Slide rule made by Robert Bissaker in 1654, Radcliffe (now Wapping), London. Signed 'Robert Bissaker 1654 For T W'. It is the earliest-known dated straight slide rule.
Bissaker made this slide rule in 1654 for someone with the initials T.W, but this person has not been indentified. The mathematician William Oughtred was the first to use the newly invented logarithmic scales to form a calculating instrument with scales that could move with respect to one another. This is the earliest known dated straight slide rule which uses scales bound together with metal bands. Other slide rules were circular. By the late-seventeenth century slide rules were established for use by excise officers and in carpentry. Bissaker worked in Radcliffe, an area in east London which is near what is now known as Wapping, specialising in wooden instruments and his customers were probably seafarers.
- Object Number:
Closed: 25 mm x 670 mm x 25 mm, 0.305 kg
Open: 25 mm x 1170 mm x 25 mm, 0.305 kg
- Wilkinson, J.
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