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In Memoriam

Here we remember deceased slide rule collectors who had a public presence in the slide rule world and take note of their contributions. They are listed most recent first.

Peter Holland
d. December 31st 2023

Peter Holland, the well-known German collector tragically passed away on December 31st 2023. Peter was just 68 years old and was the respected foremost expert on the slide rules of German maker: A.W. Faber-Castell. In 2009 he published the 1st edition of his ground-breaking book on all the types, models and scales of this German maker. The book’s popularity was so great it would be reissued 7 times before becoming digital book in 2020 - so far being downloaded over 2300 times. It is the most popular slide rule related book ever published. Peter was an active and social member of the slide rule community. With his partner Gerti he was a regular at the annual International Meetings in Europe/USA and the meetings held by the German and Swiss Collector Groups. He was a Fellow of the OS and published 6 articles in the JOS. In 2010 he was the OS Award winner. Alongside slide rules, Peter had a real talent and passion for photography. He was also an enthusiastic cyclist – each year he would meticulously follow every stage of the Tour de France. The slide rule community has lost an eloquent presenter and a knowledgeable expert. I have also lost a close personal friend – David Rance.

Peter Holland d. Dec. 31, 2023

Walter Shawlee II
1943 - September 4, 2023

Another very active member of our community, Walter Shawlee II, passed away on Monday, Sept. 4, 2023. We all know Walter best for his founding and leadership of Sphere Research Corporation, along with his wife Susan, which was an informative, educational, and entertaining site. In addition to the preservation of slide rules and items related to them with which we are all familiar, Walter’s site was also dedicated to research and development, test equipment metrology and the encouragement of science, technology, engineering, and math in everyone, especially with our youth. The Oughtred Society will publish a tribute to Walter and his significant impact to our community in the Fall Journal. A colorful account of his adventures is outlined in his obituary which appears in the Kelowna, BC homepage entitled Castanet and can be found here: https://www.castanet.net/obituaries/SHAWLEE_II%2C_Walter/29041/

Walter Shawlee II

Peter Alan (Tom) Martin
1936 - January 16, 2023

Tom Martin, Founding Member of the UKSRC and Noted Author and Collector of Alcohol-based Slide Rules and Hydrometers passed away in January of 2023, after a short illness. Tom also published extensively in the Brewing History Journal and several other Brewing-related Websites. A tribute to Tom can also be found in the Spring Journal.

Tom Martin

Bob Koppany
February, 1953 - August, 2022

Bob Koppany, Former Editor of the Journal of the Oughtred Society, Distinguished Frank Lloyd Wright Scholar, and Entertaining Auctioneer at many of our West Coast meetings passed away unexpectedly in August of 2022. A tribute to Bob can be found in our Spring 2023 Journal.

Bob Koppany

David Sweetman
January 30, 1948 - February 15, 2022

David Sweetman died peacefully at home, on Tuesday, February 15, from VCP disease, also known medically as inclusion body myopathy (IBMPFD), the conditions detrimental to his body caused by the mutation of the Valosin Containing Protein gene finally taking its toll. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Donna, who as we all observed numerous times at our California and Las Vegas meetings, took great care to ensure that David could attend, enjoy, and contribute to all of our meetings.

As Donna noted in her message to the OS: “David is off the ventilator and now at peace.”

A more complete obituary for David is included here. --Robert G. De Cesaris.

David Sweetman

Clayton "Clay" Castleberry
April 28, 1927 - July 4, 2021

Clayton “Clay” Castleberry was born in Oklahoma and spent most of his youth in Monroe, Oregon. He served in the US Navy on the light cruiser Portsmouth during the very last phase of WWII, then, utilizing the GI Bill, attended Stanford and Oregon State College, where he graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1950. Clay worked for 30 years for Butte County, retiring as Director of Public Works in 1984.

Clay proceeded to work an additional 27 years, filling in as interim city and county engineer for 13 counties and 22 cities in northern California, and served as the first Director of Public Works for the new towns of Paradise, Truckee, and Elk Grove.

Clay regularly attended our Oughtred Society West Coast Meetings and contributed numerous articles to the Journal.

A more complete obituary for Clay is included here. --Robert G. De Cesaris.

Clay Castleberry

Conrad Schure
April 2, 1930 - July 4, 2020

Conrad Schure passed away on July 4, while in hospice care in Connecticut. Fortunately, in spite of the Covid situation, Conrad did have his family present and according to his son, David, had a huge window with a beautiful view of Long Island Sound with many sailboats on the sound. He was very active with sailing in his youth, so this turned out to be an idyllic place to rest and enjoy the view.

