Working slide rule

Discussion in 'Internet Finds' started by davelant, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. davelant

    davelant Member

  2. Thanks! I've been looking for a (working) sliderule for some time now, this one will work great. Too bad you can't buy these things anymore.

  3. keith

    keith Member

  4. Dennis D

    Dennis D Member

    Jeez, I feel so damned old now. I used a slide-rule for my engineering classes in college. :-(
  5. 46rob

    46rob Member

    I was about thirty when the first pocket calculators started appearing. Expensive litttle beasts. I paid nearly thirty dollars (in 1970's money) for one that's greatest acheivement was taking square roots. No memory functions--nada. Still have it btw. Used a slide rule for years. Still have one of them around, too.
  6. cygielski

    cygielski Member

    Heh, I'm a child of the calculator age (still remember the warm glow of the first displays :) ), but my father taught me how to use a slide rule, and I have to say that for some things it's as good as a calculator. But then again, so's my son's toy abacus...
  7. nebeltex

    nebeltex Member

    i have a slide rule but it is a tie pin. it works but is very trick to read. i use new math!
  8. It's shame they don't make them anymore except for specialized functions like navigation (at least I think they do) and of all places in the metal working industry. Companies that sell cutting tools give them away for figuring out the right speeds, feeds, depth of cuts and HP requirements. Plus I am pretty sure that hydraulic equipment manufactures give them out for calculating valve sizes, cylinder requirements etc. Personally I think that the skill of using them should still be taught. For situations where close is good enough they work just fine.

    PS Oh and they still sell them. You just have to go to ebay. Check out the price on this one
  9. wyverns4

    wyverns4 Member

    I can remember making a rudimentary slide rule...

    ...out of paper as a child. I used some instructions from a book to draw the parts, line by line, then cut them out and learned some basics on it. Must have been darn near 30 years ago! BTW I have a couple working slide rules around here some where!:)

  10. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Hard to believe they used such a thing to send a vehicle to the moon.
  11. Jim Nunn

    Jim Nunn Member

    “Personally I think that the skill of using them should still be taught. For situations where close is good enough they work just fine.”

    In the late 60's I worked on the Apollo spacecraft (yes we called it a spacecraft or spaceship) at North American Rockwell. Never saw an engineering calculator everything was done on slide rules with practice you could read too 4 digit precision that’s one part in 1000 good enough to get us to the moon and back.

    Jim Nunn
  12. davelant

    davelant Member

  13. silverw

    silverw Member


    My first calculator could add, sub, mult and div, and could store one "constant". I believe it cost a little more than $100. (about 1970) It's not that long ago that sliderules were more than "close enough!"
    while I was in university, we were not even allowd to use calculators during exams, everything still had to be done with the sliderule. That was about the same point in time when we were introduced to this remarkable new developement called a "microprocessor".... and about the same time that the CEO of IBM predicted that the U.S. Government would prehaps need about 16 computers...(the room-sized ones), ... but that there would NEVER be any use for "personal computers"!!! ... Ooops!
  14. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Yeah............ my first calculator........from Radio Shack I might add, was in 1972. ALL it could do was add, subtract, multiply and divide. I don't think it has any storage at all. Little red dot display, BIG klunky keys. I think it was about 200.00 bucks back then. Teacher would not let me use it in Chemistry, I HAD to learn to use a slide rule...............boy I hated it. Pushing keys was so much faster. WOW you can get one now that will do that and much more, and run off a solar cell for free from the bank........... progess. Heck the computer you got now is WAY more powerful than anything on the space shuttle. Can you imagine what could have happened if PCs were around for Apollo. Even 286s would have made things way better.

  15. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Who remembers the Bomar Brain? How about the HP-35 and it's secret abilities? The TI-56? Core memory? Egads this is getting totally creakey...,

  16. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    The Shuttle processors are pretty smart devices even today - they are designed to work as a von Neuman triplet where 3 processors run the same calculation and the output is compared by another processor. If the outputs don't agree then a further spare processor is switched into the triplet. The idea is to guarantee that the computation is probably correct and error free. The average PC chip would be unrecoverably terminal long before you reach the limits of the environmental envelope of the Shuttle processors.

    No-one would want something driven by a 286 - the chip had a number of major errors in its microcode. The military used Motorola 68000 series chips at about the same time the 286 was around - they wanted reliability.


  17. rowiac

    rowiac Member

    Since there has a been a lot of discussion about sliderules, check out this link. They aren't paper, but interesting nonetheless.

    I don't know how to use them myself...tried it when I was a kid, but since forgot. Scientific calculators were pretty cheap by the time I needed one in the late '70's...and my high school trigonometry teacher let us use them for tests. Saved a lot of work looking stuff up in trig tables.

  18. George

    George Member

    Not a slide rule but in the same general area...



    Scale rulers with different scales on in total six rulers are very good but the
    scales are not what we model builders want. Anybody know if there is an
    excisting one with 1:25, 1:35, 1:48, 1:72, ???? and 1:1 that would fit our
  19. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    There is a freeware scale calculator called Scale Master with which you input the subject size, the scale you want, hit calculate and it gives you the scale. It can also do scale conversion and a variety of other things.

    You can find it at


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