Monday, July 09, 2007

Slide Rule: Post Versalog No. 1460

post versalog no. 1460 obverse
(Click on this and all pictures for a complete full-size view of the slide rule)

Selective Luddite™ that I am, I've long been fascinated with slide rules. I often use them in preference to calculators, and I've acquired something of a slide rule collection over the years. One of my favorites is the Post Versalog No. 1460. It has 23 scales— probably my favorites are the R1 and R2 scales, which afford greater precision in working with squares and square roots than an A scale.

post versalog no. 1460 obverse
I picked up this slide rule for a song in an antique shop in Decorah, Iowa. I just walked into that shop and there it was, in a glass case along with several other slide rules. A beautiful slide rule, celluloid over bamboo. Think it was something like $16 that I paid for it. Only problem was, the Versalog was missing the little cursor glass on the back side.

post versalog no. 1460 reverse
So I went to Walter Shawlee's Slide Rule Universe, out in British Columbia, and ordered a spare part from them. They just about flipped when I told them how much I'd gotten the slide rule for. I think the cursor glass was $20, more than I'd paid for the slide rule itself. But $16 + $20 = $36 was still a bargain for a slide rule which sells among collectors for $200 or more.

post versalog no. 1460 reverse
There's a little date code on the edge of my Post Versalog, indicating that it was manufactured in March 1957. Seven months before Sputnik was launched. March 1957. Dag Hammarskjöld was Secretary General of the United Nations. "Butterfly" by Andy Williams was at the top of the singles charts. Elvis had just bought Graceland. The British colonies of the Gold Coast and British Togoland became the independent nation of Ghana. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss was published. President Eisenhower had just begun his second term in office. And I was a squawling baby, nine months old.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi you liked yours, you would flip over the one I discovered in my desk drawer! It too is a Post Versalog. but a model 1461. I have the original leather shirt pocket leather case. Perfect condition, only slightly used, long, long ago!

Monday, July 02, 2012 2:58:00 PM  
Blogger Juan Rivera said...

I have one of these slide rules, which I treasure! It once belonged to my uncle who was a structural engineer and died in 2000. I am a structural engineer myself, but alas, I never learned to use the slide rule as the slide rule had been replaced by the HP-11 and the HP-41 as the preferred tool for scientific calculation.

Juan Rivera - Maui, Hawaii

Monday, January 28, 2013 6:44:00 PM  
Blogger BOOZE NEWS said...

I have the model 1460 in the original leather case still in perfect condition. I purchased mine in a pawn shop in Denver just before I started engineering school in 1958.
It served me well and I can still use all of the scales for calculations, although I am no longer employed as an engineer.
Boyd Booze Monroe, Wa

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

I just picked one of these up a week ago at a resale store for 5 bucks - that's it - five dollars. I am learning how to use it. I got to this site in my efforts to learn more about it.

Friday, November 14, 2014 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I just received a Versalog 1460 slide rule from a Goodwill auction. $10 winning bid + $8 for shipping. Not a bad deal. :)

Friday, November 13, 2015 5:25:00 PM  
Blogger Hulin Benoit said...

In my possession a 1460 model Post Versalog.
Perfect condition with original leather case with belt hook.
Interested $100.

Sunday, June 05, 2016 8:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Clay said...

I have a Post 1460L, original case and box, anyone interested? I will be happy to post a pic.

Thursday, July 28, 2016 8:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I now have a Post Versalog 1460 sliderule with leather case, in perfect condition. It was my late father-in-law's, an engineer with Ethyl Corp. in Baton Rouge, LA. The case looks like it was never used. I am an earth scientist (geophysicist), so I may try to get some use out of it. I graduated from High School in 1973 and used slide rules up until my dad bought me a $100 calculator to use in college in the Fall of '73.

Saturday, April 29, 2017 1:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

I found my Post 1460 Versalog at a garage sale for $5.00 back in about 1980; great bargain! It came with a burgundy leather case. Great craftsmanship! According to the "OJ" code stamped on the edge and serial number, it was made in October, 1964.
If we ever suffer an EMP attack which knocks out our electronics, I can at least do calculations with this "analog computer"!
I like the CF/DF,CIF scales, making it easy to do calculations involving pi in concert with the C/D/CI scales. There are a number of time-saving tricks involving these scales to reduce the amount of slide manipulations when doing a computation. The R1 and R2 scales give much better precision with square functions than an A scale (which this rule doesn't have).
One has to use exponential notation and keep track of where to put the decimal place in the final answer, but that is good practice for the brain that you can't get with a calculator!
I graduated from high school in 1968 and still remember the demonstration slide rule hanging above the blackboard in my trigonometry class.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 6:12:00 PM  
Blogger nikkisa889 said...

I am usually to running a blog and i really respect your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and maintain checking for new information. online casino gambling

Thursday, June 14, 2018 2:36:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home