As most of us know, Conrad was instrumental in organizing all of our early OS East Coast Meetings and while in good health, never missed a chance to visit our West Coast Meetings and attend our International Meetings. More recently, he and I spoke by phone whenever I could catch him since he had fallen away from computer use in his later years. Again, we have all lost another dear friend, one of our remaining Oughtred Society elder statesmen. In spite of his illness and time on full dialysis, Conrad did his best to stay active in our hobby and attend Board meetings when he felt well enough, always endeavoring to contribute and add his support to the well-being of the Oughtred Society. We will all miss him dearly. A tribute will appear in the Fall Issue of our Journal. --Robert G. De Cesaris.

Conrad Schure

Rodger Shepherd
1932 – April 16, 2020

Rodger Shepherd passed peacefully at home from cancer, with his family by his side. As a founding and very active member of the Oughtred Society, many of us have known Rodger as an avid and detail-oriented researcher and slide rule collector. In recent years Rodger had suffered from some health issues and his heart arrythmia put him in and out of the hospital. He served as our Journal's first editor and continued as a proofreader right up to the present and was well-known for his careful feedback and detailed critiques. Over the last decade, many of us who attended meetings in Palo Alto and Las Vegas had the wonderful opportunity to bid on items from Rodger's collection, as he carefully listed and sold most of his collection at these Oughtred Society meetings. Last year, Rodger donated seven boxes of research papers related to slide rules, slide rule publications, and some common rules (in excellent condition) to be used for our educational programs.

One of my fondest memories of Rodger occurred at my very first OS meeting in 1993. I arrived prepared to display my entire collection, which consisted primarily of early Pickett slide rules. After carefully laying them out, I had a look at the other tables and immediately felt completely out of my league with all of the other wonderful displays and ongoing table discussions of Napier and Oughtred, and Coggeshall and Routledge rules. In his kind way, Rodger came over to my table, carefully inspected every rule on my table, lending me his expertise on the age and special scales on the rules, and complimented me on my interesting collection. That act of inclusion made a huge difference to this neophyte collector who was feeling quite overwhelmed at that meeting. We will all miss Rodger, his wit and wisdom, and his many contributions to our international community. -- Robert G. De Cesaris.

Rodger Shepherd

Francis Wells
November 10, 1928 – December 2nd, 2019

Francis passed away in Nyon hospital Switzerland on 2nd December 2019 as a result of stroke. Before moving to Switzerland he lived for many years in France and was an authority on French slide rule makers. In 2002 he published with Tom Wyman a ground-breaking article in the JOS (Vol. 11, No. 1) on the French makers Lenoir, Gravet-Lenoir and Tavernier-Gravet. At the time little had ever previously been published about the historical importance of these largely unknown makers.

"I remember meeting Francis in the late 1990s at many of the early International Meetings (IM’s)...He was modest about his considerable slide rule knowledge, a stalwart member of the UKSRC and was always the “perfect gentleman.” --David Rance.

Francis Wells

Daniel Toussaint
~1947 – ~August 13, 2019

Daniel was well-known internationally as the most important French collector of calculating instruments, especially slide rules and planimeters. He was the uncontested expert on Graphoplex and had the largest collection of Graphoplex slide rules in the world. Additional information on Daniel Toussaint has been provided by Ronald van Riet.

Daniel Toussaint

Heinz Joss
July 23, 1932 – May 17, 2019

Heinz Joss was a member of The Oughtred Society (OS), the Slide Rule Collectors Group (RST), the UK Slide Rule Circle (UKSRC) and the Collector's Club of Historical Office Machines Switzerland (SHBS). All things considered Heinz Joss will probably be best remembered as the Swiss grandmaster of the Worshipful Company of Slide Rule Collectors. Additional information on Heinz Joss's extraordinary life has been provided by Hans Kordetzky.

Heinz Joss

Bob Otnes
Feb. 2, 1932 - April 15, 2019

Robert K. Otnes (by Robert De Cesaris)

Distinguished Slide Rule and Calculating Device Expert, Author, Researcher, and Collector; Oughtred Society Co-Founder, Journal of the Oughtred Society Editor
Robert K. Otnes
Robert K. Otnes

Bob Otnes, key founding member of the Oughtred Society, Editor of the Journal of the Oughtred Society, and distinguished expert, author, and historian on the subjects of slide rules and mechanical calculating devices, passed away at his home in Palo Alto on April 15 at the age of 87.

