Humanity!


Rod Lovett
 

Hi All,

I have a fairly small collection of Slide Rule Books

By my computer at this moment there are:

Books by Peter Hopp,
    Slide Rules, Their History Models and Makers; Joint Slide Rules; Pocket Watch Slide Rules

Books by Karl Kleine, 
    The Proceedings of IM2013 and IM2017

A Book by   Kleine and Kuhn  
    Dennert & Pape  Aristo 1872 - 1978

A Book by Barnes and White, 
    Otis King Calculators

A Book Dieter von Jezierski 
    A Journey Through Three Centuries

A Book by Peter Holland 
    Rechenschieber, Slide Rules  A.W. Faber

A Book by Panagiotis Venetsianos 
    Pocketbook of the Gauge Marks

A Book by Ijzebrand Scuitema and Otto van Poelje
    The Schuitema Collection

and others scattered around elsewhere.


They are a glorious mine of information and they all have the same thing in common.  They're about slide rules!

But with one exception* they all lack the same thing.  To a great extent they lack humanity - the human side of the story.

I'm not blaming the authors. This is not their  fault.  It was never part of their brief to include it.

But a book that would appeal to the non-slide rule enthusiast; to the "general public", needs humanity.

Think about making timepieces more accurate.  Be honest! Fairly boring!  The problems with making such timepieces more accurate whilst at sea. Still fairly boring.  Insert the reasons why this is important.  Much less boring.  Insert a self-taught genius and his battle against the establishment and you have "Longitude" and a best seller.

Perhaps that is what is required to keep the slide rule flame alive and interest a new generation of collectors; to tie real people into some real life problems with their use of the slide rule.

Just a thought.

Rod

* P.S.  The one exception:  Calculating on Slide Rule and Disc "2 x 3 .... approximately 6"    by Schuitema and Van Herwijnen  which includes several written portraits of 'slide rule people' mainly from the Netherlands.  However, these portraits are not tied together into one consistent  story. And again that was never the intention.

In one of these Pg 133 the authors say "Sometimes you find a special slide rule and after studying its use and construction you discover that the person behind the object is much more interesting than the slide rule itself". 


Karl Kleine
 

True enough, Rod!

Yet, there is a bit more available than you think, though not at the length of a novel.

The first one may be language problem, as it's written in German, not English.
It is the chapter "Meine Zeit bei Dennert & Pape" by Harry Stille (my time at D&P),
pages 44-65 in the ARISTO book by KLaus Kühn and me.

The second is an attempt by IJzebrand Schuitema. He wrote a 100 page memoir,
"The Slide Rule as a Hooby Theme", and tried to make people write similar reports
about their life with slide rules to make a book out of these. That never happened,
all that remained was his book. I do not the sequence of events, if his book came
first, then the attempt to find people joining him, or his plea and then his book,
after no/insufficient response.

Anyhow, we should raise that issue at IM2021, and anybody who wants to contribute
to the discussion is asked to write me position paper, which I would publish with the
proceedings. Or you make a (brief) presentation at IM2021. [see www.im2021.org]

Rod, we should also have a private ZOOM talk, maybe tonight?

Karl

____________________________________________________________________________
Prof. Karl Kleine - c/o Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena, Germany - karl.kleine@eah-jena.de

________________________________________
Von: sliderule@groups.io <sliderule@groups.io> im Auftrag von Rod Lovett <rod@lovett.com>
Gesendet: Dienstag, 15. Juni 2021 15:54
An: sliderule@groups.io
Betreff: [sliderule] Humanity!

Hi All,

I have a fairly small collection of Slide Rule Books

By my computer at this moment there are:

Books by Peter Hopp,
Slide Rules, Their History Models and Makers; Joint Slide Rules; Pocket Watch Slide Rules

Books by Karl Kleine,
The Proceedings of IM2013 and IM2017

A Book by Kleine and Kuhn
Dennert & Pape Aristo 1872 - 1978

A Book by Barnes and White,
Otis King Calculators

A Book Dieter von Jezierski
A Journey Through Three Centuries

A Book by Peter Holland
Rechenschieber, Slide Rules A.W. Faber

A Book by Panagiotis Venetsianos
Pocketbook of the Gauge Marks

A Book by Ijzebrand Scuitema and Otto van Poelje
The Schuitema Collection

and others scattered around elsewhere.


They are a glorious mine of information and they all have the same thing in common. They're about slide rules!

But with one exception* they all lack the same thing. To a great extent they lack humanity - the human side of the story.

I'm not blaming the authors. This is not their fault. It was never part of their brief to include it.

But a book that would appeal to the non-slide rule enthusiast; to the "general public", needs humanity.

Think about making timepieces more accurate. Be honest! Fairly boring! The problems with making such timepieces more accurate whilst at sea. Still fairly boring. Insert the reasons why this is important. Much less boring. Insert a self-taught genius and his battle against the establishment and you have "Longitude" and a best seller.

Perhaps that is what is required to keep the slide rule flame alive and interest a new generation of collectors; to tie real people into some real life problems with their use of the slide rule.

Just a thought.

Rod

* P.S. The one exception: Calculating on Slide Rule and Disc "2 x 3 .... approximately 6" by Schuitema and Van Herwijnen which includes several written portraits of 'slide rule people' mainly from the Netherlands. However, these portraits are not tied together into one consistent story. And again that was never the intention.

