Friday, October 21, 2005

Slide Rule Universe

K&E 4081-3 front (detail)
   (Click on this and all pictures for a complete full-size view of the slide rule)

I've blogged before about my interest in slide rules. I have a collection of a few dozen slide rules, and my favorite is a Keuffel & Esser Log Log Duplex Decitrig, model 4081-3, from back around 1940. The 20 scales are machine ruled on celluloid, over a core of mahogany. The front of the 4081-3 is pictured above, and here's the back:

K&E 4081-3 back (detail)
I have this slide rule sitting in its leather case on my desk, and I often use it in preference to a calculator.

Yesterday my friend David e-mailed me, complete with pictures, about a slide rule that he's got. And it looks to me like virtually the same model as mine! His has a "K+E" symbol on one side that mine doesn't, but otherwise they are the same slide rule. What can I say? Great minds have the same taste in slide rules! :-)

K&E 4081-3 front
There are a number of slide rule sites out there, but without a doubt the greatest is Walter Shawlee's Slide Rule Universe. Tons of pictures of more slide rules than you can shake a stick at (if you'll pardon the pun :). Tons of info. Plus slide rules for sale.

K&E 4081-3 back
A few years ago, I picked up a Post Versalog 1460 at an antique shop over in Decorah. Very nice, except the little glass cursor window on the back was missing. I contacted Slide Rule Universe out in Vancouver, BC, and obtained a replacement part. The Versalog is probably my favorite slide rule, next to that K&E 4081-3 that I've got sitting on my desk.

One of these days, I intend to get my entire slide rule collection up on my personal website. In the meanwhile, you can see a few of my favorites from my collection here.



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