Last slide rule manufactured, July 11, 1976
In 1976, EDN was in its 20th year. What else was happening in 1976?:
William Oughtred, as well as others, developed the slide rule in the 17th century based on the emerging work on logarithms by John Napier.
Although some overseas companies continue to make slide rules and retailers like Think Geek offer replica models, these are often sold for nostalgia or are far more advanced than actual slide rules, some including electronics.
Keuffel & Esser (K&E) Corporation had the honor of producing the last slide rule. The company presented it to the Smithsonian.
Despite the end of slide rule manufacturing, many such tools can be found on engineers’ benches and in their cubes today, decades after the end of production.
- Do engineers still use hand slide rules?
- Slide rules and charts - a personal collection
- Give Me a Slide Rule, Please
- The Gerber behind the Gerber file format
For more moments in tech history, see this blog. EDN strives to be historically accurate with these postings. Should you see an error, please notify us.
Editor's note: This article was originally posted on July 11, 2012 and edited on July 11, 2017.