In one of these Pg 133 the authors say "Sometimes you find a special slide rule and after studying its use and construction you discover that the person behind the object is much more interesting than the slide rule itself".


Edward Dean Butler
 

Rod makes a very interesting observation.

Personally, I very much enjoy the human element connected with old slide rules — the stories about Bate, Watt, etc.

But there is precious little such information.

My other hobby is old race cars (for which my wife has declared me too old).  The literature about old race cars is very much oriented to the human factors — making the hobby a lot more interesting. The recent, popular movie Ford v Ferrari is a case in point. The cars actually take a back seat to the people.

Dean


On Jun 15, 2021, at 2:54 PM, Rod Lovett <Rod@...> wrote:

Hi All,

I have a fairly small collection of Slide Rule Books

By my computer at this moment there are:

Books by Peter Hopp,
    Slide Rules, Their History Models and Makers; Joint Slide Rules; Pocket Watch Slide Rules

Books by Karl Kleine, 
    The Proceedings of IM2013 and IM2017

A Book by   Kleine and Kuhn  
    Dennert & Pape  Aristo 1872 - 1978

A Book by Barnes and White, 
    Otis King Calculators

A Book Dieter von Jezierski 
    A Journey Through Three Centuries

A Book by Peter Holland 
    Rechenschieber, Slide Rules  A.W. Faber

A Book by Panagiotis Venetsianos 
    Pocketbook of the Gauge Marks

A Book by Ijzebrand Scuitema and Otto van Poelje
    The Schuitema Collection

and others scattered around elsewhere.


They are a glorious mine of information and they all have the same thing in common.  They're about slide rules!

But with one exception* they all lack the same thing.  To a great extent they lack humanity - the human side of the story.

I'm not blaming the authors. This is not their  fault.  It was never part of their brief to include it.

But a book that would appeal to the non-slide rule enthusiast; to the "general public", needs humanity.

Think about making timepieces more accurate.  Be honest! Fairly boring!  The problems with making such timepieces more accurate whilst at sea. Still fairly boring.  Insert the reasons why this is important.  Much less boring.  Insert a self-taught genius and his battle against the establishment and you have "Longitude" and a best seller.

Perhaps that is what is required to keep the slide rule flame alive and interest a new generation of collectors; to tie real people into some real life problems with their use of the slide rule.

Just a thought.

Rod

* P.S.  The one exception:  Calculating on Slide Rule and Disc "2 x 3 .... approximately 6"    by Schuitema and Van Herwijnen  which includes several written portraits of 'slide rule people' mainly from the Netherlands.  However, these portraits are not tied together into one consistent  story. And again that was never the intention.

In one of these Pg 133 the authors say "Sometimes you find a special slide rule and after studying its use and construction you discover that the person behind the object is much more interesting than the slide rule itself". 


Alan Williams
 

I agree with the sentiment that "Sometimes you find a special slide rule and after studying its use and construction you discover that the person behind the object is much more interesting than the slide rule itself". This is exactly what happened in the last few days after my post about the Davis-Pletts rule, having been prompted to look into the life of its originator, John St. Vincent Pletts. I'm sure his short but eventful 44-year life would make a gripping read.

A similar episode occurred a few years ago when I was just starting my collection and purchased a couple of special-purpose slide rules for calculating the perforation of Firth-Brown's armour plate by "Tresidder's formula", having long been interested in Sheffield's steel industry. On receiving them I noticed that, although basically pristine, both rules were covered in faint pencil notes and numbers which I considered gently removing with a soft eraser, but for some reason never got around to doing.

A few weeks later, I noticed that the same seller had auctioned several other unusual devices including a complicated-looking angle measuring tool with a patent marking. This also turned out to be the invention of a Captain Tresidder, so I contacted the seller to find out where the items had originated. It turned out that they all came from the effects of Captain Tolmie John Tresidder, another fascinating figure with a long and illustrious career in the steel industry. The development of naval armour and the projectiles designed to penetrate it were almost the space race of the early 20th century, culminating in the First World War. The slide rules had been Tresidder's own working examples that he annotated with additional figures and notes, having originally accompanied a manuscript of a speech that he had given on the subject of armour plate (which unfortunately I was unable to reunite with the rules).

Suffice to say I have never been so pleased not to have cleaned a slide rule, an ethos I continue to live by.


Eamonn
 

The Bill Robinson paper on Mendell Weinbach and the development of the 4093/4083 slide rules is the best example of a human interest slide rule story that I am aware of.

Fortunately, Weinbach maintained a copy of all his correspondence with K&E and his family donated his professional papers to the University of Missouri. He also kept one of the test/prototype rules that were used to evaluate different scale layouts. The 60 page paper is based on 660 pages of material from the Weinbach archive, without which the story could not have been told. While the paper gets a bit technical in some places, I think the author did a marvelous job of presenting the human side of the story behind the development these rules.


Andreas Poschinger
 

Am 15.06.2021 um 20:06 schrieb Eamonn:
While the paper gets a bit technical in some places, I think the
author did a marvelous job of presenting the human side of the story
behind the development these rules.
Yes, I agree. That was the first "serious" English source, which I've
read on sliderules some two ys. ago. The Delamain and Oughtred papers of
course also have a deep personal side, but difficult to read for me and
not very positive...

