Slide Rule and Abacus


The slide rule is a mechanical device for making rapid mathematical calculations other than addition and subtraction. It can be used to multiply, divide, find powers and roots, and perform more complex operations involving logarithms and trigonometric functions. The history of the slide rule essentially began in 1614, when John Napier published his first table of logarithms, but the device in its present form was designed in 1850 by a French army officer, Amedee Mannheim. The invention of hand-held electronic calculators made the slide rule obsolete.


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