Todd Tolhurst: Slide Rules: Faber

Faber Castell Slide Rules Faber Castell rules were manufactured predominantly in Germany, and they were clearly the dominant European slide rule maker. Faber rules are considered by many slide rule enthusiasts as among the best ever made. They sold a wide range of models, with many of their early offerings made of Swiss pearwood or boxwood with celluloid facings. Later rules were made out of Geroplast their name for plastic and featured some of the most useful and advanced features ever seen on slide rules. Always the innovator, Faber was often copied but rarely duplicated by other manufacturers. Many of their rules have survived very well to this day, and remain among the most sought after by collectors. It is also a “self-documenting” rule, as each scale has an example on the far right of what the scale represents and how to use it. You might want to compare this rule to the high end Aristo and Nestler offerings in my collection.


Return to Lesson 1 A brief history of slide rules John Napier dramatically advances the understanding of number relationships in with his invention of logarithms. Since logarithms are the foundation on which the slide rule is built, its history rightly begins with him. His early concept of simplifying mathematical calculations through logarithms makes possible the slide rule as we know it today. In Edmund Gunter of London makes a straight logarithmic scale and performs multiplication and division on it with the use of a set of dividers, or calipers.

In about William Oughtred, an Anglican minister He also develops a circular slide rule.

A.w. Faber Castell 1/87 Calculating Ruler In Case Germany. Vintage Slide Rule With Leather Case Allis- Chalmers Rare Log K&e. Kl-1 Vintage Soviet Round Slide Rule .

SHARE Although studying creativity is considered a legitimate scientific discipline nowadays, it is still a very young one. In the early s, a psychologist named J. Guilford was one of the first academic researchers who dared to conduct a study of creativity. He challenged research subjects to connect all nine dots using just four straight lines without lifting their pencils from the page.

Today many people are familiar with this puzzle and its solution. In the s, however, very few were even aware of its existence, even though it had been around for almost a century. If you have tried solving this puzzle, you can confirm that your first attempts usually involve sketching lines inside the imaginary square. The correct solution, however, requires you to draw lines that extend beyond the area defined by the dots.

Only 20 percent managed to break out of the illusory confinement and continue their lines in the white space surrounding the dots.

Designing a Slide Rule

Did they kill the living, picking out the weak, the young and the expendable? Or did they confine their attentions to the dead? That, too, history cannot tell. But one thing is certain, the sailors ate their shipmates – not just one or two of them, but 40 or The British seamen carefully and deliberately used their knives to strip the flesh from men who had been their comrades.

Known models that are a combined “Addiator” and slide-rule are the Kingson Four-Rule and several models from Faber-Castell, a well known manufacturer of slide rules. Kingson Four-Rule The “Addiator” side for addition and subtraction, with the operating stylus in its holder.

Faber-Castell slide rules were made mainly in Germany plus Switzerland and Austria , and are some of the most elegant and well designed slide rules ever produced. Very early wood body rules rules have 3-digit numbers like ‘ ‘. Later, their rules were organized around specific scale groups Darmstadt, Rietz, Commerz, Duplex, Novo-duplex, Mathema, etc. As with other makers, the inevitable ‘N’ crept in to part numbers at the end to indicate ‘New’ versions of rules, which were often quite different visually than the originals.

There were also several different types of cursors used by Faber Castell, and some rules were also made as large classroom demonstration rules. As a result of this over-all design style and part number format, there are often very similar Faber-Castell rules which differ only in the body design, and essentially identical rules which differ only in scale length.

Some rules also featured ‘addiators’ on the reverse side, to allow addition and subtraction as well as conventional slide rule operations.

Lesson 1 Readings

The collections database also provides information about trade catalogs from at least 32 different retailers and manufacturers and about American and European textbooks and treatises about slide rules, all held by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Search by keyword through 18, object records, including slide rules and related documentation. Department of the History of Science, Harvard University.

Photographs and detailed descriptions for slide rules, along with links to manufacturer histories.

Date Bids Price ($) Text; Feb AW FABER-CASTEL NOWO-DUPLEX SLIDE RULE: Feb 2: A.W. Faber Germany Slide Rule and Leather Case.

Founded in at Deansgate, Manchester by Alexander George Thornton, the firm grew to become one of the largest manufacturers of drawing instruments and slide rules in Britain. British Thornton is now a manufacturer of school furniture in Keighley. A traditional pattern set of electrum instruments by A G Thornton dating from the late nineteenth century.

The instruments were purchased loose and I adapted an empty steel case to take them by making a set of velvet lined pockets to fit the instrument tray of the case in the same way as they would have originally been made. A six inch circular protractor by Thornton of Manchester. This copper alloy protractor is probably gun metal but could be brass.

