Oughtred Society  
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Slide Rule Info:
History of SRs
Beginners Guide
OS SR Ref. Manual
Links Library
SR Resources
Patent Data
Slide Rule Fun

SRs of the
   Major Makers

Classic SRs
Rare SRs
Long Scale SRs
Hyperbolic SRs
Electro SRs
Stadia SRs
Chemical SRs

About the OS:
In Memoriam
Archive of Collections
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Resources - Information Available

Slide Rule Seminar

Download this presentation (3MB PDF) consisting of over 55 slides on:

How To Use the Slide Rule

This is an ideal teaching tool for displaying in front of a class or for individual self-study. Brought to you by the International Slide Rule Museum and the Oughtred Society.

  • OS Numeracy Card Instructions (revE)
    "NUMERACY" has sometimes been defined as the quantitative version of "literacy", leaving the burden of definition to that older term. Many definitions of Numeracy have been created, from "ability to do arithmetic", or "handling a 4-function calculator", up to the more mathematical/cultural-oriented:

    "Numeracy is about grasping numbers and units, their names, values, and calculations." The Oughtred Society (OS) Numeracy Card can be used as an aid to remember the names of numbers by their values, as measurement tool for units of length, and as a slide rule for basic calculations. The OS Numeracy Card is a handy companion of credit-card size, a perfect fit to carry along in the wallet at all times.

Online Courses
  • How Slide Rules Helped Win the War
    This online course on slide rules contains video lectures and reading materials, with links to other resources. The course will teach you how slide rules operate, how to use a slide rule, and some information on related topics. Dr. Alex E.S. Green is the instructor, Julio C. Castro designed the online course.

Slide Rule Books, Manuals and Publications
  • Meilensteine der Rechentechnik by Herbert Bruderer is a new publication (in German) giving an in-depth history of mathematics and computer science including descriptions of many historical devices used for calculations. An extensive review is given by the Mathematical Association of America. Book ordering information can be found from de Gruyter Oldenbourg, Berlin/Boston

  • Beginner's Guide to Collecting Slide Rules (1.54Mb PDF) is a new "on-line" publication on this website. It contains the following chapters:
    - Why collect slide rules?
    - What slide rules to collect?
    - What makes a slide rule valuable?
    - Where to buy slide rules?
    - How to find more information about slide rules?
    - Slide rules that are popular with collectors.
    The last chapter is a list of 97 suggested slide rules in 4 categories -- Inexpensive, Medium priced, Higher priced, Highest priced. Thumbnail images appear in the 4 categories above and are clickable to view a detailed image with description for each rule.
    Beginners Guide was created by Ted Hume and Rod Lovett.

  • The Oughtred Society Slide Rule Reference Manual
    The Oughtred Society is pleased to present this new document for all to use. With this document, the Oughtred Society wishes to introduce itself and provide a service to the great numbers of slide rule enthusiasts, collectors, and users with whom the Society is not currently acquainted. In doing this, the Society extends an invitation to all to join us in this fascinating pursuit. This online document, The Oughtred Society Slide Rule Reference Manual, presents what its title suggests, complete information about slide rules. In its seventeen chapters, with 103 pages and 114 photographs, it contains information of all types, from What Is a Slide Rule and How It Works, to History, to Common and Less Common Types, to How to Use a Slide Rule, to Major Makers and Some of Their Common Models, to Books and Manuals, to Cleaning and Care, to Slide Rules on the Internet, to Collecting ... and more.

  • Books, Manuals, and Articles
    This chapter from the All About Slide Rules book is a reference list containing 75 books and manuals, compiled by David Sweetman.

  • ISRM Libraries - Free Downloads of Books and Manuals
    Over 500 titles of text and materials are available from International Slide Rule Museum . Library galleries are organized by catagory, country or manufacturer: General (including Circular and Aviation models), Books (out of print), United States, Russia/China, Japan, British/Australia, Europe/South America, Pickett, Post (and Hemmi), Keuffel & Esser, Dietzgen,and Retail Catalogs. Many scanned and archived from Oughtred Society members from around the world.
    Mike Konshak, the ISRM curator, is an active member of the Oughtred Society.

  • K&E Salisbury Products Division Slide Rules
    A personal story by former K&E Production Manager and Plant Manager, Joseph L. Soper, including many of the details of the latter years of K+E's slide rule manufacturing and production. There are 102 photos shown within the 145 pages of this book.

