Can 100-year-old technology still be used? Today’s MIT students take the challenge with one essential component of technological advancement—the slide rule. In 2016 we have a tool that functions the same way on our phones and computers, and back in 1916 scientists used the slide rule to solve anything from basic mathematical computation to the Apollo 13 landing. Curator of Science and Technology at the MIT Museum Deborah Douglas calls the slide rule “one of the coolest and most important technological instruments that people don’t have the dimmest idea about.” If this tool was so crucial why isn’t it still being used?
Join some inquisitive MIT students as they learn how essential the slide rule was and what has happened to it over the past 100 years.
Watch the 3 minute video.
Dive even further into MIT’s historic quirks in a live Twitter chat with MIT Libraries archivists, including Nora Murphy, on May 17 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Bring your questions about life in 1916 and learn about the artifacts uncovered in researching a century in Cambridge. Follow the chat with the hashtag #MITAlum.