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Lesson 1 Objectives

When you complete this lesson you will be able to:

  • Know the history and origins of the slide rule,
  • comprehend the basic principle of operation of slide rules,
  • recognize the scales and their function in a slide rule,
  • compute operations using an engineering slide rule.


Select a reading section below. The reading page has a link to return to the lesson page.

  1. A brief history of slide rules
  2. Principles of operation of slide rules
  3. Slide Rule Terminology
  4. Basic Calculations
  5. Advanced Calculations


  • ALL ABOUT SLIDE RULES. Compiled by Richard Davis and Ted Hume from an original design by Bob Koppany. The Oughtred Society. Roseville, California 2012.

Lecture 1 Video

Watch the lecture video below. You may need a notebook to take notes while I explain the material.

Websites and supporting documents

Feel free to visit the list of resources provided below. There are some documents that you can download for later reading.