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Cylindrical Slide Rule - Trevor Pearcey, 1940s Object Reg. No: ST 045077

Analogue slide rule belonging to Trevor Pearcey, who was one of the designers of the first digital computer in Australia, the computer CSIRAC. There is no evidence that suggests that Trevor Pearcey used the slide rule in designing CSIRAC; if anything, an analogue slide rule might well have been used by Maston Beard, another designer of CSIRAC, in developing the electronics.

Dr Pearcey was a pioneer in the field of electronic computing in Australia. He designed the computer CSIR Mark 1, later known as CSIRAC, while working for the Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Sydney in the 1940s. He also held a variety of academic positions in computing.

CSIRAC was built by the CSIR in Sydney in 1949 and was the fourth computer in the world. It was later transferred to the University of Melbourne. Designed by Trevor Pearcey and engineered by Maston Beard, CSIRAC completed more than 1000 projects by the time it was turned off in 1964. It is currently housed at Museum Victoria.
Brass base with silver coloured coating, possibly chrome. Ends slide out to reveal logarithms printed on a yellowed coated paper. Text is black. Slide rule is cylindrical shape.
Statement Of Significance:
This slide rule ushered in the new age of computing in Australia and saw the demise of hand calculators including the slide rule. Trevor Pearcey was a pioneer in Australian computing and designed Australia's first computer, CSIRAC, the fourth in the world.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Steve & Connie Kormas, 2001
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 150 mm (Length), 31 mm (Diameter)
Dimension Comment: Extended length approximately 25.4 cm Diameter above refers to outer cylinder. Inner diameter is 2.1 cm

More information

Tagged with: calculating devices, computing, csirac computer, cylindrical slide rules, mathematical apparatus instruments, mechanical calculators, slide rules, making history - csirac
Themes this item is part of: History of CSIRAC - the first computer in Australia, 1949-1964, Information & Communication Collection, Science & Measurement Collection, CSIRAC Collection, Trevor Pearcey, Computer Engineer & CSIRAC Specialist (1919-1998), Trevor Pearcey, 1919 - 1998: a brief biography, Trevor Pearcey & the First Australian Computer: A Lost Opportunity?, Trevor Pearcey & the First Australian Computer: A Lost Opportunity?
Primary Classification: COMPUTING & CALCULATING
Secondary Classification: Calculating
Tertiary Classification: mechanical
Inscriptions: Otis King's Pocket Calculator. Scale no. 430. Patent no. 183723. Made in England is inscribed on one end. D1054 is inscribed on the other end. Patentees & sole manufacturers Carbic Ltd, 51 Holborn Viaduct, London EC1.
Manufacturer: Carbic Ltd, London, England, Great Britain, 1951
Patentee: Mr Otis King, Coventry, England, Great Britain
User: Dr Trevor Pearcey, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1940s
References: "The first of the last" by Peter Thorne & Doug McCann, University of Melb.

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