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'Otis King Calculator', cylindrical slide rule, England, 1920-1939

A slide rule is used for multiplication and division of numbers and is accurate to four decimal places. It uses a logarithmic scale which represents numbers as distances along a line. Typically slide rules are straight but the ‘Otis King Calculator’ was designed to have extra length through the use of a spiral along the outside of a cylinder. It was one of the most popular models until slide rules were replaced by electronic calculators in the 1970s. This slide rule was owned by Gwendolen Cartwright (1898-1979), the first woman to be awarded a degree in statistics in England. Her work as a statistician was varied, for instance working for the Eugenics Society on a survey of deprived families in Bethnal Green in London.

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