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Calculated creation

January 26, 2018 3:45 PM
Paula Burch-Celentano pburch@tulane.edu



A Thacher’s calculator, dated 1882, is on display in the lobby of the Boggs Center for Energy and Biotechnology on the uptown campus. Invented by Edwin Thacher, the instrument, also known as a cylindrical slide-rule, became a vital tool in science, engineering, commerce and business. An online copy of the model’s operating manual states: “By the use of this instrument the drudgery of calculation is avoided, and the relief to the mind may be compared with the most improved mechanical appliances in overcoming the wear and tear of manual labor.” The instrument is on loan from Robert N. Bruce Jr., emeritus professor of engineering.