Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

Training Aids before Computers 1950/60's


What we used before computers.
Photo: Barrie.
Views: 1,782
Item #: 31847
In everyday use in work now we use computers of some sort or other. In construction and other industries CAD is the norm but back in the early 60's when I was training at Wigan Tech and on site (M6) these were the tools of the trade.Imperial scale rules with wooden box (gift from Dad),drawing instruments in a purpose-made case,passed down from Dad,french curves (OO-LA-LA), flexi-curves, Slide rule( has any one seen one these days?) Metric scale rules came in the 1970's, just in shot is my well thumbed Chalmer's Seven-Figure Mathematical Tables, much more accurate than the old 4 figure school ones from senior school.Small calipers (school made and still used to this day), rubber when you made a mistake on the design or drawing! What will the students etc of today show in 50 years time I wonder.

Comment by: priscus on 26th January 2020 at 20:59

I had an unusual slide rule: vellum scales attached to body of rule which was made of wood. It came from 'Griffin and George' laboratory suppliers (bore their name) though I guess it was made for them rather than manufactured by them.
I gave that one away, but I still have my Thornton's slide rule. About a year ago, a young neighbour was helping me shift stuff, and seeing the rule, he asked about it.

I quickly found that I could still use the main A&B, and C&D scales to demonstrate use of the device. But the specialised scales, (AC complex analysis of Quadrature) I no longer could.

I still have the original instructions, though it is unlikely I will have need again to perform such calculations.

Comment by: RON HUNT on 26th January 2020 at 23:30

Tools of a craftsman. The youth of today don't know they are born. I never used a slide rule but was full of admiration of those who did.

Comment by: Ken on 27th January 2020 at 07:45

Still use them sometimes

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 27th January 2020 at 07:52

I was never any good in the area of Maths but can appreciate this beautiful collection.

Comment by: irene roberts on 27th January 2020 at 12:03

Ditto, Helen. I was useless at maths But I love pens and pencils and even have some pencils from the second world war even though I was only born in the fifties. I also have a ruler marked in inches.

Comment by: priscus on 29th January 2020 at 16:29

Slide rules have now become collectors items.

On ebay, you find mundane examples fetching around a tenner, but particularly interesting models are going for three figure prices. So maybe worth checking if you have one of the latter. (Similar for some of the drawing instruments)

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