  • The United Kingdom Slide Rule Circle (UKSRC) has more than 200 reprints available at low cost. See the List of Reprints [Acrobat PDF document]. To order, Contact the UKSRC by e-mail at "peter.hopp@clara.co.uk". Or visit the UKSRC's Web site.

  • Books and Manuals are available from slide rule dealers and on eBay from time to, and as scans for free download. See, variously, these sources:
  • The German Slide Rule Group (Rechenschieber-Sammler-Treffen) maintains a recommended book list on their RST Web site.

  • The Dutch Circle of Slide Rule Collectors maintains a recommended book list on their Circle Web site.

Recent specialized books about slide rules:
    Click title to see cover

  • The ALRO Catalogue, by Otto van Poelje. 44 Euro (about $47) including shipping to anywhere in the world. For ordering and more in information please click here
  • Joint Slide Rules, by Peter Hopp. 19.85 GBP (about $31.70) plus 3.42 GBP (about $5.50) shipping from the UK to USA, Buy at www.ebay.co.uk
  • Pocket Watch Slide Rules, by Peter Hopp. $39.95 plus $6.00 shipping from Astragal Press in the USA to USA addresses.
  • Otis King Calculators, a History of Production 1920-1977, by Colin Barnes and Tedford White. 18 GBP (about $29.39) plus 6.75 GBP (about $11.02) shipping from the UK to USA. Contact Colin Barnes. colinabarnes "a t" talktalk.net
  • Rechenschieber--Slide Rules A.W.Faber--A.W.Faber-Castell, by Peter Holland. 15 Euro (about $20.77) shipping to USA included from Peter Holland. pholland "a t" t-online.de
  • Collectanea de Logarithmis, by Klaus Kühn. EURO 50 ( about $70). For more than ten years Klaus Kühn has studied the history of logarithms and logarithmic tables. At the IM2013 meeting in Berlin he presented the results of his study, packaged in a tool called Collectanea de Logarithmis (Collected Works Concerning Logarithms). The tool gives access to thousands of articles, books, tables and other publications on history of the invention, calculations, tabulations and applications of logarithms from mediaeval times until the present - 2014 being the quadri-centennial anniversary of Napier's first book on the logarithm, Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio. The tool consists of a DVD with a USB-stick protection "dongle", giving access to an online database.

Article References

Rod Lovett maintains a searchable database of the slide rule literature published in:

  • The Oughtred Society's Journal of the Oughtred Society.
  • The United Kingdom Slide Rule Circle's Skid Stick and Slide Rule Gazette
  • Proceedings of the International Meetings of Slide Rule Collectors,

Hyperbolic Slide Rules

Bill Robinson has been continually updating this significant work from when it was first published in a 2005 Oughtred Society Journal. In addition to the spreadsheet format below, a new gallery devoted to Hyperbolic Slide Rules has been created.

Long Scale Slide Rules

Ed Chanberlain has been interested in long scale slide rules for many years and has compiled a list devoted to Long Scale Slide Rules

Why Slide Rules Work

Mathematical Foundations of the Slide Rule, by Professor Joe Pasquale, University of California, San Diego

Abstract: We present a mathematical principle that provides a precise formulation for the types of functions a slide rule can be designed to calculate. In addition to providing the mathematical foundations for how and why a slide rule works, this principle establishes its mathematical possibilities and limits. We also present the theory of how slide rule scales are constructed.

Slide Rule Prices

Rod Lovett maintains a searchable database of eBay slide rules sales from October, 1999, to present.

Slide Rule Web Sites

The Oughtred Society Web site's Links Library has a comprehensive, up-to-date list of Web sites on slide rules and other calculating instruments.

Slide Rule Dealers

Other Slide Rule Information

Free Download: The Oughtred Society Slide Rule Reference Manual

Chapter Titles:
  • What is a Slide Rule
  • How a Slide Rule Works
  • History of the Slide Rule
  • Common Types of Slide Rules
  • Less Common Types
  • Learning Your Way Around a Slide Rule
  • Basic Calculations
  • Advanced Calculations
  • Tricks and Time Savers
  • 24 Common Scales and Their Functions
  • Advanced Features
  • Special Applications
  • Major Companies and Some of Their Common Models
  • Books, Manuals, and Articles
  • Cleaning and Care
  • Slide Rules on the Internet
  • Collecting


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    last modified June 16, 2024