I own some few sliderules with personal stories behind. The maybe
deepest is a Faber Electro which I spotted in the net but the price was
too high. I wanted to deal about the proce but the woman selling this
sliderule of his grandfather told me that she would rather donate the
sliderule to somebody that she would sell it to me at a lower price. So
the story was almost over until some months later again I came across
the very same sliderule at the same price. I remebered what she told me
and I decided to phone her. So if she liked to donate it she could
donate it to my university. But I did not come so far. After I sayed
hello at the phone and whether she remembers me she told me that her
grandson, a baby, died today. And I had several phone calls with her not
slide rule related. She eventually has sent me the sliderule and all the
time I see it I remember this story of course. Last time I saw it when
digging for the Electro with the Thornton 144 146 cursor.  Maybe I
should phone her again.

Another far less deep but interesting story is a short Pickett N3 that
I've got from somebody living in East Germany. I've asked him whether he
originally is from the West, but he answered no. Then of course I wanted
to know how this sliderule, which hardly was found in West Germany made
it into German Democratic Republic. And it came out that he got it from
a friend being I believe from Mejico who studied with him I believe at
the Bergschule Eisleben. When he went back home he gave all he did not
need to the guy where I bought it from so that the sliderule stayed in
GDR. It is really the case that when not writuing thise things down and
I am nobody with regular journal, they get lost...

Best regards

Andreas


Edward Dean Butler
 

I am sure Rod Lovett will publish stories such as the interesting N3 story in Skid Stick.

Many of us enjoy reading these stories!

E Dean Butler

On Jun 15, 2021, at 8:14 PM, Andreas Poschinger <andreas.poschinger@gmx.net> wrote:

Am 15.06.2021 um 20:06 schrieb Eamonn:
While the paper gets a bit technical in some places, I think the
author did a marvelous job of presenting the human side of the story
behind the development these rules.
Yes, I agree. That was the first "serious" English source, which I've
read on sliderules some two ys. ago. The Delamain and Oughtred papers of
course also have a deep personal side, but difficult to read for me and
not very positive...

I own some few sliderules with personal stories behind. The maybe
deepest is a Faber Electro which I spotted in the net but the price was
too high. I wanted to deal about the proce but the woman selling this
sliderule of his grandfather told me that she would rather donate the
sliderule to somebody that she would sell it to me at a lower price. So
the story was almost over until some months later again I came across
the very same sliderule at the same price. I remebered what she told me
and I decided to phone her. So if she liked to donate it she could
donate it to my university. But I did not come so far. After I sayed
hello at the phone and whether she remembers me she told me that her
grandson, a baby, died today. And I had several phone calls with her not
slide rule related. She eventually has sent me the sliderule and all the
time I see it I remember this story of course. Last time I saw it when
digging for the Electro with the Thornton 144 146 cursor. Maybe I
should phone her again.

Another far less deep but interesting story is a short Pickett N3 that
I've got from somebody living in East Germany. I've asked him whether he
originally is from the West, but he answered no. Then of course I wanted
to know how this sliderule, which hardly was found in West Germany made
it into German Democratic Republic. And it came out that he got it from
a friend being I believe from Mejico who studied with him I believe at
the Bergschule Eisleben. When he went back home he gave all he did not
need to the guy where I bought it from so that the sliderule stayed in
GDR. It is really the case that when not writuing thise things down and
I am nobody with regular journal, they get lost...

Best regards

Andreas







Maynard Wright
 

I really enjoy knowing the history of a few slide rules I have that were labeled with such a distinctive name, on the rule or the case or both, that I was able to track the name down and learn at least a little about the original owner.  I like those rules better than ones that are in factory perfect condition.

Best regards,

Maynard Wright

On 6/15/21 12:14 PM, Andreas Poschinger wrote:
Am 15.06.2021 um 20:06 schrieb Eamonn:
While the paper gets a bit technical in some places, I think the
author did a marvelous job of presenting the human side of the story
behind the development these rules.
Yes, I agree. That was the first "serious" English source, which I've
read on sliderules some two ys. ago. The Delamain and Oughtred papers of
course also have a deep personal side, but difficult to read for me and
not very positive...

I own some few sliderules with personal stories behind. The maybe
deepest is a Faber Electro which I spotted in the net but the price was
too high. I wanted to deal about the proce but the woman selling this
sliderule of his grandfather told me that she would rather donate the
sliderule to somebody that she would sell it to me at a lower price. So
the story was almost over until some months later again I came across
the very same sliderule at the same price. I remebered what she told me
and I decided to phone her. So if she liked to donate it she could
donate it to my university. But I did not come so far. After I sayed
hello at the phone and whether she remembers me she told me that her
grandson, a baby, died today. And I had several phone calls with her not
slide rule related. She eventually has sent me the sliderule and all the
time I see it I remember this story of course. Last time I saw it when
digging for the Electro with the Thornton 144 146 cursor.  Maybe I
should phone her again.