They were made with minor variations by several British manufacturers. A “Minerva Series” set in a large ‘pocket’ case. Thornton introduced the Minerva series prior to they appear in the catalogue for that year and continued making them until, at least, the s. A Thornton Minerva set in a tropical case. Besides the usual instruments the tray contains a drop bow compass.

Calculating the Quality of Vintage Slide Rules

For those of you who don’t remember a time before inexpensive electronic calculators, slide rules are simple but devilishly clever calculating devices. Capable of performing many types of computations, including multiplication, division, logs, antilogs, powers, roots and trigonometric functions, slide rules were once the constant companion of working engineers and scientists. Around , Hewlett-Packard introduced a revolutionary product, the HP electronic slide rule calculator.

For the first time, a small electronic device was capable of doing all of the computations done by slide rules, and then some. My Collection Here is a list of the slide rules currently in my collection.

Instruction for Castell Precision Slide Rules. by Faber-Castell. Collection thecomputermuseumarchive; americana. Digitizing sponsor Gordon Bell. Contributor The Computer Museum Archive. Language English. Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Identifier instructionforca00fabe. Identifier-ark ark://t7dr4fg5m.

Clear Plastic Overlay Circular Slide Rule Scales in Contact Either two pairs of scales, on a one-sided rule, or four pairs of scales, on a two-sided rule, slide against each other. Either one pair of scales, on a one-sided rule, or two pairs of scales, on a two-sided rule, slide against each other. Because the separation between the two cursors can be taken from any scale, and applied to any other, this slide rule acts as if any scale on the rule is sliding against any other scale.

If one set of scales is printed on a clear plastic overlay, instead of on a rotating disk within the rule itself, the number of scales that can be in contact with a scale on the body of the rule is arbitrary. Parallax All scales are in the same plane, and the cursor line can be printed on the back of the cursor window. All scales are in the same plane, and the cursor line can be printed on the back of the cursor window.

The cursor lines can be printed on the back of both cursors, but the thickness of the first cursor separates the second cursor from the scales. The second set of scales can be printed on the back of the plastic overlay, but its thickness separates the cursor from the scales. Required Motions Index to operand; cursor to other operand if scales involved do not touch. Index to operand; cursor to other operand if scales involved do not touch.


They are aired hourly, on the half-hour between The bulletins are read by Sue Herera. Hosted by money manager Jim Cramer , the hour-long show gives stock advice to viewers who call to the program.

Designing a Slide Rule. The less expensive slide rules of simplex type have tended to be made according to several traditional fixed patterns. But duplex slide rules, on the other hand, seem to come in a wide assortment of types.

The plot is ridiculously simple: The men are bland, their musical choices are obvious singles largely from the era and, in truth, nothing terribly exciting happens. In the hands of anyone else this would be dull stuff, but fortunately Magnus Mills is a dead-pan comic genius. Just as Nicholson Baker does in his masterpiece, The Mezzanine, Mills takes us on a closely observed voyage through the society’s dreary rules, regulations and minutiae and their epic rise, fall, and triumphant rise again.

Like many YA titles, it deserves to be read by people of all ages. I was already a great admirer of Barry, but after reading his story of Thomas McNulty, an Irishman who arrives in America in the s, my admiration of his lyricism has developed into veneration.

Types of Slide Rules

When I was in high school I always had a slide rule. I think my sophomore year I took slide rule as a required subject. Every guy in school – it was Catholic military high school so they were all guys – had a Pickett slide rule, except me. I preferred a circular slide rule and would use no other. I can’t remember just why.

Many slide rule makers produced long, 20 inch versions of some of their models. While not as convenient to carry as the standard 10 inch rules, the longer rules offered greater accuracy. I have many varieties of 20 inch slide rules, which make great collectables, gifts, or user rules.

But duplex slide rules, on the other hand, seem to come in a wide assortment of types. However, many duplex slide rules have an arrangement that at least tends towards something like this: On the back, each half of the stationary part of the rule has five scales, while on the front, the halves have two or three scales. And, on the other hand, the slide has five scales on it in the back, and six in the front. Why is the arrangement shown above a desirable goal?

The trig scales are on the slider. Why is this useful? After a number is multiplied by the sine of one angle, holding the cursor in position allows the slider to be moved so that the result can then be multiplied by the tangent of another angle, for example. Not all the scales on a slide rule work like the trig scales. While a number on the log-log scales might be used as the starting point for a computation, the end result is then read on the log-log scales again.

The L scale is also used for reading a final result, and thus doesn’t gain anything from being on the slide. Why is the L scale on the slide, then, in the arrangement shown above? Because it is on the back of the rule, since it is used for calculations of a type related to that for which the log-log scales are used, and they clearly consume the available space on the stationary part of the rule.

AW Faber vintage slide rule