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Oughtred Society Dedicated to the Preservation of Slide Rules

A page one article in the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal is called Who's Going to Want Grandma's Hoard Of Antique Gnomes? It's about what happens to the artifacts that a collector accumulates during his life once he is no longer able to look after them.

One section of the article that may interest some Rensselaer alumni talked about Tom Wyman and his slide rule collection:

In Palo Alto, Calif., Tom Wyman, 78, has about 900 antique slide rules. Mr. Wyman belongs to the 430-member Oughtred Society, named for William Oughtred, who in the 1620s invented an early form of the slide rule. The group hosts lectures to entice youngsters to embrace slide-rule collecting. But Mr. Wyman says such "missionary work" is a hard sell. "It's quite a challenge to give a talk that keeps everybody awake -- both the 80-year-old collectors and the 12-year-olds in the audience."

I did a Google search and found that The Oughtred Society has an extensive website and has had East Coast meetings in East Windsor, NJ regularly. The most recent meeting in our area was in 2004.

If you have a collection of slide rules from your pre-calculator days, maybe you too would be interested in meeting fellow fans of "historical calculating instruments." [ Registration required to read most articles in The Wall Street Journal ]

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