• FA-124238 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
  • FA-124239 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Technical and Scientific Principles
Calculating, Drawing & Design Instruments
1960 - 1969
At the moment this object is not published in the museum.

Demonstration slide rule


Slide rules are simple calculation aids used for making rough estimates. Large demonstration devices were used for training.

Before the invention of the pocket calculator, a book of tables or at least a pencil and paper were used for calculating multiplications, divisions, powers, trigonometrical ratios, etc. The slide rule significantly simplified the work required for these calculations. Many of these values are already printed on its sections. They can be combined by sliding the central section.

The slide rule is based on the following principle: The multiplication of two figures can be calculated by the addition of two distances on a logarithmic scale. This fact was known by around 1600 and shortly afterwards led to the construction of the first slide rules. The structure of the slide rule was standardized in 1850: They consist of single decade scales C and D, the double decade scales A and B, the three decade scale K and the sine and tangent scales. A transparent slider makes it easier to read, just as in the case of this slide rule from the collection of the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum).

The slide rule also had an additional didactic effect: As the numbers 2 and 2000, for example, are not differentiated on the ruler, the user must first consider what order of magnitude the result would have.
For many years, the slide rule was the symbol of engineers, just like the stethoscope for doctors.

Manufacturer: Aristo
Date of construction: around 1960

Inv.Nr. 74927
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