Paul Turner on January 28, 2010 – 10:03 am
I learned how to use a slide rule when I entered college in 1968 and majored in physics. The catchphrase at the time when solving problems was “slide rule accuracy,” which really was pretty good if you were careful. While in graduate school in 1972 or 1973 I even taught a class on using the slide rule at the local community college in Louisville.
As I recall the HP-35 was about $400 when introduced so only the Physcis Department could afford one, certainly not an poor, underpaid Graduate Teaching Assistant. I did have a few students who paid $100 for a four-function calculator! In 1974, my first employer paid half the cost of a scientific calculator. My how times have changed!
I still have my slide rule, but I’m not sure where it is right now. (And, no, I never walked around with my slide rule clipped to my belt.)