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 Archive of Unusual Slide Rules
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Unusual Slide Rules

* Slide rules cover a lot of variation, and generally, their form is pretty predictable, even if cosmetically unique. Some slide rules are quite outside this realm, and are so different, they bear special mention here for their interesting design.

* Once designers exhausted the various flat, straight and round versions, and applied them to everything from lighters to tie tacks, you might think there was no fresh ground left to cover, but not so. Cylindrical rules were made by Otis King, and a bizarre multi-scale rotating rule was made by Thacher, and later sold through K+E (Note: we are indebted to Bob Otnes of the Oughred Society for pointing out that while the inventor's name was Thacher, early units have a typo on the engraved nameplate, and say 'Thatcher'). Modern designers even made pencil holder slide rules with rotating cylinder sides.

* In another section we showed giant rules for classroom instruction, but some crafty engineers decided the demonstration solution could be achieved by using transparent slide rules, and an overhead projector, allowing the teacher to manipulate the rule more easily. This technique required a dark room, making note taking, and the student's personal rule setting a bit awkward. K+E, Pickett and Aristo all made these fascinating projection rules.

* If you have pics or more information to provide on an unusual rule, please send them to me HERE, and I will add them in. Thanks to many who have furnished pics to fill this archive, including Raymond Lazinski, who provided the extraordinary photos of an original 1881 Thatcher, and Les Nagy, for the Aristo 170 photos.


SLIDE RULE
INFO / SCALES
Otis King L Model
UK

Otis King L Model


Otis King L Model

* Cylindrical slide rule from the U.K.

The top tube with its spiral scale pulls out and rotates, the black cursor sleeve rotates and moves up and down, and the chrome handle, attached to another spiral scale is held stationary. There are several versions of this rule and scale set.

* 2 working scales.

OtisVisit Dick Lyon's 'Otis King's Patent Calculator' Pages

Learn about one of the most unusual slide rules.


SLIDE RULE
INFO / SCALES
Thatcher
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Thacher's Calculating Instrument

K+E

USA

Thacher's Calculating Instrument

* Cylindrical, rotating slide rule Designed by Edwin Thacher in the late 1870's, and marketed by K+E as the model 4012 and 4013. An engraving mistake on early pre-K+E instruments mis-spells the name as Thatcher.

The 18 inch scales have two portions, one external segmented cylinder that rotates, and a moveable internal cylinder that also rotates. The scales achieve very high accuracy due to their equivalent length of 30 feet. This permits answers to 4 or sometimes 5 decimal places, which is extraordinary. Operations are multiplication, division, squares and square roots.

The 4013 had an accessory sliding magnifier to allow even finer setting of the scales, but is otherwise identical to the 4012.

* 3 working scales, A, B, C.

SLIDE RULE
INFO / SCALES
Concise Science Master
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Japan

Concise Model 600
Science Master

Concise Model 600 Science Master

* An amazing combination slide rule, reference book and periodic table by Concise. This has an 8 scale circular rule on the face, metric and inch rulers along two sides, a detailed periodic table on the reverse, and pull out double sided inner chart with physical constants, formulas and decimal equivalents. One of the most useful rules ever made, its only possible drawback is that the periodic table stops at 103, Lawrencium. This rule case was frequently marked with company names and logos, and was given out as a business promotional item. All are really made by Concise (Sama and Etani).

Concise made several variations of this basic rule, with impedance nomograms, and other special purpose scales and data for other professions.

* 8 working scales, D, C, CI, L, A, S, T, K.

SLIDE RULE
INFO / SCALES
Aristo 170 Projection Rule, Click for bigger pic!
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Germany

Aristo Model 170
Projection Rule

Aristo Model 170
Projection Rule


* A wonderfully well made transparent projection rule from Aristo that simulates their high end Studio/MultiLog rules. The rule is laid on top of an overhead projector, and can be fully manipulated by the instructor to demonstrate to students. The best made and most detailed and realistic projection rule, it is far superior to those made by other manufacturers.

* 24 working scales, including folded and log log scales.

SLIDE RULE
INFO / SCALES
Aviat CLICK for bigger PIC!
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Germany

Aristo Aviat
Navigation Rule

Aristo Model 617
Navigation Rule


* A beautiful navigation rule from Aristo that has all standard E6B features, and a very elegant circular rule with conversion factors. This rule is marked Aviat G, and several others exist with different rule functions. The rule comes with a zippered leather case.

* 19 working scales/windows, including temperature conversion, speed, time, distance, density altitude, fuel. The reverse has a drift chart/compass rose. The circular rule is 6 inches in diameter, the chart is 10 inches long.


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