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2010/1/410 Slide rule, Soho type, with single-sided closed frame and double-sided slide, laminated wood, designed for Boulton and Watt, Soho, Birmingham, England, 1779, made by Gravet Lenoir's successor company Tavernier and Vinay, Paris, France, 1870-1882. Click to enlarge.

Soho engineers’ slide rule

Made by Gravet-Lenoir in Paris, France, 1870-1892.

Because James Watt found steam engine design calculations irksome, in 1779 Matthew Boulton bought a slide rule for their firm. After using it, Watt commissioned the design of a slide rule with a set of scales suitable for his work. This became known as the Soho slide rule after the part of Birmingham where Boulton & Watt was located, and Gravet Lenoir in Paris made many rules to this design for engineers. This example was made by Gravet Lenoir’s successor company, Tavernier and Vinay, between 18...

Summary

Object No.

2010/1/410

Object Statement

Slide rule, Soho type, with single-sided closed frame and double-sided slide, laminated wood, designed for Boulton and Watt, Soho, Birmingham, England, 1779, made by Gravet Lenoir's successor company Tavernier and Vinay, Paris, France, 1870-1882

Physical Description

Slide rule, Soho type, with single-sided closed frame and double-sided slide, laminated wood, designed for Boulton and Watt, Soho, Birmingham, England, 1779, made by Gravet Lenoir's successor company Tavernier and Vinay, Paris, France, 1870-1882

This is a single-sided side rule with a closed frame and a double-sided slide, wood, dark brown in colour. The centre can slide out from the body. The scales are in the "Soho" arrangement.

Stock, upper: A (2 cycles of 1 - 10),
Slide, obverse: B, C, (as A)
Slide, reverse: S, T, line of equal parts (running inverted 0 - 1000)
Stock, lower: D (one cycle of 1 - 10)

Marks

Printed in black ink on front face: at top left, "GRAVEY LENOIR"; at lower centre, "38 RUE DE BABYLONE PARIS"; at top centre, "TAVERNIER & VINAY". Sticker on back inscribed in black ink, "Bromley / 1982-153".
Many lead pencil markings adorn the front and back faces, as well as white paint droplets on the back surface.
Under sliding centre rule is written in pen "Us H.W. 434, Ciro".

Dimensions

Width

30 mm

Depth

9 mm

Production

Notes

The rule is marked with both the names Gravet Lenoir and Tavernier & Vinay and the address given is 39 rue de Babylone, Paris, which Tavernier & Vinay occupied between 1870 and 1882. Tavernier and Vinay was the successor to Gravet Lenoir, which had established a fine reputation for making slide rules. It is based on the Boulton and Watt 'Soho' design.

Boulton and Watt selected/commissioned it.

Made

Gravet-Lenoir Paris, France 1870-1892

Source

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

Harvard

Soho engineers' slide rule 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 18 August 2019, <https://ma.as/379808>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/379808 |title=Soho engineers' slide rule |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=18 August 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Store 4 at the Museums Discovery Centre.

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