Report of the
Oughtred Society 2019 Annual Meeting
Las Vegas, Nevada
The 2019 Oughtred Society annual meeting, held Saturday April 20, 2019 in Las Vegas at the National Atomic Testing Museum, was a great success.
Hundreds of slide rules were on display. Attendees came from New England to Hawaii, as well as Robert Adams from Australia and Peter Holland from Germany.
Entering the conference room of the museum, attendees were given a set of three booklets as gifts. Two were reprints of books by Edwin Thatcher about his Cylindrical Slide Rule Calculating Instrument, the first published in 1892 and the second in 1914. The third door gift was a tribute to Bob Otnes which was published by the Society in 2009 and now serves as a commemoration of his life, having passed away just last week. A moment of silence was also observed for Bob.
Photo: Door gifts for attendees of the 2019 Oughtred Society meeting.
Peter Holland announced the upcoming IM2019 meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, in September and did a presentation about the interesting and odd German Logomat slide rules.
Photo: Hundreds of slide rules on display!
Marion Moon did a presentation about the Dixon Hyp-Log slide rule, beautifully crafted in 1855.
Photo: Marion Moon (left) discussing the Hyp-Log slide rule (right; click for larger view).
Additional presentations at the 2019 OS/LV meeting included a talk by Bob Koppany about Roebling and Sons, which *included* a free antique slide rule for all attendees!
Photo: Roebling Elevator Rope Calculator Including front and back of sleeve (click for larger view)).
Because of the unusual confluence of recently-appearing collections, there were literally boxes of slide rules that could be traded, bought, sold, auctioned, or even practically given away! It was a very good year to attend if you were a beginning slide rule collector! In addition many high end and rare slide rules were bought and sold.
Two awards were presented, one to David Sweetman, who attended most of the day and livened the meeting up considerably with his sharp presence of mind (if not of body). David's award was for his admirable past work as editor of the OS journal as well as other OS work over the years. David was also given an antique cylindrical Curta calculating device. Clark McCoy, the OS treasurer, also received special recognition, and reported that the society's membership and finances are all doing well.
There were also general discussions about trying to educate more people about the historic use of slide rules in science, math and engineering.
Lively discussions continued from dinner Friday, through lunch on Saturday, and through dinner Saturday night, and everyone left looking forward to IM2019 (if they can make it to Holland) in September, and to IM2020 especially, which will be held somewhere in the Northeast U.S., some time in the fall, and will include the 2020 annual meeting of the Oughtred Society.
During the short business meeting, Bob DeCesaris and other directors of the Oughtred Society were re-elected.
The meeting was a great success and many new friends were made as well as old acquaintances renewed!
Photo: The very photogenic Colossus Spiral Slide Rule (plus two close-ups):
(All photos by Ace Hoffman)