A Brief History of Computing

© Copyright 1996-2000, Stephen White

Last update: 4/4/2000

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Slide Rule

Slide Rule (click to enlarge)
Photo by author (slide rule from Roslyn White)
A Slide Rule

The Slide Rule was invented by William Oughtred in 1625. The slide rule is based on Napier's ideas about logarithms - it has logarithmic scales that can be slid past each other to allow approximations to multiplication to be carried out quickly and easily.

Slide rules were in continual use by scientists and mathematicians right up until to the introduction of the first handheld calculator by Hewlett Packard in 1972.

© Copyright 1996-2000, Stephen White My homepage - email:swhite@ox.compsoc.net