I was fortunate to be in Ramiro Sanchez’s Math Club at North Mesquite High School. The Slide rule contests that had been a part of UIL competition since at least the
1960s 1944, ended in 1980.
For historical record, the UIL Academic results from 1944 to 1979. This data was pulled from the Internet Archive Project at archive.org (I was #12 in 1975 State Slide Rule).The “Texas Speed Rule” was designed for the UIL contests and the Texas educational market. It was distributed by Ridgway, a school supply firm. They rarely come up on eBay, and prices are high. Mine is not for sale.
When I graduated in 1975, our geometry teacher let me keep my Pickett 905-ES “A” Texas Speed Rule. I think she could see the writing on the wall. The pocket calculator had been out for a while, and it’s cost was coming down. My dad bought me a TI SR-50 for graduation to take to college. It must’ve cost him $75 – still quite a bit of money in 1975.
Let’s begin with the original, UIL Beginners Slide Rule Manual, which explains slide rule basics for beginners. It won’t include Log-Log scales. In addition, the contest rules regarding the ‘method of presentation’ of answers are given:
Later, at Texas Tech, I’d wandered by the off-campus bookstore and saw in the display window, the elegant K+E Log-Log Decitrig in it’s beautiful orange-red calf-skin case. I couldn’t afford it on my student budget… it was all of about $40. In another year, I’d be gone to North Texas State (now UNT), and slide rules would longer be found in campus bookstores.
I finally snagged one of these beautiful K+E’s at a slide rule swap meet.
Slide Rule Tests
Next, one of the full slide rule tests, provided here with an answer sheet at the end:
Tie Breakers -which are just what they say they are – if a UIL slide rule contest came up with 2 or more ‘winners’, with exactly the same score, then a Tie Breaker like one of these would determine the winner. These are provided with an answer sheet at the end.
Finally, we come to “Special Tests”, nothing of which is known about how they were used – possibly for practice or demonstration? These are included here with an answer sheet at the end.
Number Sense Tests
By the way, while we were stripping our fingers out on our Pickett Texas Speed Rules, tapping out the exponent counts with our feet, our compadres in Number Sense were working on some of these. These are originally from the (now defunct) http://texasmath.org website; I’ve cross-posted here in hopes of saving them some bandwidth and also because I like to run a few of these myself once in a while (for mental exercise).
- Number Sense Tests, 1960’s
- 1960 – 1961 Series, T-01 to T-08
- 1971 – 1962 Series, U-1 to U-8 (for some reason, they dropped the leading zero)
- 1962 – 1963 Series, V-1 to V-8
- 1963 – 1964 Series, W-1 to W-8
- 1964 – 1965 Series, X-1 to X-8
- 1965 – 1966 Series, Y-1 to Y-8
- 1966 – 1967 Series, Z-1 to Z-8
- 1967 – 1968 Series, AA-1 to AA-8 (running out of alphabet they start at AA…)
- 1968 – 1969 Series, BB-1 to BB-6 (productivity drops to 2 tests a year)
- 1969 – 1970 Series, CC-1 to CC-6
- Number Sense Tests, 1970’s
- 1970 – 1971 Series, DD-1 to DD-6
- 1971 – 1972 Series, EE-1 to EE-6
- 1972 – 1973 Series, FF-1 to FF-6
- 1973 – 1974 Series, GG-1 to GG-6
- 1974 – 1975 Series, HH-1 to HH-6
- 1975 – 1976 Series, II-1 to II-6
- 1976 – 1977 Series, JJ-1 to JJ-4
- 1977 – 1978 Series, KK-1 to KK-4, KK-A, -B, -C
- 1978 – 1979 Series, LL-A, -B, -C, LL-1 to LL-4
- 1979 – 1980 Series, MM-A, -B, -C, MM-1 to MM-4