Bob was well-known for his expertise in digital signal processing, especially as applied to aerospace and military defense systems, and had written numerous articles and several textbooks in the field. Many members knew Bob personally from his frequent attendance and strong presence at many Oughtred Society and International Meetings throughout the years. A tour of his collection with Bob recounting fascinating facts and details regarding many of his interesting pieces was the highlight of many of our OS meetings held in Palo Alto. He was the quintessential story teller, entertaining the group with colorful details of the history of a piece and how it had come into his possession. Bob’s commitment to the early growth and development of the Oughtred Society is also well-known to our membership, serving as Editor of the Journal of the Oughtred Society for 18 years, writing numerous authoritative articles, and spearheading many displays and initiatives that generated interest in the collecting and research of calculating devices. Bob’s story begins in the Midwest; he was born in St. Louis and raised in Missouri, North Dakota, and Nebraska, frequently moving with his father’s sales career with Folger’s Coffee. Bob spoke often about the winter he endured in Fargo and the summer he spent laying ties on the Union Pacific Railroad. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics at the University of Nebraska; between his degrees, he spent two years with the US Army at Fort Hood, Texas.Bob came to California in 1958 to assume a position in aerospace engineering, working first for Douglas Aircraft, then The Aerospace Corporation, and Measurement Analysis Corporation, in southern California. While earning his PhD in electrical engineering at UCLA, he also founded and ran his own company, University Software Systems. He arrived in Palo Alto in 1977, working for ESL, TRW, Maxim, Advent Systems, and finally Lockheed Corporation, where he served as a consultant until he was 75. During this time, he also traveled to many countries to teach courses in digital signal processing, authoring and co-authoring numerous papers and books in the field, including Digital Time Series Analysis, published in 1972, and Applied Time Series Analysis, in 1978. In 1988, Bob married Susan Scharf, the employee publications editor at Applied Technology. Six months later, Susan was diagnosed with cancer and over the next five years, they researched the disease together, while Susan endured many treatments. Bob cared for Susan with loving attention to every medical detail, but unfortunately, in May 1993, she lost her battle. After her death, Bob devoted more time to the Oughtred Society, which was now growing and becoming better known to mathematicians, engineers, and collectors of early calculating and scientific instruments. In 2005, in collaboration with Tom Wyman, Bob organized a popular exhibit on the history of calculators for Stanford’s Green Library. He also joined the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, serving on the board for several years. Two of Bob’s early calculators, including an example of the centennial model of Grant’s Calculating Machine, are now part of the Science and Mathematics Collection at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian. A reference to this Grant Calculator can be found at https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1809267 Bob very much loved writing articles about early slide rules, early American adders, and researching their development through scientific instrument catalogs and other references. His specialized collecting interests were many and ran the entire gamut of collecting: early rules made by Keuffel and Esser, American small adders, early copies of logarithmic tables and books on mathematics, unusual planimeters, harmonic analyzers, Arithmometers and pinwheel calculators… just to name some of the major areas that easily come to mind. His presence and influence at our Board Meetings, our regular collector meetings, and at the International Meetings will be very greatly missed. His expertise in research, publication, and dedication to the Society is reflected in over 110 entries into our Journal and in his numerous presentations at International Meetings. Many will instantly recognize Bob’s key interests, unique personality, and vast scope of knowledge in reviewing some of the topics in which he frequently chose to write and present:
  • “American Small Adders”
  • “Notes on Mechanical Fourier Analyzers”
  • “The Curious Slide Rule of Benjamin Bevan”
  • “The Table of Sines and Cosines Employed by Napier”
  • “William Cox and His Contributions to Keuffel and Esser and to Slide Rule Technology”
  • “Log Log Scales”
  • “Review of the Buro-Antik Auction in Koln”
  • “How Briggs Computed Logarithms”
  • “A Golden Age 4071T by Keuffel and Esser”
  • “Keuffel and Esser – 1880 to 1899”
  • “The K&E Universal Slide Rule”
  • “Early French Slide Rules in Various Collections”
  • “The Groesbeck Adder (1870)”
  • “The Lightning Calculator as related to Bonham, Hook, and Pangborn”
  • “A Letter of 1683 from William Oughtred to Elias Allen”
  • “American Planimeters”
  • In addition to our Journal and the International Meeting Proceedings, Bob also published articles with the Scientific Instrument Society and the Early American Industries Association. A person of many interests, Bob loved to read in his book-lined home and greatly enjoyed telling stories, visiting museums and antique shops, doing research at libraries, tracking down rare finds, and sitting under his redwood trees in his backyard. Bob’s service over the years to the Oughtred Society and the international collecting community has been outstanding, representing a labor of love that is without equal. He was always generous in sharing his expertise and this has had a very significant influence in our mutual collecting knowledge. In my discussions with him, Bob introduced me to many new areas of interest that go far beyond slide rules and calculators - planimeters, early logarithmic tables, jetons, verge and fusee pocket watches, music boxes, early clocks…. the list goes on and on. Many of us have lost a very good friend and mentor and we will deeply miss him. We will remember him by the legacy that he has left behind: his publications, his collections, his kindness, his generous friendship and mentorship, and his sharing of knowledge.
    "I am saddened to learn of Bob's passing. We worked closely together to establish the Oughtred Society. He initiated the process of incorporation. He set the high standard of the Journal. He was always generous about sharing his extensive knowledge of slide rules and their history. This is a remarkable legacy." -- Rodger Shepherd

