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TEACH YOURSELF THE SLIDE RULE

The "Teach Yourself ..." series of books (still published today by Hodder Stoughton) will be familiar to any British reader. One of their titles was "Teach Yourself the Slide Rule"  by Burns Snodgrass M.B.E, A.R.C.Sc.. The author had founded the Unique Slide Rule Company in 1920.   The book was published in 1954, the year of his death. The company was subsequently managed by his son. Given the provenance of the author, it is not surprising that the book concentrates on Unique slide rules. However since the company produced a wide range of rules it made a very comprehensive book.

The book was originally published by "The English Universities Press Ltd". The copyright is now held by "Hodder Stoughton", to whom I am grateful for permission  to scan parts of the book and put them on this web site.

The following is the original list of contents.  From those sections with hyperlinks you can see which of them have been scanned (at least in part) and added to my site. I should add that I have not simply scanned the pages and put them on the site as a graphics images but have interpreted them by Optical Character Recognition. The advantage of this is that the files are smaller than the original graphics image and can be more easily printed. The disadvantage, but only for me, is that it is more labour intensive. I have also at times modified the format (for example moving lists of slide movements into tables). As an Engineer married to an English graduate, I have been made aware that not only do engineers sometime use language in an idiosyncratic way but they are not always consistent in their use of language; this was case with Burns Snodgrass. I have not tried to improve his English nor add consistency (for example, descriptions of slide movements are sometimes given on separate lines and sometimes run together and separated by commas).

The figures were taken from the original book; they often showed the two ends of a rule split over two pages.


Contents

FORWARD

SECTION 1. THE PRINCIPLE OF THE SLIDE RULE
Linear and non-linear scales - numbering of the scales - reading the scales - multiplication and division of simple numbers.

SECTION 2. FRACTIONS-DECIMALS
Fractions, addition and subtraction - Multiplication and division - Decimals, Conversion of Decimal Fractions into ordinary Fractions - Addition and Subtraction - Multiplication and Division - Contracted methods - Conversion of ordinary Fractions into Decimal Fractions - Recurring Decimals - Conversion of Recurring Decimals into ordinary Fractions.

SECTION 3. THE MODERN SLIDE RULE
Protection of the Slide Rule - Component parts - C & D Scales - A & B Scales - Log Scale - The Cursor - Linear Scales.

SECTION 4. C & D SCALES
Multiplication - Division - Multiplication and Division combined - Position of a Decimal Point.

SECTION 5. A & B SCALES
Squares and Square Roots - Cubes and Cube Roots - Cube Scale.

SECTION 6. LOG LOG SCALES
Evaluation of Powers and Roots - Common Logarithms - Natural Logarithms.

SECTION 7. THE TRIGONOMETRICAL SCALES
Sine Scale - Tangent Scale - Solution of Triangles - Navigational Problems - Navigational Units and Formulae - Wind and Drift Problems - Interception Problems - Calculation of True Track and Distance.

SECTION 8. THE COMMERCIAL RULE
The Special Commercial Scales-Money Calculations - Discount Scale - The Monetary Rule - .s.d. Scales - Invoicing calculations.

SECTION 9. THE PRECISION RULE
The Special C & D Scales - Multiplication - Division - Determining in which scale lies the answer.

SECTION 10. THE ELECTRICAL RULE
Dynamo and Motor Efficiencies - Volt Drop - Duplicate C & D Scales - Reciprocal Scale - Time Saving.

SECTION 11. THE DUALISTIC RULE
Duplicated C & D Scales - Special 20" Scales for ordinary calculations - Squares and Square Roots - Cubes and Cube Roots - Log Log Scales.

SECTION 12. THE BRIGHTON RULE
The ordinary Scales - Log Log Scales - Sine & Tan Scales - Cube Scale - Log Scale.

SECTION 13. INDICES & LOGARITHMS
Indices - Multiplication and Division - Logarithms - Reading Log Tables - Multiplication and Division - All Bilogarithms - Powers and Roots - Logarithms with Negative Characteristics - Tables of Logarithms and Antilogarithms.

SECTION 14. OTHER CALCULATING INSTRUMENTS
Cylindrical Calculators - Circular Calculators - Watch type Calculators - Other Rules.

SECTION 15. HISTORICAL NOTE
Invention of the Slide Rules - Degree of Accuracy - Common Gauge Points - Marking Special Gauge Points.

SECTION 16. EXERCISES
Commerce - Energy and Power - Friction and Heat - Strength and Deflection of Beams - Strength of Shafts and Deflection of Springs - Electricity - Building - Surveying - Navigation - Miscellaneous.

ANSWERS TO PROBLEMS

Hodder Stoughton, reproduced with permission.


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