I ran across this book today and could not find it had been mentioned on the forum.  Originally published in 1913, it provides very interesting insights into the civil engineering side of railroads

Here is a snip on the chapters, @melgar and others might find the easement part interesting

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@Scotie posted:

I guess its time to dust off my K&E deci-trig rule.

I had one of them.  No idea where it is.

I showed my son-in-law how to do a simple multiplication problem on my Pickett slide rule, and he was absolutely amazed that it was possible.

No one understands or studies logs any more (or math while I am ranting!).

I earned my engineering degree using a slide rule.  I have totally forgotten how to use it.  I sold mine many years ago to slide rule collectors.  NH Joe

I still have my Faber-Castell slip stick from high school back in 1961.

I used one in high-school math (when dinosaurs roamed the earth). Don't knock slide rules. They sent astronauts into space using calculations done on them.

I used a Pickett slide rule in the US Navy to perform fast, critical calculations and never went on duty without it. I still have it in a box of keepsakes.

And you had to understand/be aware of the "significant digits" issue. I remember when calculator first arrived and my students after measuring something with a wooden ruler would computer and answer to about eight decimal places and had trouble understanding why that just wasn't correct.

@Scotie posted:

And you had to understand/be aware of the "significant digits" issue. I remember when calculator first arrived and my students after measuring something with a wooden ruler would computer and answer to about eight decimal places and had trouble understanding why that just wasn't correct.

I remember 3 "sig figs"!

I came across my old slide rule within the past six months while digging through a box in the basement. Tried playing with it for a moment but, like NH Joe, I had forgotten how to use it.

Curt

I still have my Post with leather case and instruction manual.

Unfortunately I lost the charging cord for my slide rule

It no longer works!

I got through years of engineering school using a Keuffel and Esser slide rule but haven't used it since then. I've been a computer user/programmer for almost sixty years but the slide rule remains on my desk as a reminder of the good old days.

MELGAR

Last edited by MELGAR

In the Fall Semester, when I taught on section of our Intro to Engineering Design for Freshman, I always brought my slide rule in and showed the students how to use it. It was, however, often on Halloween when I wore a safety vest, hard hat and carried a slide rule and T-square on my belt!.

That's a very cool book!

My dad was a mechanical engineer, and lived by his slide rule. I remember him working at home every Saturday on the Expand-A-Way, poring over his blueprints, drawings and plans, slide rule in hand. I still have my high school K&E slide rule and instruction booklet. Haven't really looked at them in over half a century.

Last edited by jay jay

When I was a junior and senior in college, calculators were just coming out and a few had one. However because at that time they were pretty expensive the professors made us use a slide rule on tests. When my son was in high school he had to have a graphing calculator. Now having a computer is a requirement in both HS and college. We've come a long way!

Ken

But you do not have to worry about, " Batteries not included," with a slide re.

My K&E slide rule is packed away with my work stuff.......haven't used it since organic chemistry in 72-73......by the time I did my lab year in 84-85, I used a TRS 80 for calculations. I cannot part with it though I never use it....a fond talisman of an era gone forever!

Peter

I used a slide rule (Dietzgen) all through high-school and college - indeed it was an early birthday present from my parents when I started 9th grade.

In college a lot of the engineering and science majors (myself included) would wear the slide rule case strapped to our belt.  It gave the  appearance of "packing" (and, in a sense we were ).  I still have mine and I've never forgotten how to use one although it has been decades since I last used it for anything.

As for the comment on significant figures - how true and even more so today.  It is quite common to see an analysis performed with data good to just a single significant digit reported out to 3 or even 4 "significant" digits - or as my professors used to say - "empty precision."

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