Richardson’s Pantocrat Six In One slide rule

Made 1912-1920

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.

This slide rule is an example of a unique construction of the slide rule. In order to produce a device w...


Object No.


Physical Description

Slide rule with case, Richardson's Pantocrat Six-In-One, metal / leatherette, made by the Richardson Slide Rule Company, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, 1912-1920

Richardson's Pantocrat Six In One Slide Rule, 28cm metal stock with 5 interchangeable slides. The stock and each slide has a folded tin backing with a white painted tin rule inserted into it. The scales are printed onto the white painted surface. The slides are then inserted into the stock as required for the calculation to be performed. In dark leather (snakeskin-look) case with gilt lettering.
US Patent 1911/1/31 & 1912/3/26
Missing cursor and possibly one slide.

Stock, upper: Sin, A,
Slides, interchangeable:
1776: B, CI, C
1812: B, +-, C
1860: D2, CI, %
1860 LL: C, LL1, LL2, LL3 (folded at e) - Richardson's Logometric Slide
1865 O: C, CI, R - Engineer's Binary Polymetric Slide
Stock, lower: D, Tan, Log (equal parts)

Mfr: Richardson Slide Rule Co, Chicago, Illinois.



42 mm


6 mm






The American slide rule maker George W. Richardson was a veteran of the Spanish-American war of the late 1890s. He had been an electrician in the Navy and began his formal education at the International Correspondence School in 1901, at the age of 33. He established his slide rule manufacturing business in Chicago about 1907 and sold it to the Gilson Company before 1920. Richardson received a patent for his metal slide rules with scales printed in black on a white background in 1912, claiming greater long term accuracy than wooden slide rules with scales engraved in celluloid.

The part numbers of Richardson's for the slides included in the Pantocrat slide rule appear to be numbered according to momentous events in American History. These were mostly wars; 1776 being the American Revolution, 1812 being a war between the USA and Britain largely over trade matters, 1860 is the year Abraham Lincoln became President of the USA and the year in which the southern states of the US began to secede, and 1865 is the last year of the Civil War and the year Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

Mike Konshak, "Geo. W. Richardson Rule Works"


Credit Line

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

Acquisition Date

20 January, 2010

Cite this Object


Richardson's Pantocrat Six In One slide rule 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 January 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Richardson's Pantocrat Six In One slide rule |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 January 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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