    "Bob Otnes was a great man. I really liked him. I have fond memory of the look on his face after he and Tom reviewed the draft of the [Slide Rule Reference] Manual. He said that they did not find anything that needed changing. He didn't say that they were surprised by this, but I knew that they were." -- Ted Hume

    In 2009 the Oughtred Society published a tribute to Bob Otnes as a supplement to the Fall issue of the Journal that year.

    Bob Otnes Robert K. Otnes seated
    Bob displaying some key pieces
    from his fascinating slide rule
    and mechanical calculator collection.
    Inspecting one of his favorite rules,
    the Keuffel and Esser Universal
    slide rule.
    (Photo from the San Francisco Chronicle)

    William Keith Robinson
    (A.K.A. Blasting Bill)

    July 17, 1926 – August 18, 2018

    William Keith Robinson (A.K.A. Blasting Bill) was born July 17, 1926 in Seattle, Washington. Bill died on August 18, 2018 at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. He was a 1944 graduate of Franklin High School in Seattle, and a 1953 graduate of the University of Washington, with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Statistics. While at the UW he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and a Purple Shield and Oval Club member.

    Bill was in the Army Air Corps during World War II. From 1946 through 1949 he was an Engineer at Boeing in the Vibration and Flutter Unit. During this time he worked on the team designing the wing for the B-47 "Stratojet" bomber. He gave a presentation about this design effort at an annual meeting in Las Vegas and also wrote a paper for the Journal of the Oughtred Society. Bill was an avid collector of slide rules, particularly hyperbolic ones. Through a recommendation from one of his professors, he started his insurance career in Seattle, in December 1949, as a student actuary in the firm of Wendell A. Milliman, Consulting Actuary. Bill then joined Old American Life Company, in Seattle, and was their Actuary for nine years. Over the next twenty-eight years he served a number of insurance companies as the CEO, or COO, or Actuary. In 1987, he returned to Milliman & Robertson as a Consulting Actuary for their Phoenix office. After retiring from M&R in 2000 he worked ten years for the State of Arizona Insurance Department as their Life and Health Actuary, and finally retired in 2010. Over 64 years of continuous employment! He truly enjoyed his work.

    Bill Robinson

    Edwin J. Chamberlain
    1938 – 2017

    David McFarland

    David D. McFarland
    1941 – 2017

    David D. McFarland, Professor Emeritus at UCLA passed away on April 20, 2017. David had three main interests in his work, 1) social inequality and social mobility, 2) Mathematical models of social phenomena including graphical and statistical tools for analyzing data, and 3) Computers as tools, toys and as social phenomena to be studied. We of course knew David as an intrepid slide rule collector and participant at Oughtred Society meetings. We often marveled at David’s spirit, when confined to a wheel chair, he continued to attend meetings with his wife helping him get around. One of is his notable quotes: "A slide rule might work, but there are two potential problems to consider. Both the prospective users and the slide rule itself are short on relevant experience." We all will certainly miss David!

    David McFarland

    Colin Barnes
    1940 – 2016

    Colin Barnes was a collector and founding member of the United Kingdom Slide Rule Circle (UKSRC). He was the inspiration and original editor of Skid Stick, the thrice yearly UKSRC newsletter as well as the annual UKSRC Slide Rule Gazette and someone who has been a part of the international slide rule collecting fraternity for over three decades. In recognition of his contribution to the slide rule collecting world, Colin was a very worthy Fellow of the Oughtred Society and Oughtred Society Award winner in 1996.

