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The Oughtred Society was founded in 1991 by a group of slide rule collectors and is dedicated to the preservation and history of slide rules and other calculating instruments. Over the past three decades it has evolved to an international organization with members in 20 countries. It is noted for its highly acclaimed Journal of the Oughtred Society, published twice annually. The Society is a non-profit educational organization. Society goals include the dissemination and sharing of information and encouragement for collectors. We are affiliated with organizations in the United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands and Italy. Our activities are carried out by members who volunteer to do various tasks and projects. Membership is open to anyone. Click "Membership" in the left navigation menu for more information about member activities and benefits.


  • IM2020 Announcement:

    We are planning on a very interesting and dynamic 2020 as this marks our year for the Oughtred Society to again host the International Meeting 2020 in the USA. Working with Debbie Douglas at the MIT Museum, we have set the date for IM2020 for 10-13 Sept 2020, in Cambridge, MA. Although the Museum is in a period of transition as it begins its move to the new facility across campus, Debbie has arranged for our members to have access to study parts of the collection in a special private session, similar to our last meeting at the museum.

    Activities will begin on Thursday with a special museum working session from 10 AM to 5 PM as we meet there to bring our collective expertise to identify and photograph unusual rules that the collection has been adding to their collection. Friday and Saturday will feature papers and presentations with another visit to the museum for an insider’s look at the collection. In addition, a visit to the Harvard Museum is being planned, possibly for Sunday, and an introductory dinner for Wednesday evening. Full schedules will be available shortly; please mark your calendar now for the entire experience, Thursday through Sunday, 10-13 Sept.

    We are also looking to fill some key IM 2020 positions from the membership as we require a Proceedings Chairperson to drive and supervise the gathering of the papers and presentations, a Meeting Chairperson to organize the details of the meeting, and a Local Chairperson to deal with any issues local to the Cambridge area. Additional details will be available on our website and through our upcoming email messages regarding IM2020. Looking forward to seeing you in Cambridge in September!

    Clark McCoy
    Membership Secretary
    The Oughtred Society

  • The new edition of the Journal of the Oughtred Society is out! (See below for sample page and TOC images!)

    JOS 2019-28-2 Cover

  • Francis Wells
    November 10, 1928 – December 2nd, 2019

    Francis passed away in Nyon hospital Switzerland on 2nd December 2019 as a result of stroke. Before moving to Switzerland he lived for many years in France and was an authority on French slide rule makers. In 2002 he published with Tom Wyman a ground-breaking article in the JOS (Vol. 11, No. 1) on the French makers Lenoir, Gravet-Lenoir and Tavernier-Gravet. At the time little had ever previously been published about the historical importance of these largely unknown makers.

    "I remember meeting Francis in the late 1990s at many of the early International Meetings (IM’s)...He was modest about his considerable slide rule knowledge, a stalwart member of the UKSRC and was always the “perfect gentleman.” --David Rance.

    Francis Wells

  • The Oughtred Society 2019 Annual Meeting was held in Las Vegas at the Atomic Testing Museum on April 20, 2019. Once again there were dozens of unique and interesting slide rules for sale at the Oughtred Society annual auction and several interesting presentations. Here is a brief report on the 2019 OS annual meeting.

  • International Meeting of Collectors of Historical Calculating Instruments (IM2019) - September 20-22, 2019

    The 25th International Meeting of Collectors of Historical Calculating Instruments (IM2019) was held September 20th to 22nd, 2019 at the Badhotel in Scheveningen -- the seaside resort of The Hague, which is the government residence of the Netherlands (full announcement). (pdf) 2018 meeting report.

  • Calling all authors! The Oughtred Society is preparing the 2020 Journal issues, and is looking for some good articles! Contact Journal editor Jim Bready with your proposal, and see The Journal of the Oughtred Society web page for more information and to download the JOS Guidelines for Authors.

  • June 16-17, 2018: An SR-71 symposium was held in McMinnville, Oregon at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. The SR-71 was the last aircraft designed using slide rules.

  • Free On-Line BOOK: The Oughtred Society is proud to announce the publication of LONG-SCALE SLIDE RULES in LIFE-SIZE IMAGES by Otto E. van Poelje, dedicated to the memory of our Oughtred Society fellow collector & long-scale slide rule connoisseur Edwin Chamberlain (18-10-2017)

  • The Oughtred Society is proud to publish The Inventor of the CURTA Calculator an autobiography. This book is the story of the remarkable life of the inventor of this ingenious device, how he started in his father's mechanical office machine company in Vienna, eventually running the company himself, designing the Curta and becoming embroiled in WWII as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp and finally the difficulties of setting up full production after the war in Liechtenstein. Additional material written by the late Tom Wyman and Dr. Robert Otnes is included.

  • Archive of Collections. New Collections added to this Archive. The first collection in this Archive was that of the late Tom Wyman. We now have five collections featured; items from the collections of Paul Tarantolo, Louis Gotlib, Richard Davis, Cliff Frohlich and Thomas Wyman. All the collections continue to grow under the direction and efforts of Clark McCoy, Rod Lovett, Ted Hume and Richard Davis. We invite you to view this new Archive of Collections and consider having us post your collection to the OS website for posterity.

  • Pencil Slide Rules: A new publication introduced earlier in the year by the Oughtred Society: Pencil Slide Rules and their Successors, The Calculator Pen and Pentop Computers is a collection of articles that admirably covers this subject! This monograph is authored and edited by one of our Oughtred Society founders, Rodger Shepherd. This publication is now available for sale on our website.

  • JOS DVD is available for sale, containing 26 years of the Journal of the Oughtred Society in PDF format. OS members and non-members(individuals and institutions) may purchase the DVD by going to the Journal page and paying for the disk via Paypal.

  • A Search Facility for the Journal of The Oughtred Society awaits your use.
    (See Journal Search in main menu at left.) This new Search Facility displays high resolution PDFs of Journal articles. You may search by several methods -- author, title, keyword, or for any word that appears in any article, or for all articles in a given year, etc.The search facility was created by Rod Lovett.

  • Request for Articles for the 2020 and 2021 Journals. Be a contributing author and share your knowledge and interests. For ideas and inspiration, read "Yes, You Can Write for the Journal of the Oughtred Society" (82KB pdf).
  • Current Journal of the Oughtred Society
    JOS 2019-28-2 Cover JOS 2019-28-2 TOC JOS 2019-28-2 Sample Page
    Cover                        Table Of Contents           Sample Page

  • Sample Articles from the Journal of the Oughtred Society. The Oughtred Society is pleased to present seven articles from past issues of the Journal. See NEWS ARCHIVES.
  • JOS Plus is the website location where supplemental material appears for articles in the Journal of the Oughtred Society. View these supplemental materials by going to JOS Plus.
  • NEWS ARCHIVES - Past announcements and news.

General Information





Publications of the Oughtred Society

Order Details for
All Publications

26 years on one disk


Specialized Slide Rules Cover
Specialized Slide Rules
for Electronic Engineers

The Inventor of the CURTA Calculator
The Inventor of the
CURTA Calculator

Pencil Slide Rule Book
Pencil Slide Rules

The Slide Rule Technical Cultural Heritage
by IJzebrand Schuitema

K&E Slide Rule History
K&E Slide Rule History

Slide Rule Reference Manual
Slide Rule Reference Manual
2nd Edition

Pocketbook of Gauge Marks
Pocketbook of Gauge Marks
2nd Edition


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last modified February 12, 2020