Another far less deep but interesting story is a short Pickett N3 that
I've got from somebody living in East Germany. I've asked him whether he
originally is from the West, but he answered no. Then of course I wanted
to know how this sliderule, which hardly was found in West Germany made
it into German Democratic Republic. And it came out that he got it from
a friend being I believe from Mejico who studied with him I believe at
the Bergschule Eisleben. When he went back home he gave all he did not
need to the guy where I bought it from so that the sliderule stayed in
GDR. It is really the case that when not writuing thise things down and
I am nobody with regular journal, they get lost...

Best regards

Andreas





Michael Porter
 

It's a littloff-topic, but I have a Gunter slide that has come down in my family from the late 18th century. Relevant in this context is that the rule originally had SR scales in the C and D positions, but these were scraped off and replaced with douoble and single girt scales with both WG and AG tick marks. Though they are not obvious in the scans (posted inthe Files section), the divider marks where a workman laid out the scales are very clear. It is pleasing to think of the workman who did this, perhaps for a particular owner, perhaps for the marine market in general.


Edward Dean Butler
 

Do you have just the slide, or do you have the accompanying rule? Does the rule carry a maker’s name?

Maybe you have what is termed a “sliding Gunter.” Sliding Gunters date back to at least the early 18th century. I do not know if they go as far back as the late 17th century.

E Dean Butler

On Jun 16, 2021, at 12:42 AM, Michael Porter <mporter@...> wrote:

It's a littloff-topic, but I have a Gunter slide that has come down in my family from the late 18th century. Relevant in this context is that the rule originally had SR scales in the C and D positions, but these were scraped off and replaced with douoble and single girt scales with both WG and AG tick marks. Though they are not obvious in the scans (posted inthe Files section), the divider marks where a workman laid out the scales are very clear. It is pleasing to think of the workman who did this, perhaps for a particular owner, perhaps for the marine market in general.


Michael Porter
 

Indeed, it is a sliding Gunter - I had the terminology slightly wrong.  There are Hi-res scans of the front and back in the Files section, in a folder called "Gunter". There is no maker's mark, but I'd think the Wine and Ale gallon ticks would argue for British origin, and surely late 18th or quite early 19th century.


Jerry McCarthy
 

Curt Herzstark's autobiography (written in German, English translation available from the OS) I think ticks some of the boxes. I know it's not exactly about SRs, but close enough perhaps.

Regards, Jerry McCarthy, U.K.


On Jun 15, 2021, at 2:54 PM, Rod Lovett <Rod@...> wrote:

Hi All,

I have a fairly small collection of Slide Rule Books

By my computer at this moment there are:

Books by Peter Hopp,
    Slide Rules, Their History Models and Makers; Joint Slide Rules; Pocket Watch Slide Rules

Books by Karl Kleine, 
    The Proceedings of IM2013 and IM2017

A Book by   Kleine and Kuhn  
    Dennert & Pape  Aristo 1872 - 1978

A Book by Barnes and White, 
    Otis King Calculators

A Book Dieter von Jezierski 
    A Journey Through Three Centuries

A Book by Peter Holland 
    Rechenschieber, Slide Rules  A.W. Faber

A Book by Panagiotis Venetsianos 
    Pocketbook of the Gauge Marks

A Book by Ijzebrand Scuitema and Otto van Poelje
    The Schuitema Collection

and others scattered around elsewhere.


They are a glorious mine of information and they all have the same thing in common.  They're about slide rules!

But with one exception* they all lack the same thing.  To a great extent they lack humanity - the human side of the story.

I'm not blaming the authors. This is not their  fault.  It was never part of their brief to include it.

But a book that would appeal to the non-slide rule enthusiast; to the "general public", needs humanity.

Think about making timepieces more accurate.  Be honest! Fairly boring!  The problems with making such timepieces more accurate whilst at sea. Still fairly boring.  Insert the reasons why this is important.  Much less boring.  Insert a self-taught genius and his battle against the establishment and you have "Longitude" and a best seller.

Perhaps that is what is required to keep the slide rule flame alive and interest a new generation of collectors; to tie real people into some real life problems with their use of the slide rule.

Just a thought.

Rod

* P.S.  The one exception:  Calculating on Slide Rule and Disc "2 x 3 .... approximately 6"    by Schuitema and Van Herwijnen  which includes several written portraits of 'slide rule people' mainly from the Netherlands.  However, these portraits are not tied together into one consistent  story. And again that was never the intention.

In one of these Pg 133 the authors say "Sometimes you find a special slide rule and after studying its use and construction you discover that the person behind the object is much more interesting than the slide rule itself". 


Bob Adams
 

Hi Jerry,

As you may recall I wrote a paper on the “Easy slide rule” for one of the IM meetings in which you subsequently unraveled the mysterious “Points” scale devised by a Captain A.C. Chew. I did a little research on him and presented this in the appendix of the paper

Apart from the one book titled

“The Slide Rule, Logarithms, & c....” that was published in 1915, he earlier wrote five (5) other

books:

·         The Gunners Pocket Book (1892?)

·         The Battery or Company Orderly’s Book (1896)

·         The Volunteer Attendance & Squad Book (1900)

·         The Militia and Volunteer Garrison Gunner (1905)

·         Q.F. & Heavy Gun Drills (1905)

This gentleman is probably worthy of further investigation and documentation!

