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Oughtred's circles of proportion, 17th century.

The slide rule was invented by William Oughtred (1575-1660), an English country parson. He designed both a straight slide rule and the circular form illustrated here, also known as circles of proportion. Although Oughtred designed his slide rule in 1621, he did not publish a description until much later. Richard Delamain, a former pupil of Oughtred, published a description in 1630, and claimed priority of invention. It is now agreed that Delamain copied his ideas from Oughtred.

Image No. 10303021 | This is a Rights Managed image.

Inventory No.: SCM/CM183
Credit © Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library -- All rights reserved.
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