    Colin suffered with various health problems for a number of years culminating in his loss of a leg some years ago, which left him wheel-chair bound. This did not daunt him and he and Peter Hopp became a familiar sight at many antique and collector's fairs for many years, both here and abroad. Their adventures as they attended such events were great fun, and his incredible spirit and good humour was an inspiration to all who came into contact with him. He passed away after a relatively short illness.

    Prior to retiring, Colin was the owner of Barnes Models, a company which produced architectural and other display models for the business world including various Government Departments and large international companies. He had formed this company on his return in 1974 with his young family from the British Virgin Islands where he had gone in 1962/3 as 'Chief Engineer' on a retired Trawler; the tale of the Atlantic crossing on this ship being the subject of his short book Kilros.

    Like so many of the slide rule collecting fraternity, Colin thought that his early interest in slide rules was unique and it was via other early collectors such as the late John Knott and Richard Knight that he started getting together with other collectors here and abroad. It was in the early 1990s that he and some of these collectors formed the UKSRC and created links with other slide rule collecting organisations in Holland, Germany as well as the Oughtred Society in the USA. Colin had many friends in the other slide rule collecting organisations. As he became more involved with computers he started writing about slide rules and the idea of Skid Stick and Gazette were born. He was a prolific contributor of slide rule articles on an extraordinarily large range of topics both in the Gazette and in the early issues of the Oughtred Society Journal. He also produced the definitive volume on Otis King slide rules with Tedford K White in the USA.
    Contributed by Peter Hopp

    Colin Barnes Colin Barnes

    Derek Slater
    19?? – 2015

    Derek Slater of Kettering, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom passed away on March 29, 2015. Derek was an active collector and member of UKSRC and the Oughtred Society, Derek died on Sunday, peacefully here with all of his family and he knew that they were there. He had been in failing health for a long time (fibrosis of the lungs) but the final stage of being confined to bed lasted less than a fortnight. A funeral was held on Tuesday April 7 at Warriston Crematorium, 36 Warriston Road, Edinburgh EH7 4HW at 9.30 am. There will be a cheerful celebration of his life in Northamptonshire

    Derek Slater

    Bennie Wayne Tschoerner
    June 18, 1941 - November 2, 2014

    Bennie W. Tschoerner, member of the Ougthred Society, passed away November 2, 2014 at home with his family and his two dogs, Roxie and Izzy, beside him.

    He was born in Taylor, Texas to Ben and Marie Tschoerner on June 18, 1941.

    Bennie was a 1959 graduate of Temple High School and received his B.S. and M.S. with honors in Physics and Math degrees from West Texas State University. He received his certification in Engineering Technology from the University of Illinois and did post graduate work at the University of Wyoming, Bucknell University, Trinity University, and East Texas State University.

    Bennie was a member of Phi Delta Kappa and Sigma Pi Sigma and recipient of the EPDA Grant Award for the State of Texas and Summit Award for Outstanding Commitment to Excellence in Videoconferencing. For those of you old enough to know what a slide rule is, Bennie was also World Slide Rule Champion for many years.

    He won the Slide Rule Competition at the 2010 Winter Meeting of the Oughtred Society in Las Vegas. He also won several times the World championship Slide Rule Competition in Dallas, Texas. He was an Oughtred Society member from 2009 to 2014.

    Bennie's profession in life was a teacher. He taught physics, math, and electronics to those wanting to learn or those having to take his class to graduate. He was also a Product Engineer for Texas Instruments, Senior Electronics System Engineer for E-Systems, and Technology Director for PISD in Paris. He was self-titled Chief Geek for Conconnect.Net and very active in the Texas Distance Learning Association.

    Bennie married Ann Deiterman of Temple on January 26.1962. Together they had two children.

    Bennie loved to ride dirt bikes with his son David at Beavers Bend State Park. In his later years, Bennie enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and giving them ice cream anytime they requested. He learned to play the fiddle and made summer trips with his grandkids to Nebraska for fiddle camp; taking them to Port Aransas to eat at Snoopys and Scoopys; taking them to Branson, Mo to see the shows; taking them tubing on Broken Bow Lake. Bennie also loved gardening, making salsa- each batch hotter than the last, spending time in his fiddle shop with his cat Calico, and listening to bluegrass music.