Kind regards

Bob

 

From: sliderule@groups.io [mailto:sliderule@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jerry McCarthy via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, 16 June 2021 3:09 PM
To: sliderule@groups.io
Subject: Re: [sliderule] Humanity!

 

Curt Herzstark's autobiography (written in German, English translation available from the OS) I think ticks some of the boxes. I know it's not exactly about SRs, but close enough perhaps.

 

Regards, Jerry McCarthy, U.K.

 



On Jun 15, 2021, at 2:54 PM, Rod Lovett <Rod@...> wrote:

 

Hi All,

I have a fairly small collection of Slide Rule Books

By my computer at this moment there are:

Books by Peter Hopp,
    Slide Rules, Their History Models and Makers; Joint Slide Rules; Pocket Watch Slide Rules

Books by Karl Kleine, 
    The Proceedings of IM2013 and IM2017

A Book by   Kleine and Kuhn  
    Dennert & Pape  Aristo 1872 - 1978

A Book by Barnes and White, 
    Otis King Calculators

A Book Dieter von Jezierski 
    A Journey Through Three Centuries

A Book by Peter Holland 
    Rechenschieber, Slide Rules  A.W. Faber

A Book by Panagiotis Venetsianos 
    Pocketbook of the Gauge Marks

A Book by Ijzebrand Scuitema and Otto van Poelje
    The Schuitema Collection

and others scattered around elsewhere.


They are a glorious mine of information and they all have the same thing in common.  They're about slide rules!

But with one exception* they all lack the same thing.  To a great extent they lack humanity - the human side of the story.

I'm not blaming the authors. This is not their  fault.  It was never part of their brief to include it.

But a book that would appeal to the non-slide rule enthusiast; to the "general public", needs humanity.

Think about making timepieces more accurate.  Be honest! Fairly boring!  The problems with making such timepieces more accurate whilst at sea. Still fairly boring.  Insert the reasons why this is important.  Much less boring.  Insert a self-taught genius and his battle against the establishment and you have "Longitude" and a best seller.

Perhaps that is what is required to keep the slide rule flame alive and interest a new generation of collectors; to tie real people into some real life problems with their use of the slide rule.

Just a thought.

Rod

* P.S.  The one exception:  Calculating on Slide Rule and Disc "2 x 3 .... approximately 6"    by Schuitema and Van Herwijnen  which includes several written portraits of 'slide rule people' mainly from the Netherlands.  However, these portraits are not tied together into one consistent  story. And again that was never the intention.

In one of these Pg 133 the authors say "Sometimes you find a special slide rule and after studying its use and construction you discover that the person behind the object is much more interesting than the slide rule itself". 

 


Jerry McCarthy
 

Hi Bob,

That goes back a bit....  IM2010!

Best Wishes, Jerry.

On Wednesday, 16 June 2021, 07:04:15 BST, Bob Adams <bobdi50@...> wrote:


Hi Jerry,

As you may recall I wrote a paper on the “Easy slide rule” for one of the IM meetings in which you subsequently unraveled the mysterious “Points” scale devised by a Captain A.C. Chew. I did a little research on him and presented this in the appendix of the paper

Apart from the one book titled

“The Slide Rule, Logarithms, & c....” that was published in 1915, he earlier wrote five (5) other

books:

·         The Gunners Pocket Book (1892?)

·         The Battery or Company Orderly’s Book (1896)

·         The Volunteer Attendance & Squad Book (1900)

·         The Militia and Volunteer Garrison Gunner (1905)

·         Q.F. & Heavy Gun Drills (1905)

This gentleman is probably worthy of further investigation and documentation!

Kind regards

Bob

 

From: sliderule@groups.io [mailto:sliderule@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jerry McCarthy via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, 16 June 2021 3:09 PM
To: sliderule@groups.io
Subject: Re: [sliderule] Humanity!

 

Curt Herzstark's autobiography (written in German, English translation available from the OS) I think ticks some of the boxes. I know it's not exactly about SRs, but close enough perhaps.

 

Regards, Jerry McCarthy, U.K.

 



On Jun 15, 2021, at 2:54 PM, Rod Lovett <Rod@...> wrote:

 

Hi All,

I have a fairly small collection of Slide Rule Books

By my computer at this moment there are:

Books by Peter Hopp,
    Slide Rules, Their History Models and Makers; Joint Slide Rules; Pocket Watch Slide Rules

Books by Karl Kleine, 
    The Proceedings of IM2013 and IM2017

A Book by   Kleine and Kuhn  
    Dennert & Pape  Aristo 1872 - 1978

A Book by Barnes and White, 
    Otis King Calculators

A Book Dieter von Jezierski 
    A Journey Through Three Centuries

A Book by Peter Holland 
    Rechenschieber, Slide Rules  A.W. Faber

A Book by Panagiotis Venetsianos 
    Pocketbook of the Gauge Marks

A Book by Ijzebrand Scuitema and Otto van Poelje
    The Schuitema Collection

and others scattered around elsewhere.


They are a glorious mine of information and they all have the same thing in common.  They're about slide rules!

But with one exception* they all lack the same thing.  To a great extent they lack humanity - the human side of the story.

I'm not blaming the authors. This is not their  fault.  It was never part of their brief to include it.

But a book that would appeal to the non-slide rule enthusiast; to the "general public", needs humanity.

