[A slide rule]

Slide rules and other mathematical instruments


A circular sliderule The saying that a prophet has no honour in his own country is well exemplified in the case of the Slide Rule and its invention. For many years this useful instrument was greatly undervalued in England, the country in which it was invented, and even as late as 1850 it was very little known. Yet as De Morgan has put it "for a few shillings most persons might put as much power of calculation in their pockets many hundred times as contained in their heads and the use of this instrument is attainable without any knowledge of the properties of logarithms on which principle it depends.
R. T. Gunther, Historic Instruments for the Advancement of Science Oxford, (1925)

* Slide Rules


* Downloads

There are some goodies for you to download. This includes a selection of cut-out and keep slide rules I've designed, some articles and other information.

* Logarithms

John Napier invented the logarithm and published his Cannon in 1614. Have a look at a page from his original tables or read his introduction ([PS]). Interestingly John Napier invented many other aids to calculation. Perhaps the most famous of these are his bones. When laid out in the correct manner they can be used as a set of multiplication tables.

* Sectors

A sector is a mathematical instrument consisting of two hinged arms with various scales. Tell me more.

[A sector](35K)

* Other items of interest

The following are either items I'm hosting or external links.

If you found this interesting mail me.

[Slide rule page] [Chris Sangwin]
Copyright © 2002 Chris Sangwin.