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Where Have all the Slide Rules Gone and why Should Engineers Care?

The slide rule is gone but not lost. This gallery illustrates why.

There was a time not that long ago when every type of engineer had a slide rule. But the advent of semiconductor technology and the creation of handheld computers made the slide rule obsolete. Or did it?

To answer this question, a review of all the different types of slide rules is in order. This gallery offers a glimpse of this most popular tool and why the ability to quickly estimate an engineering design is still important.

John Blyler is a Design News senior editor, covering the electronics and advanced manufacturing spaces. With a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering, he has years of hardware-software-network systems experience as an editor and engineer within the advanced manufacturing, IoT and semiconductor industries. John has co-authored books related to system engineering and electronics for IEEE, Wiley, and Elsevier.

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