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The permanent display, on the first floor of the universityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Potter Engineering Center, houses the pre-digital analytical marvels, some of which were made in the 19th century and range in length from a few inches to seven feet.
"There was a point in time when the slide rule was king," said James Alleman, a professor of civil engineering who began collecting the slide rules from alumni 15 years ago. "During a period of about 400 years, anything anybody built that was of any magnitude would have required a slide rule."
Then, in the early 1970s Hewlett Packard came out with the first commercial calculator.
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http://news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/20 ... rules.html