Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Return of the Slide Rule

slide rule
Slide Rules Like I had in High School
When I posted the first blog about the slide rule, my very creative friend Terri from California was quick to comment and send a photo (above). Her father, O.J. Gilmore, a University of Nebraska Engineering grad, was a slide rule-carrying aeronautics specialist. A professor of O.J.'s bequeathed a Vector Type Log Rule to him upon graduation and from then on it was safely stowed in his briefcase. Apparently this particular rule is a very valued model.

After Terri wrote to me, I remembered that another dear friend, Charlotte, was the daughter of an engineer. I emailed Charlotte and asked if she might have any fond slide rule memories. I caught my friend and fellow writer on the verge of a deadline, but she responded regardless. "My dad had various size slide rules all over the house, in their little cases, and I was fascinated with them but never saw him use one!"

And since we're on the subject, just one more photo.
Circular Slide Rule
Circular Slide Rule
This circular slide rule is also part of Vocabulary SpellingCity's permanent collection of educational technology. And with that I conclude my portion of this blog devoted to the logarithm-loving device that I will surely never know how to use.

One more thing, the Apollo Program including the trip to the Moon was based on calculations mostly made on....SLIDERULES!

Speaking of classic technology, check out the old chemistry set. And remember the best way to get a well educated science population is to start with a solid elementary science program.

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