    Bennie is survived by his wife, Ann; his daughter Carol and husband Tim; his son David and wife Julie; his five grandchildren Caroline, Abbie, Camille, Alex, and Ben; his brother Kenneth James Tschoerner and niece Chelsea; Ginny Brown (who he thought of as a daughter).

    Bennie W. Tschoerner
    Bennie W. Tschoerner

    Tom Wyman
    1928 – March 17, 2014

    Tom Wyman, who served as our first Oughtred Society president from 1997 to 2007, passed away in Palo Alto, CA on March 17, at the age of 86. Tom became suddenly ill on the morning of March 10 from a brain aneurysm and passed away after a short hospital stay. Tom is survived by his wife, Ellen, daughter Susan, son Tom, and four grandchildren.

    We all have known Tom as an expert and mentor in many areas of slide rules research and collecting but he was also very actively involved in many local civic issues and was a very special champion and benefactor of the Palo Alto Libraries. His accomplishments include Oughtred Society past president and author of numerous articles on the subject of slide rules, Palo Also Historical Association, past president, Palo Alto History Museum board member, member Friends of the Palo Alto Library, Palo Alto Plan Advisory Committee, Associate of the School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University, past president and many others too numerous to list here. In 2001, Tom and Ellen were awarded the City of Palo Alto Community Star Award. Shortly after, in 2005, both were also honored with the Avenidas Lifetime Achievement Award for their outstanding community service. Several articles have recently appeared in the Palo Alto newspapers after Tom�s death, honoring Tom and Ellen for all of the drive and effort that they successfully put towards fighting against high rise urbanization of Palo Alto in order to protect its small town environment. One story noted that Tom, the engineer, built a scale model of a proposed 19-story hospital building along with the surrounding 1- and 2- story buildings to highlight the contrast and lack of visual appeal, ..and was successful in getting the proposal overturned. Yes, that certainly sounds like the Tom we all know!

    Tom moved to Palo Alto from a mining community in Tennessee in 1936. He grew up in Palo Alto attending the local elementary and middle schools and Palo Alto High School. After studying at San Jose State for two years, Tom joined the US Navy, touring the Pacific on the Lexington. Upon his return he completed his education at Stanford University where he studied mining engineering and geology. After spending some time in mining, Tom went on to work in the oil fields in Texas, solidly learning that business and eventually became an oil executive for Chevron, where he worked for 42 years. He and Ellen married in 1955, and in 1960 was transferred to the Alaskan oil fields, then to San Francisco, and finally back to Palo Alto in 1964 where they raised their son and daughter. Both Tom and Ellen share a love of California 'Arts and Craft' ceramic tile made from 1910 through 1935 and many examples can be found displayed throughout their home.

    Tom loved writing articles about rules and collecting examples especially from two of his favorite areas: early boxwood slide rules and rules that were used in the textile industry. His presence and influence at our Board Meetings, our regular collector meetings, and at the International Meetings will be very greatly missed. One of the newspaper articles noted that Tom�s interest in slide rule collecting was spurred by finding a particularly elaborate set of rules in a bombed out shipping complex in Tokyo Bay during World War II, a new and interesting fact that was certainly not known to me. His expertise in research and publication is reflected in his over 80 entries into our Journal. We will miss him very keenly and we have certainly all lost a good friend and mentor. To end this tribute on a happy note as Tom would certainly want, we can take comfort in knowing that we can continue to enjoy his company even now, given the huge legacy that he has left with us by remembering his publications, generous friendship, and his sharing of research and knowledge.

    Tom Wyman

    Alex E.S. Green
    1920 – March 12, 2014

    Professor Emeritus Alex E. S. Green, a noted member of the University of Florida community, passed away on March 12, 2014. He was 94. Green became a graduate research professor at UF in 1963, where he headed the Interdisciplinary Center for Aeronomy and Atmospheric Sciences. However, after the oil crisis in 1973, his focus turned to energy alternatives; his last work at the university involved converting biomass and waste to energy using special processes.
    But his contributions spanned a variety of topics throughout his career. Before joining the UF faculty, Green had been a gunnery evaluation specialist and an operations analyst for the Army Air Force during World War II. He had developed specialized slide rules to solve technical issues faced by B-29 bombing raids, leading to his participation in one of the most dangerous B-29 missions that found the missing Japanese fleet, including the battleship Yamato. He remained an enthusiast of slide rules, making numerous presentations to various audiences around the world, and was a long-time member of the Oughtred Society. He was recognized for his contributions as an OS Fellowship recipient from 1992-2005.

