But if you are just looking for reference books/publications on slide rules try one of these: List 1 or List 2.
This supplemental batch may sound eclectic! The most endearing quality of the slide rule/slide chart is its endless adaptability. It sounds incongruous but there are many parallels between music & mathematics. Although rare, acoustic slide rules/charts have become a major niche of my collection. Click HERE to see my many music examples.
Sadly again this year The International Meeting of Collectors and Researchers of Slide Rules and other Historic Computing Instruments (IM2021) will be just an online ZOOM meeting. The theme is fittingly: Computing Instruments Collecting in Pandemic Times. For the full meeting details see: www.im2021.org .
Premièred at the December 6th UKSRC Zoom meeting the popular book by Peter Holland on the slide rules made by A.W. Faber and A.W. Faber-Castell has gone digital. The 8th Edition is now free to download from here …
The 2020 bumper & attractively priced edition of the UKSRC’s Gazette is out. Ordering (payment via PayPal) could not be simpler via the UKSRC subscription ordering webpage.
Did you know a special model exists for each house of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry? Depending on your Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin affiliations select your Harry Potter inspired sorcerous slide rule simulation from Robert Wolf’s website ...
A milestone I expected to reach earlier. It takes ages to catalogue & capture conscientiously all the details. The upside is that I am learning a lot about my collection! The1000th entry was fittingly an unusual & extremely rare KLOOS disc for heavy-duty steel constructions
ALRO expert Otto van Poelje has published: The ALRO Catalogue. This Dutch maker is famous for its circular models where the lid doubles as a desk stand. The 200+ page hardback book has every calculating disc, slide rule & slide chart ever made by ALRO - all are meticulously catalogued & photographed. Attractively priced at Euro 35 (excl. P&P) order your copy online here ...
Generically a slide rule can solve complex calculations but CANNOT do simple arithmetic. A rare and unusual exception is the newest addition to the collection - a System Korte slide rule that CAN add and subtract!
Ace Hoffman has developed an awesome simulation of a linear, round, concentric and drum slide rule. From Ace’s Homepage download a function-rich version for your phone, tablet or desktop.
Lawrence made the only known slide rule considered so vital to the WWII effort that the UK & US governments had it classified - based on research from MIT it calculated radar antenna beam patterns, beam width, gain, etc.
|A.W. Faber-Castell||4/92, 8/13, 8/14, 8/15 & 51/88|
|AHREND (Wed. J. Ahrend & Zoon)||642T, 649, 651, 690, 696, 698, 699 & 701|
|Albert Martz||Cursor for pocket System Frank|
|ALRO (All-Round)||Cobol Analyser, HaTex, Truck Tyres & ST 9 + any large desktop|
|AWF (Ausschuss fuer Wirtschaftliche Fertigung)||SR703, SR705-709, & SR754|
|Controller Calculator KG||200 R|
|DARGUE Bros. Ltd. / Simplon||Sub-Ivory SR-1 & SR-4 + Honduras SD10, WR-2A, WR-5 & WR-7|
|Engineering Instruments Inc.||Either circular “vinylite” model|
|Fearns Calculators||Barber Shop Harmony Calculator|
|Fowler||Nautical, Artillery, Kearns & Mackay|
|Inglis||any FLASH RECKONER|
|ITAB (Internationaler Tabellenverlag)||Multicalor Flachheizkorper & Styropor-Vollwarmeschutz|
|IWA – F. Riehle GmbH & Co KG||15489 Harmonik|
|Johann Faber||180/080, 180/082, 9203, 9204 & 9204|
|Keuffel & Esser (K&E)||4081-3 Braille version|
|KOSMOS||Book: "De Rekenliniaal" - 11th & 12th Editions|
|L&C Hardtmuth / Classic||10" Series III|
|Lawrence Engineering Services||S-M (C.V. Ore) & Exposure (MIT)|
|LOGA||TF, T150, T300, O2, Terminator & Baumaan lighting|
|Nestler||Cursor/runner for 24b (100cm), RP 75, Kreisrechner & Disc-O-Lator|
|S.R.&S.E. (Slide Rule & Scale Eng. Co.)||- any -|
|Systeem Matthijssen||- any -|
|Unique||Norman, Perfectus, Dial & Junior|