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2010/1/332 Slide rule with case and instruction sheets, Faber-Castell 2/82 N Biplex, open frame, duplex, plastic / metal / paper, made by Faber-Castell, Gemany, c. 1962. Click to enlarge.

Faber Castell 2/82 N Biplex slide rule

Over the 19th and much of the 20th centuries the slide rule was the primary instrument for calculation used by many people engaged in the trades and in engineering. Although originally invented in the 17th century, and widely used for gauging (or estimating the quantities of certain products such as alcoholic spirits) it took until around 1850 for the slide rule to become generally popular with those for whom mathematics was a daily task. This was largely brought about through the increase in …


Object No.


Object Statement

Slide rule with case and instruction sheets, Faber-Castell 2/82 N Biplex, open frame, duplex, plastic / metal / paper, made by Faber-Castell, Gemany, c. 1962

Physical Description

Slide rule, Faber-Castell 2/82 N Biplex, duplex, open frame with die cast metal straps at each end, double-sided plastic cursor. Scales are printed on white plastic in black, red and green.

In plastic case with instruction sheets and a separate ruler.

Stock, upper: T1, T2, L, A
Slide: B, BI, CI, S', C
Stock, lower: D, S, ST, P
Stock, upper: LL03, LL02, LL01, K, DF
Slide: CF, K', CIF, CI, C
Stock, lower: D, LL1, LL2, LL3


Manufacturer information printed on slide rule body in black, in upper left ' Faber-Castell (logo) ', in centre left ' 2/82 N / Made in Germany ', and in lower left ' Castell / Biplex '. Name on white paper sticker, in center right, handwritten in black ' Bromley / 1984-9 '.

Logo and copyright information on separate ruler, in left hand end, printed in black ' Faber-Castell (logo) / Copyright by / A. W. Faber-Castell '.

Logo on case, in left, printed in green ' Faber-Castell '. Model number on white paper sticker on case, in left hand end, printed in black ' Castell 2/28N '.



14 mm


70 mm



Made by Faber-Castell, Gemany, c. 1962

A.W. Faber's first slide rules were made of boxwood but in 1887 they began using celluloid facings laminated onto the wooden body of the rule and in 1889 introduced the metal-rimmed glass cursor. They produced a wide range of slide rules, including specialist electrical and engineering rules. In 1935 they patented the Darmstadt scales which added several ranges of log-log scales.

A.W. Faber continued to develop their slide rules, adopting new scales for specialist functions and new materials so that they could offer a range of affordable student rules as well as the more expensive celluloid faced rules. As logarithmic slide rules cannot be used for addition and subtraction, in 1937 they added an Addiator type calculator, used with a stylus, to the back of some of their range, especially the business oriented models. They began producing injection moulded all plastic slide rules in the 1950s. In 1962 a factory was established in Australia.



There were generally two types of slide rules. One type were the linear slide rules consisting of a pair of strips of timber faced with celluloid (and in the mid-20th century, plastic) forming what is known as the "stock" and with a sliding strip inset between them. Of these there are two sub-types: closed frame, which is usually single-sided and appears as a single body of wood or plastic, and open frame, in which the stocks are separate but held together by straps usually of metal at each end of the body. The other type were the circular slide rules consisting of two or three concentric disks. Each type could have several sets of scales applied to them. Most slide rules have some kind of cursor which can be slid along the rule (or around the disk) acting as an indicator that assisted in lining up the slide scales with the scales on the stock.

This slide rule is of the linear open frame type. It was manufactured by Faber-Castell in Germany and sold on the English speaking market market.


Credit Line

Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program in memory of Associate Professor Allan Bromley, 2010

Acquisition Date

20 January 2010

Cite this Object


Faber Castell 2/82 N Biplex slide rule 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 January 2022, <>


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