    Aside from his contributions to the WWII effort, he participated in many other pursuits: He initiated the Physics PhD program at Florida State University, worked in industry, and served on the National Coal Council. More recently, in 1996, he patented an invention that provided on-site waste to energy, which would mean savings on waste transport costs.
    Green's career encompassed 17 books, over 400 publications, and numerous patents and awards. His impact on the world around him will not be forgotten. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Freda Green, of Gainesville, son Bruce Green of Micanopy, Deborah Green of Orlando, Marcia Green and Tammy Gordon of Gainesville. Alex is predeceased by his daughter Linda Green Proctor.
    (Written by friend)

    Alex E.S. Green

    John Bakken Mosand
    1935 – 2013

    Trondheim, Norway. Fellow of the Oughtred Society. Advanced collector and researcher of Aristo slide rules, frequent contributor to the Journal of the Oughtred Society and the Bulletin. Proofread the ISRM's Slide Rule Terms and Encyclopedia. Retired architect. Education: Architecture, Art history, Graphic design. Played 12 years as a professional oboist with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Appeared extensively in chamber music concerts. He writes: "My favorite slide rule? That might be the one I worked with in my High School and University days and in my profession until I bought my first calculator. It is a pocket version of the Faber-Castell Darmstadt."

    John Mosand

    IJzebrand Schuitema
    May 31, 1929 – June 17, 2013

    IJzebrand was born in Usquert, the Netherlands. He studied Civil Engineering at the Technical University of Delft. In his professional life he was involved in many building projects, among which the metro tunnel under the river Maas in Rotterdam. IJzebrand was one of the very first slide rule collectors in the late 1980's. Over many years he built a collection of over 3000 slide rules, which he donated in 2008 to the Arithmeum in Bonn: "die Sammlung Schuitema". IJzebrand researched his slide rules extensively in libraries, museums and patent offices, but his preferred method was by interviewing designers and makers of special slide rules, or their surviving family, so-called "oral history". He shared his knowledge with both fellow collectors and the general public via many publications (at least 15 slide rule articles in the Journal of the Oughtred Society). He also published four books on slide rules, of which "Calculating on Slide Rule and Disc (2000) and "The Slide Rule, Technical Cultural Heritage" (2001) contain a wealth of knowledge for slide rule collectors. IJzebrand was a Fellow of the Oughtred Society, holder of the Oughtred Society Award (1995), and recipient of the Wolfgang-Paul-Medaille of the University of Bonn (2008). IJzebrand will be remembered by his friends for his creativity, energy, persistence, enthusiasm and knowledge.

    IJzebrand Schuitema

    Dieter von Jezierski
    1927 – June 17, 2013

    Stein, Germany. Collector/Author. Fellow of the Oughtred Society. Honorary member of UKSRC. Oughtred Society Award 1997. Expert on Faber-Castell slide rules; retired long time employee of Faber-Castell; frequent attendee of the Society's west coast meeting. In 1977 wrote and published Slide Rules: Journey Through Three Centuries, the first modern book on the history of slide rules. Author of more than 30 articles in JOS, Gazette, Skid Stick and RST1997. recipient of the Oughtred Society Hall of Fame. Picture is from an IM 2001 meeting in Munich, Germany.

    Dieter von Jezierski

    Donald Black
    ???? – 2012

    Helped publish the Journal of the Oughtred Society from the founding of the OS until 2011.

    Bernard Carter Boykin
    1921 – May 12, 2011

    Born in Ruxton, Maryland. He earned a BS degrees in Chemistry from Williams College in 1942/43 and another in Chemical Engineering from John Hopkins University in 1954. During World War II he was a radar officer in the United States Navy. Bernard manufactured the Boykin RotaRule from his home in Ruxton, Maryland. His design was started in 1957, with manufacturing commencing in the early 60's. Though based on the expired patent of Dempster's RotaRule, last built in 1948, Boykin improved the slide rule with better materials and scale arrangements. About 200 units were sold prior to 1973. He owned Boykin Electro Tech and in 1991 founded the Whitby/Brewer (Yacht) Association. As of 2009 he was active at age 85 and enjoyed sailing with his wife Carolyn. Bernard died of leukemia at age 89. In addition to his wife, Mr. Boykin is survived by three daughters, Carol Boykin of Ruxton, Betsy Boykin of Bolton Hill and Bobbie Boykin of Larchmont, N.Y.; and two grandsons.

