For math and science geeks it was a badge of honor, nestled neatly into a plastic pocket protector along with a handful of stubby pencils.
And then, one dark day in 1972, with the advent of the pocket calculator, the slide rule went the way of the abacus. Why fiddle around with the arcane log scales and indexes required to use a slide rule when an inexpensive calculator required nothing more of its owner than the ability to push a few buttons? —Michelle Delio
—Slide Rule Still Rules (Wired)
The exhibit features “celebrity slide rules,” such as one donated by astronaut Neil Armstrong.
In the mid-70s, I had a metric-to-English conversion slide ruler that I loved. I wonder if I still have it… I remember after watching the first Star Wars movie, I used it as a light sabre (extending the middle portion while making a dramatic “schloommmvvvvvvv” noise)… until I nicked it in battle with one of my siblings, and it wouldn’t slide so easily anymore.