Think about making timepieces more accurate.  Be honest! Fairly boring!  The problems with making such timepieces more accurate whilst at sea. Still fairly boring.  Insert the reasons why this is important.  Much less boring.  Insert a self-taught genius and his battle against the establishment and you have "Longitude" and a best seller.

Perhaps that is what is required to keep the slide rule flame alive and interest a new generation of collectors; to tie real people into some real life problems with their use of the slide rule.

Just a thought.

Rod

* P.S.  The one exception:  Calculating on Slide Rule and Disc "2 x 3 .... approximately 6"    by Schuitema and Van Herwijnen  which includes several written portraits of 'slide rule people' mainly from the Netherlands.  However, these portraits are not tied together into one consistent  story. And again that was never the intention.

In one of these Pg 133 the authors say "Sometimes you find a special slide rule and after studying its use and construction you discover that the person behind the object is much more interesting than the slide rule itself". 

 


Bob Adams
 

Thanks Jerry,

 

For those that are interested I have uploaded a PDF of the Easy Slide Rule paper in to the files section. It remains one of the most interesting rules in my collection.

 

Cheers

Bob

 

From: sliderule@groups.io [mailto:sliderule@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jerry McCarthy via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, 16 June 2021 3:43 PM
To: sliderule@groups.io
Subject: Re: [sliderule] Humanity!

 

Hi Bob,

 

That goes back a bit....  IM2010!

 

Best Wishes, Jerry.

 

On Wednesday, 16 June 2021, 07:04:15 BST, Bob Adams <bobdi50@...> wrote:

 

 

Hi Jerry,

As you may recall I wrote a paper on the “Easy slide rule” for one of the IM meetings in which you subsequently unraveled the mysterious “Points” scale devised by a Captain A.C. Chew. I did a little research on him and presented this in the appendix of the paper

Apart from the one book titled

“The Slide Rule, Logarithms, & c....” that was published in 1915, he earlier wrote five (5) other

books:

·         The Gunners Pocket Book (1892?)

·         The Battery or Company Orderly’s Book (1896)

·         The Volunteer Attendance & Squad Book (1900)

·         The Militia and Volunteer Garrison Gunner (1905)

·         Q.F. & Heavy Gun Drills (1905)

This gentleman is probably worthy of further investigation and documentation!

Kind regards

Bob

 

From: sliderule@groups.io [mailto:sliderule@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jerry McCarthy via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, 16 June 2021 3:09 PM
To: sliderule@groups.io
Subject: Re: [sliderule] Humanity!

 

Curt Herzstark's autobiography (written in German, English translation available from the OS) I think ticks some of the boxes. I know it's not exactly about SRs, but close enough perhaps.

 

Regards, Jerry McCarthy, U.K.

 

 

On Jun 15, 2021, at 2:54 PM, Rod Lovett <Rod@...> wrote:

 

Hi All,

I have a fairly small collection of Slide Rule Books

By my computer at this moment there are:

Books by Peter Hopp,
    Slide Rules, Their History Models and Makers; Joint Slide Rules; Pocket Watch Slide Rules

Books by Karl Kleine, 
    The Proceedings of IM2013 and IM2017

A Book by   Kleine and Kuhn  
    Dennert & Pape  Aristo 1872 - 1978

A Book by Barnes and White, 
    Otis King Calculators

A Book Dieter von Jezierski 
    A Journey Through Three Centuries

A Book by Peter Holland 
    Rechenschieber, Slide Rules  A.W. Faber

A Book by Panagiotis Venetsianos 
    Pocketbook of the Gauge Marks

A Book by Ijzebrand Scuitema and Otto van Poelje
    The Schuitema Collection

and others scattered around elsewhere.


They are a glorious mine of information and they all have the same thing in common.  They're about slide rules!

But with one exception* they all lack the same thing.  To a great extent they lack humanity - the human side of the story.

I'm not blaming the authors. This is not their  fault.  It was never part of their brief to include it.

But a book that would appeal to the non-slide rule enthusiast; to the "general public", needs humanity.

Think about making timepieces more accurate.  Be honest! Fairly boring!  The problems with making such timepieces more accurate whilst at sea. Still fairly boring.  Insert the reasons why this is important.  Much less boring.  Insert a self-taught genius and his battle against the establishment and you have "Longitude" and a best seller.

Perhaps that is what is required to keep the slide rule flame alive and interest a new generation of collectors; to tie real people into some real life problems with their use of the slide rule.

Just a thought.

Rod

* P.S.  The one exception:  Calculating on Slide Rule and Disc "2 x 3 .... approximately 6"    by Schuitema and Van Herwijnen  which includes several written portraits of 'slide rule people' mainly from the Netherlands.  However, these portraits are not tied together into one consistent  story. And again that was never the intention.

In one of these Pg 133 the authors say "Sometimes you find a special slide rule and after studying its use and construction you discover that the person behind the object is much more interesting than the slide rule itself". 

 


Rod Lovett
 

Hi Eamonn,

Yes, Bill's paper is a magnificent read for people interested in K&E or slide rules or both.

Another David and Goliath story although here Goliath won!

I was thinking of a general interest story for people not necessarily interested in slide rules or indeed not necessarily knowing what they are!