    Bernard Carter Boykin

    Wayne E. Feely, PhD
    May 24, 1931 - January 27, 2011

    Of Rydal, Pennsylvania. Member of the Oughtred Society and contributor to the JOS. Wayne was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York where he graduated from high school. He was a graduate of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University in Brooklyn and received his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Rochester in 1957. He served in the United States Army, being honorably discharged in 1962 after reaching the rank of First Lieutenant in the Chemical Corps. Wayne worked for 36 years as a research chemist for Rohm and Haas, a multi-national chemicals manufacturing company in Pennsylvania, until his retirement in the early 1990's. He accumulated 21 U.S. Patents. Wayne is best known amongst slide rule collectors for his expertise on Fuller and Thacher cylindical slide rules. Wayne outlived his wife Jeanette, They had 3 children, Bennett, Susan and Janet and two step-sons Chuck and Chris, and at his death at age 79, eight grandchildren.


    Harold (Dave) David Rueb
    1939 - 2009

    Dave was an avid slide rule collector and had one of the largest K&E collections. He worked as a structural engineer for 40 years, and for 37 years as the owner of H.D. Rueb Structural Engineer. Obtained his Architectural Engineering Degree at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo ('61). Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. Upon graduation, he served our country as a Captain of the Civil Engineering Squadron in the U.S. Air Force ('62-'68). Dave was stationed at Duluth AFB in Minnesota and Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska. Master's Degree in Structural Engineering at UC Berkeley ('69). Dave engineered over 5,000 buildings in 10 states, including churches, public schools, office buildings, retirement centers, country clubs, shopping centers, commercial buildings, medical buildings and private residences. A few examples of his projects included the Alhambra High School, Longs Drug Stores and the prison retrofit at Alcatraz Island. He is survived by his wife Leslie Marie (Olson) Rueb and three sons.

    Harold David Rueb Click photo to see Dave's slide rule display

    Osborne Ingle Price
    September 30, 1930 – June 3, 2008

    Osborne was one of the original founders of the Oughtred Society that first met together in 1991. As the publicity director, he helped to expand the membership in its early years. The list of American slide rule patents was one of his many contributions to the slide rule community. He studied mechanical engineering at the Stevens Institute in Hoboken, NJ, earning his degree in 1955. After a stint in the U.S. Navy he ran his father's business, Magnetic Devices, then relocated to Los Altos, CA. He is survived by his wife Elfried in San Jose, CA.

    Osborne Price

    John Prince
    November 13, 1941 – December 6, 2005

    John specialized in collecting K&E rules, with a strong interest in Pickett as well. In 2002, John described how he started with slide rules in 1960: "I used a K&E 4181-3 ; we were mandated to use either a 4081-3 or 4181-3 in our freshman slide rule class. I chose the cheaper (very important to a married 18 year old) rule and never regretted it despite the dire predictions from some faculty about dimensional stability and durability. I never really needed a more complex rule while working in graduate school as an electrical engineer." [ISRG, message 15929]

    John Prince

    Dick Schwartzer
    March 5, 1933 – March 11, 2005

    Dick operated The Slide Rule Emporium, the major source for new-in-box Pickett slide rules. Dick was a friend to many.

    Dick Schwartzer

    Joe Levine
    December 19, 1948 – January 25, 2005

    Joe was a regular contributor to the ISRG list from its beginnings, with the handle "JoeDentist," perhaps best known for his Schmendrolog April Fools' Day hoax.


    Herman van Herwijnen
    October 15, 1929 – August 8, 2004

    Herman was a prominent member of the Dutch Circle of Slide Rule Collectors. His major work was a CD database with over 5000 slide rules cataloged (including images). In addition he co-authored the book Calculating on Slide Rule and Disc and published many times in the Journal of the Oughtred Society. He was also a seller of slide rules.

    Herman van Herwijnen
    Click for larger picture

    Michael O'Leary
    November 27, 1951 – July 19, 2003

    Michael's slide rule accomplishments ranged from development of the K&E and Pickett master XREF spreadsheets, to moderating the ISRG discussion list, to writing for the Journal of the Oughtred Society. Michael corresponded with many collectors around the world.

    Michael O'Leary

    Picture credits: Picture credits: Robinson, from ISRM website, Schwartzer and Prince, from newspaper obituaries; van Herwijnen, from Otto van Poelje; O'Leary, from Jim Cerny.


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    last modified April 29, 2024