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February 08, 2018


That shirt pocket looks designed to carry a slide rule ;-)

Stu--Slide rules hang from one's belt! A 6-inch slide rule is too dainty for a real engineer's paws. (Of course, I have a 6-inch slide rule - in addition to a couple of full-sized ones - because I am such a dainty flower ; ) At least he's not wearing a pocket protector.

Have either of you ever used a round slide rule? I remember seeing some weird contraption at some point in my education when we were learning about slide rules. And I have seen a slide rule carried on a belt just not by myself. I was young enough to get to use a calculator for functions like that.

As a student, I bought construction-worker jeans, because they had a long pocket for a folding ruler along the right thigh, and was held to be geeky because of that :-)

I use a circular calculator when flying, but it has a rectangular slide through the centre, so I can do vector calculations (e.g. wind-offset etc).

Ingineer--Pilots use a round slide rule (E6B) for calculating times and distances. I'm not sure I ever saw a straight, mathematical slide rule. We women were at a distinct disadvantage since most of our skirts, of that day, did not have belts from which to hang a slide rule. No...we didn't wear pants to school - usually. I used an electronic calculator (actually a terminal to a main frame) in 1971, as I recall, and Hunky Husband bought me an HP-35 in 1972. Dudette (and Bogie?) used the HP-35 (with one storage space) to invert 3X3 matrices to check out some of my thesis work for me.

Stu--Egad! We would have called you "Farmer Jones" in those jeans. *laughing* As you well know, or perhaps only in the USA in the 1950s?, slide rule cases were leather and came with a D-ring to which a leather loop (through which one's belt passed) was attached. BTW: As an electrician, my dad wore overalls with the folding ruler pocket. I have his last pair that he didn't get the chance to wear out. All of that said, for a while (since I've retired, I think), it was a fad for teenage girls to wear such overalls - designed to their sizes, and in all sorts of pastel colors, of course.

Has either of you ever constructed a nomograph ? When I worked as a computer (yes, my title was "Computer D") at Boeing (1959-1961, before finishing my first degree), my lead engineer asked me to construct one. Never having heard of a nomograph, it was a challenge. He assured me that a slide rule was just a special form of nomograph.

Brit slide rules did not have D-rings or carry-loops, which is why I used long-pocket jeans.
I still have a GDR slide rule, no carry loops either : must be a US feature.
My yurpean equivalent of an E6B is a white plastic Aviat. No carry loop either.

Never constructed a nomograph, but I used Smith charts in my thesis. They are just complex plane nomographs.

Photo of my GDR slide rule here :-

Didn’t you carry a purse that you could have put that slide rule in? I would think that would be more convenient than on a belt anyway.

Stu, funny you mention the folding rule pocket. I never owned a pair of pants with the pocket, but as a field construction engineer, I used a folding rule with feet and tenths on a regular basis.
PS the DDR slide rule is very cool.

Yes I constructed nomagraphs in my education process a couple of times. And I used them quite few times in school and at work back in the old days.
And I think those pastel overalls that you are referring were popular in the 1980’s or maybe 90’s.

Stu--With no D-ring or such, the long-pocketed jeans make more sense. (I should have known, eh?) It turns out that, cases to older US slide rules may not have had the D-rings, either. See my next posting for more info on that. No, nor did my E6B have a carry loop.

Smith charts. My, it has been years! We used them for impedance matching calculations - years and years ago.

Thanks for the photo - which I plan to incorporate into my next posting, please. BTW: Your GDR vs Ingineer's DDR had me confused until I found, "DDR - Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (DDR) or German Democratic Republic (GDR). Marks slide rules as being made in East Germany, after 1949...."

Ingineer--I can tell that 1) you didn't experience the 1950s and 2) you are a guy. The purse that I carried in college was probably 6" x 3" - not nearly large enough for a slide rule. In addition, the purse had no strap - it was a "clutch" type. What with carrying my clipboard, books, slide rule, and purse, it was a real balancing act. [In my professional career, I didn't carry a purse. I stuck everything that I needed into my brief bag.]

I have several measuring rules (metal, of course, 6" long) that measure in decimals rather than eighths, and the triangular cross-sectioned scales with the various partitions on them that we used in drafting/engineering drawing (12+" long).

Good show on the nomographs!

Hmmm...I don't think it was the 1980s. Yes, overalls were trendy for women, then; but, the colors were not pastel and the materials were heavier than later when they became pastel. [I still have a few overall-style jumpers of denim from the 1980s. BTW: I do mean jumpers that reach to below the knee - not "jumpers" as the Brits use the term.] I was really thinking the pastels had been sometime since the turn of the 21st century; but, I'll accept that it could have been the 1990s.

Ingineer66 said: "Didn’t you carry a purse that you could have put that slide rule in? "

HA, HA, HA, HA. My mother did not carry a purse. she was lucky if she remembered a small wallet if she wasn't toting her brief case around :)

CC: Looks like HH has had some sun. The weather must be cooperating (mostly) so he can get out for his runs.

Bogie--You would not have known that I carried a purse in the days before you can remember; but, you are exactly correct: I don't remember to take a purse or, if I do, I'm in danger of leaving it wherever I eat or do business. Of course, at work, I frequently walked off without a tool or my organizer book. I only recall a couple of instances on which I walked off without my brief case. Too, when I was 16, I spent what to me was an inordinate amount on a two-piece knit suit - only to walk off without the package when I put it down to look at something else. There's a reason Elegant Friend always called me the absent-minded professor.

Good stuff. I was pretty sure that you wouldn’t have carried a purse in your given profession, but I did think that I might get a laugh out of you from my comment. A brief case or bag seems much more appropriate. That is what I carried, before the days of carrying a laptop bag and now I am starting to leave the laptop when I travel to other offices and only bring an iPad.

Bogie--HH runs in fits and spurts, as the weather allows. Yesterday, he returned home having run "only" 1.5 miles (his normal is 3 and he sometimes stretches it to 4). The wind had been much stronger than he had thought and he got thoroughly chilled (I think the wind chill was under 20 degrees F). He wants to run, this morning; but, even though the temperature is about 10 degrees warmer than yesterday, I think the wind is at least as strong as yesterday, for a wind chill of about freezing. He gets in 2/3 of a mile (total) of walking in any case because he doesn't start running until he gets to Rock Rd.

Ingineer--See? You not only gave me a laugh, but Bogie as well. Well done! I intentionally bought a 14" laptop. That small, it fits nicely into my office bag. HH has a 17", so not as convenient for him and he normally only takes his iPhone. No iPad in this house, and I have never subscribed to a data plan for my smart phone (an 11-year-old Treo), using the capability to carry Office files with me but not email or browse the web.

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