Regards,

Rod

On 15-06-2021 19:06, Eamonn wrote:
The Bill Robinson paper on Mendell Weinbach [1] and the development of
the 4093/4083 slide rules is the best example of a human interest
slide rule story that I am aware of.
Fortunately, Weinbach maintained a copy of all his correspondence with
K&E and his family donated his professional papers to the University
of Missouri. He also kept one of the test/prototype rules that were
used to evaluate different scale layouts. The 60 page paper is based
on 660 pages of material from the Weinbach archive, without which the
story could not have been told. While the paper gets a bit technical
in some places, I think the author did a marvelous job of presenting
the human side of the story behind the development these rules.
Links:
------
[1] https://www.mccoys-kecatalogs.com/RobinsonArticle/Weinbach.pdf
[2] https://groups.io/g/sliderule/message/1730
[3] https://groups.io/mt/83556088/2049020
[4] https://groups.io/g/sliderule/post
[5] https://groups.io/g/sliderule/editsub/2049020
[6] https://groups.io/g/sliderule/leave/4367113/2049020/1011629660/xyzzy


meine
 

The human perspective is one of my big interests! Coming from social
sciences, this should be no wonder:-)

I see several lines within this perspective, in random order:

Slide rules needed to be sold, so vendors introduced new models with
'more' all the time. Any collector of Aristo 0903 models can see that
they don't differ that much;

Customers -- even mathematicians -- can be seduced easily, so they
bought newer 'better' models, maybe even wanted them and asked for a new
scale. A FC 2/83 is 'better' than a 2/82, and a 2/83N is even better.
Higher type-numbers are always 'better', and adding a capital letter to
it is a booster. The Audi 100 got a better version named 200, and US
cusomers wanted an even better model and got the same cars but with an
extra trailing 0 on the trunk;

And the same time Einstein and Von Braun seemed to have used a Nestler
23R. Maybe more complex slide rules weren't avaliable, but they did a
rather nice job on a basic rule. Science is about inspiration, not about
tools.

Advertisement probably got 'space high'. The Omega Perpetual Oyster and
in our world, the Pickett N600-ES are legendary. But were they _really_
needed on the moon? To know when dinner is ready? Would it _really_ be
possible to get back to the landing spot 10^5 kms away just on a half
size slide rule? New motorcycles are demonstrated in the Dakar Rallye,
but largely used for a Sunday afternoon trip -- with 'genuine rallye
experience feeling'. Marketing...

Slide rules can also be used politically. Artur Ewert from the GDR
analyzed lots of Western slide rules and came to the conclusion that
with four different models and some nifty scales, the People could
calculate all. Apart from a permanent shortage on resources, this also
is a statement on the commercialized spillings of Western society. In
the mean time, all GDR school children got an aluminium Reiss 3223
Progress. With the nifty scales, but also from the same material that
was used for premium Pickett models in the USA.

Complexity is also a geographical cultural thing. The Bundeswehr M109G
slide rule set is far more complex than the Graphical Firing Tables the
Dutch used on the same gun. A Dutch gunner I spoke stated that "Germans
always want to calculate up to the last millimeter; we [NL artillery]
just _shoot it out_, third shell is always a hit. And we were always faster".
Both sides tell a lot about culture, and less about 'modern artillery'.
A basic Diwa school slide rule has a far more basic layout than its
German and French counterparts. A sign of
(Janteloven)[https://www.scandinaviastandard.com/what-is-janteloven-the-law-of-jante/]?

Corroborating thoughts ;-)

//meine

On Tue, Jun 15, 2021 at 06:54:18AM -0700, Rod Lovett wrote:
Hi All,

They are a glorious mine of information and they all have the same thing in common.  They're about slide rules!

But with one exception* they all lack the same thing.  To a great extent they lack humanity - the human side of the story.

But a book that would appeal to the non-slide rule enthusiast; to the "general public", needs humanity.

Think about making timepieces more accurate.  Be honest! Fairly boring!  The problems with making such timepieces more accurate whilst at sea. Still fairly boring.  Insert the reasons why this is important.  Much less boring.  Insert a self-taught genius and his battle against the establishment and you have "Longitude" and a best seller.

Perhaps that is what is required to keep the slide rule flame alive and interest a new generation of collectors; to tie real people into some real life problems with their use of the slide rule.

Just a thought.

Rod
--
//meine


Edward Dean Butler
 

Beautifully written!

E Dean Butler

On Jun 16, 2021, at 11:13 AM, meine <trialero@gmx.com> wrote:

The human perspective is one of my big interests! Coming from social
sciences, this should be no wonder:-)

I see several lines within this perspective, in random order:

Slide rules needed to be sold, so vendors introduced new models with
'more' all the time. Any collector of Aristo 0903 models can see that
they don't differ that much;

Customers -- even mathematicians -- can be seduced easily, so they
bought newer 'better' models, maybe even wanted them and asked for a new
scale. A FC 2/83 is 'better' than a 2/82, and a 2/83N is even better.
Higher type-numbers are always 'better', and adding a capital letter to
it is a booster. The Audi 100 got a better version named 200, and US
cusomers wanted an even better model and got the same cars but with an
extra trailing 0 on the trunk;

And the same time Einstein and Von Braun seemed to have used a Nestler
23R. Maybe more complex slide rules weren't avaliable, but they did a
rather nice job on a basic rule. Science is about inspiration, not about
tools.

