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I Never Learned to Use a Slide Rule, Did You?

Posted by innovativeip on July 14, 2010

At 47, I’m just old enough to have missed (barely) the Slide Rule glory days.  Much like we wear cell phones, my Dad, an engineer, wore one on his belt along with his coworkers calculating details for Apollo space craft design. 

Yes, today’s Patent of the Day is a Slide Rule.  But, not just any Slide Rule.  U.S. Patent No. 2,289,717, issued July 14, 1942 was for a “Slide Rule for the Sightless” or Braille Slide Rule.


If you’d like an in-person look at a real specimen of this amazing and rare tool (apparently only a very few exist), you can find it in the MIT Museum.  If you’d like to learn how to use a traditional Slide Rule, you can find instructions at  Take a look at those instructions and then imagine working the device without sight.  My utmost respect to those who operate in the world of Braille. 

You can view the entire patent at  Enjoy!


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