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In this section I give a summary of the contents of a number of slide rules books.
|"Teach Yourself the Slide Rule", Burns Snodgrass, 1955||Published: 1955 to 1971.
Pages: c200 (varied with editions)
This book was written by the Managing Director of the "Unique" company. It only describes "Unique" rules but, as they produced a wide range, it is a very comprehensive book on slide rule use. A copy of most of the book is on line here. Copies of this book come up from time to time on ebay (the Internet auction). Their price varies a lot but they are mainly in the $10 to $25 range.
|"Slide Rules - Their History, Models, and Makers", P Hopp, Astragal Press, 1999.||Published: 1998
The slide rule collectors "bible". Has masses of information on makers, models, dates of production, catalogues, clues to dating etc. etc. It covers rules right from the start of manufacture up to the end of regular production. If you are interested in slide rule collecting this book is a must.
The Amazon list price is $35.00.
|"Revised Instructions for A W Faber's Calculating Rule", Charles N. Pickworth||Published: c 1900
Pages: 35 plus 12 sheets of figures.
Written by an early slide rule author (c1900). Describes the use of A, B, C, D, S, ST and T scales. See another of his books mentioned below.
|"The Mannheim Slide Rule - complete manual", Wm Cox, Keuffel and Esser, 1981||Published: 1891 + (my version was copyrighted in 1891 but mentions a
rule patented in 1900.)
Covers the basic scales and uses an interesting tabulated way of showing the how operations to be performed. Copies of this book come up from time to time on ebay (the Internet auction). Their price varies a lot but they are mainly in the $10 to $20 range.
|"The Mechanics Assistant - A thorough practical treatise on mensuration and the slide rule", D M Knapen, D Appleton & Company, New York, 1849||Published: 1849
Starts with a fairly brief description of a "Coggeshall" rule made by Belcher of New York. The bilk of the book is made up of mathematical formulae for areas and volumes of plane and solid shapes including some unusual things like Tonnage of Ships and Piling of Balls and Shells.
|"Slide Rules- a Journey through Three Centuries", Dieter von Jezierski (translated by R Shepherd), Astragal Press, 2000.||Published, 2000
Although this covers similar ground to Peter Hopp's book it does so in a different way and complements rather than competes with it.
The Amazon list price is $23.50.
|"The Slide Rule - a practical manual", C N Pickworth, Emmot and Later Pitman,Various dates.||Published: I have the 16th edition published in 1919 and the 24th
edition published in 1955.
Pages: c130 (varied with editions)
This came nearest to being a complete manual of slide rule use. Whilst it used specific slide rules as examples with the permission of the manufacturer it was not tied to any single make of rule. As new rules or types of rules were introduced new editions contained succinct description of how to use them. There have been a few sold on ebay, usually around $30 to $40.
|"Newnes Slide Rule Manual", F J Camm, George Newnes, 1944+||Published: 1944 (first edition) to at least 1948 (third edition, the
one I have)
A slightly unusual book in that it starts with the principle of slide rules, moves on to the principle of logarithms and then back to using the slide rule. A few have been sold on ebay for around $30.
|The Slide Rule in Theory and Practice. G P Rawlings, Percival Marshall, 1950.||Published: 1950
After a brief introduction to the components of a slide rule, the author goes into a long dissertation about mathematical methods including not only logarithms but also abacuses, long division and other matters. It does however cover all the basics of slide rule use.
|Florian Cajori, The Slide Rule. You can download a copy in Word format here. a facsimile edition is also published by Astragal Press,||This book, published in 1909, is the definitive history of the slide rule. It covers the discovery in England in the 17th century and goes on to follow it development in England, continental Europe and the United States in the up to the start of the 20th century.|
|The Slide Rule. Charles Hoare, Technical Press, 1950.||Published: 1950
To aid the student this book includes a cardboard slide rule. This rule however is not completely standard in that the B and C scales are on separate sliders. The author gives a very short explanation of the slide rule and most of the book is taken up with examples drawn from different technical spheres.
One copy was sold on ebay for $25.00.
|The Slide Rule as an Aid in Calculating. R. G. Blaine, Spon, 1946 (6th edition).||Published: 1946
The author presents what he refers to as "contracted arithmetic methods" which save time when doing multiplication by hand as only as many significant figure as necessary retained. The relevance of this to slide rules is not clear.) There then follows an introduction to logarithms. Quite soon however the author starts to explain how to use a slide rule for a range of calculations.
A few copies have been sold on ebay in the $10 to $25 price range.
|The Slide rule, R Saffold and Ann Smalley. The English Universities Press, London, 1964. This is a British edition of a book produced for U.S. Industries Inc.||Published 1964
This book is different to any other slide rule book I have ever seen. Whilst the pages are numbered consecutively that is not how they are referenced. The book starts on page 1 but at the foot of the page there is a question on what has been presented on that page. Two alternative answers are presented. If one answer is selected the student goes to page 6, otherwise to page 11. Page 2 starts with the message "You did not follow the instructions.". Page 3 is accessed from one of the answers on page 15, and so on.
The style of the book might have been an effective way of learning but it does mean you cannot browse through it. It does however have a good index so you can dip in to it for particular topics.
It covers the following scales, C & D: A, B and K: CI: L: S and T.
A few copies have been sold on ebay in the $35 to $50 range.