Last Updated: 1/16/21
Pickett Model 3 added to gallery, some of its new indices added to primer.
DISCLAIMER: I do not sell slide
rules or slide rule parts.
This page is dedicated to my collection of slide rules (moderate in size,
fairly low in value), plus a few helpful links for those who want to find out
more about the playful little things, or where to buy one. The picture to
the right is me with some of my slide rules, as taken by Columbus Dispatch
photographer Neal C. Lauron. The Dispatch did a piece on "Dinosaur
Technology" in the business section on July 5, 1999, and I was interviewed as
a local source on slide rules. And yes, I did shave two hours before the
photo was taken...something about the digital camera apparently picked up on
an otherwise undetectable two hours' growth of beard.
Few things in history have become so completely and quickly obsolete as the
slide rule, replaced by the electronic calculator and portable computer.
Even abacuses are still used in some circles, but everyone who would have
used a slide rule now uses an electronic calculator instead. Well, everyone
but collectors and diehards. :) Thing is, slide rules aren't inferior to
electronic calculators in all respects, and there's certain things a
slide rule might even help students with, such as estimation and order of
magnitude. Unfortunately, because the demise of the slide rule was so rapid
(less than ten years, really), and because no one thought to do comparative
research at the time (not that I've been able to find), it's impossible to
really say if slipsticks are better at helping knowledge stick. Of course,
if you can point me to a scholarly study, I'd be grateful (physics education
research is my area of study in "real life").
My personal collection, which continues to grow very slowly. Someday I'll
get around to taking fresh pictures of all of them, but for now most are the
result of sticking rules on a scanner in the 1990s.
Pickett Model 3 in Long Rules.
While the HP Museum below gives some basics on slide rule operation and has
links to other pages with such information, my page seems to show up pretty
high in search engine results, so I get the occasional "how do they work?"
questions. This straight-text file gives a short lesson on how to use the
more common slide rule functions. It does not, however, explain the math
involved...if you don't know what a logarithm is, or what it means to take
something to the 3/2 power, consult a mathematics text. :)
Updated 1/16/21 with CF/M and Co scales. Should probably go back and tighten
the file up at some point....
Slide Rule Links
Disclaimer: link rot sets in pretty fast for some of these, if you know of
replaecment links for any now-dead ones, or have suggestions, please let me
Domain name notwithstanding, this page is in English. Giovanni Breda has a
truly extensive collection.
A set of slides in PDF form prepared by the Oughtred Society, covering the
history of slide rules and some basics of their use.
A VERY cool page with all sorts of explanations of how sliderules work and
pictures of various types, including circular and cylindrical. Recently
moved to a new site and upgraded. No frames, just nice use of tables.
I've changed the link to point directly at the section on slide rules and
their history, click here to visit the
main HP Museum page.
Another museum site, this devoted specifically to slide rules rather than
calculating machines in general. It also has a really nice glossary of
terms, including scales, parts, and company names all in one place.
Another slide rule sales/trade site, carrying both like-new rules and more
"lived-in" rules. Has a LOT of images, a good resource even if you're
just looking around. I don't really trade in rules myself, so I can't give
any estimates of the value of your rule, but Crate should have some idea.
Among other resources on this page is a nearly complete "Teach Yourself The
Slide Rule" manual that Manley has scanned in. Useful if you find my primer
to be somewhat lacking.
A whole bunch of simulated slide rules! As of July 18, 2017, it includes:
Pickett N909-ES, Pickett N3-T, Pickett N904-T, Pickett N525-ES, Pickett
N4-ES, Pickett 160-ES Microline, Pickett N600-ES.
Concise is still in operation, in Japan at least, and they have products like
the 300B circular rule for sale. (Moved to a new domain since last time I
updated the links.)
This presents itself as the "complete authoritative listing of all Hemmi
slide rules ever made."