Advertisement probably got 'space high'. The Omega Perpetual Oyster and
in our world, the Pickett N600-ES are legendary. But were they _really_
needed on the moon? To know when dinner is ready? Would it _really_ be
possible to get back to the landing spot 10^5 kms away just on a half
size slide rule? New motorcycles are demonstrated in the Dakar Rallye,
but largely used for a Sunday afternoon trip -- with 'genuine rallye
experience feeling'. Marketing...

Slide rules can also be used politically. Artur Ewert from the GDR
analyzed lots of Western slide rules and came to the conclusion that
with four different models and some nifty scales, the People could
calculate all. Apart from a permanent shortage on resources, this also
is a statement on the commercialized spillings of Western society. In
the mean time, all GDR school children got an aluminium Reiss 3223
Progress. With the nifty scales, but also from the same material that
was used for premium Pickett models in the USA.

Complexity is also a geographical cultural thing. The Bundeswehr M109G
slide rule set is far more complex than the Graphical Firing Tables the
Dutch used on the same gun. A Dutch gunner I spoke stated that "Germans
always want to calculate up to the last millimeter; we [NL artillery]
just _shoot it out_, third shell is always a hit. And we were always faster".
Both sides tell a lot about culture, and less about 'modern artillery'.
A basic Diwa school slide rule has a far more basic layout than its
German and French counterparts. A sign of
(Janteloven)[https://www.scandinaviastandard.com/what-is-janteloven-the-law-of-jante/]?

Corroborating thoughts ;-)

//meine


On Tue, Jun 15, 2021 at 06:54:18AM -0700, Rod Lovett wrote:
Hi All,

They are a glorious mine of information and they all have the same thing in common. They're about slide rules!

But with one exception* they all lack the same thing. To a great extent they lack humanity - the human side of the story.

But a book that would appeal to the non-slide rule enthusiast; to the "general public", needs humanity.

Think about making timepieces more accurate. Be honest! Fairly boring! The problems with making such timepieces more accurate whilst at sea. Still fairly boring. Insert the reasons why this is important. Much less boring. Insert a self-taught genius and his battle against the establishment and you have "Longitude" and a best seller.

Perhaps that is what is required to keep the slide rule flame alive and interest a new generation of collectors; to tie real people into some real life problems with their use of the slide rule.

Just a thought.

Rod

--
//meine





John Jarosz
 

I know there are slide rule collectors who only collect new-in-box slide rules. 

I don’t think those collectors understand the connection that actual slide rule users feel toward old used slide rules.  I wonder what those used slide rules were used for, what problems did they help solve?

As you might guess all of my rules are used. I have one I found in an antique store. It’s a Post 1460 Versalog. Pretty common here in the US. I have others identical to it. Why did I buy it?  Because inside the case was a card with the name: Duane E. Edge, Asphalt Institute.  When I got it home I did a Google search And I found a paper he had written for the Asphalt Institue that was presented at a conference. The paper no longer appears in a search but I was able to find a reference to Mr. Edge at the Asphalt Institute. It appears he was active there in the 60’s and early 70’s. Here’s the link:
http://www.asphaltinstitute.org/timeline/asphalt-technology-and-construction-practices/
Pretty mundane stuff asphalt. But pretty typical of what users of slide rules used them for.

This is the only rule I have where I’ve been able to find a reference to its owner online. . 



Andreas Poschinger
 

I don't agree with all points but some yes, Meine! I' ll write in the
text below

Am 16.06.2021 um 12:13 schrieb meine:

Slide rules needed to be sold, so vendors introduced new models with
'more' all the time. Any collector of Aristo 0903 models can see that
they don't differ that much;
So far I've seen, though I am not a collector of 903s, the 903 was
produced in up to at least three versions in parallel according to the
type of the school. In Germany there is no highschool for all higher
classes but it separates in different school types (at that time
Hauptschule, Realschule, Gymnasium) and originally only the Gymnasium
was meant to lead to the university, while the Realschule was meant to
lead to e.g. technicians or bank officers, and the Hauptschule was meant
for craftmanship and similar. This results in how many scales there are
and which scales.

The development over time clearly grasps some ideas and innvations,
either for clearness and usability (e.g. that each inverted scale needs
to be found directly neighboring the non inverted scale) and easier
methods like the additional S scale on slide which arrived in Western
Germany first on school sliderules.


Customers -- even mathematicians -- can be seduced easily, so they
bought newer 'better' models, maybe even wanted them and asked for a new
scale. A FC 2/83 is 'better' than a 2/82, and a 2/83N is even better.
For me not and it at least partially shows in the number of sliderules
at ebay. The FC 2/83N vs the FC2/82N it seems the case that there are
much more 83Ns and this seems to support your thesis, though there may
be also the reason that 2/83N are waiting for the big money... If we
compare the Aristo Studiolog to the Hyperlog then it is not the case.
Models have different strengths, e.g. the Studiolog and 2/82N the ease
of use due to additional S scale and standard layout as learnt at
school, and the Hyperlog the additional HyperTrig scales. Similar we may
observe that K&E Vector LogLogs are rare compared to LogLogs and even in
K&E advertisement one may find that the LogLog is enough.

Best regards

Andreas