4.9 Keuffel and Esser, USA

Keuffel and Esser was one of the first American firms to import slide rules from Europe, and became the first company in the United States to manufacture slide rules starting in 1891. They remained a giant in the field throughout the next century. Based in Hoboken, New Jersey, with major branches in Chicago and elsewhere in the U.S, the “K&E” rules were very popular among engineers and scientists, as well as professionals in the fields of banking, commerce, and other industries. In 1976 K&E manufactured their last slide rule, which was immediately donated to the Smithsonian Institution.

A separate listing of K&E rules in the collection in order of Model Number can be found in K&E by Model Number.

Keuffel and Esser American/Favorite, c. 1898.

Keuffel and Esser 4083 16-inch rule, c. 1918.

Keuffel and Esser 4058 early “Student’s” model, c. 1916-1925.

K&E Student’s Rule (back)

Keuffel and Esser 4035-S 8-inch rule, 1922.

Keuffel and Esser 4083-3, 1947 (back).

Keuffel and Esser 4094 with magnifier, 1951.

Total number of K&E slide rules in the collection: 72.

Model Year Serial Typ Mat Size Case Note
1898 L wd 10.0 yes no model number or patent info; labeled as Keuffel & Esser Co. N.Y. on LHS of slide; metal cursor; prod. marks 59 on LHS end; extended cm scale in well; similar to early American example, though markings on case say Favorite; pi gauge marks on A/B; lid to case missing; early predecessor to 4054
1900 L wd 10.0 no Mannheim; Rule in nice condition; quite yellowed; prod. mark A11 on end of rule; square metal/glass cursor; no model number on rule
1900 L wd 10.0 yes Very early Mannheim; no model number; labeled 0.5 divisions; Pat. June 5 1900; fine divisions on SLT; 1/16 division on in scale; marks 87 on end; similar to American described in JOS 10.2p59; owner George L. Cooper; + initials DEH
4054 1900-1914 L wd 10.0 yes Favorite Mannheim, early model, wood edges; very nice condition, box as well; prod marks 102 on edge; my 200th slide rule
1901 L wd 10.0 yes Mannheim; early 4041, prod mark 408 on end, owner F.L.Clark, leather case
4053-2 1910-1914 L wd 8.0 no Polyphase; Nice 8-inch variant of 4053; prod. mark 404; square metal cursor; ends of 8 inch ruler are worn
4053-3 1910-1914 L wd 10.0 no Polyphase; good condition; no cursor; prod. marks 374* on end of rule
4092 1913 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex; very rare early 4092 with column cursor; prod marks 244; from Green Bay, WI, dairy farm, owner Ray Harkness
4133 1913-1922 L wd 8.0 no Roylance Electrical Slide Rule, mahogany, early release; prod mark 255; used and in poor condition; missing original 3-hairline cursor
1915 L wd 10.0 no good condition; very early 4058; Xylonite indicator; old table on back; no indication of Student/Beginner but marked 4058
4041 1915-1921 L wd 10.0 box Mannheim; Rule in good condition; prod. mark 207 on end of rule
4100 1915-1922 L wd 10.0 yes Stadia rule, early model, for use in surveying; instructions on back; all-glass cursor; prod marks 268 on end
1916 L wd 16.0 yes Duplex Rule; rare 16-in model; some wear; tan leather case is very worn; prod. marks 27 on end; Sally G: this belonged to my grandfather; He was born in 1897 in Griffin Ga; he ran Cotton mills in several states through his career; I have no idea how he used it
4088-2 1916-1920 L wd 8.0 yes Polyphase Duplex; good condition for its age; all-glass cursor, no s/n, prod. marks 41; leather case; owner Merrill Russell, Wenton, WV
4088-3 1916-1922 L wd 10.0 box Polyphase Duplex; Rule in good condition; prod. mark 324 on end of rule
4058 (student) 1916-1925 L wd 10.0 no Student’s Rule; nice condition; glass/metal cursor
1920 L wd 20.0 yes Polyphase Duplex; no serial number, but improved cursor; prod. marks 64 on end; laminated edges; used by draftsman for a steel company
4035 1922 L wd 8.0 yes Mannheim; rare; slanted top face w/ 8 in rule; stitched case; very nice condition
4088-3 1922 L wd 10.0 box Polyphase Duplex; good condition; box too; prod. marks 55 on end of rule
4092-3 1922 6742 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex; serif; pre-K-Scale, early first-year serial number; mahogany sides; prod marks 44
4088-3 1923 39516 L wd 10.0 no Polyphase Duplex; good condition
4088-1 1923 54353 L wd 5.0 yes Polyphase Duplex; broken all-glass cursor; leather case; owner E.C. Merrill
4092-3 1923 64163 L wd 10.0 no Log Log Duplex; near-last of early scale set for 4092-3, just before transition rule; laminated edges, serif fonts; initials W.G.B.
4092-3 1923 64405 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex; serif type; all-glass cursor; rare – K scale on bottom below L scale; Doc McClain, Joliet, 1925, and Haddie Langdon, Notre Dame; stitched case
4092-3 1925 131217 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex; early K scale, serif type, all-glass cursor; owner J. A. Stawicki, Brooklyn, NY, Poly ’28
N4053-3 1925 140188 L wd 10.0 yes Polyphase; stitched case; C.H. Drake O.S.C.
4058 1925-1936 L wd 10.0 no Beginner’s Rule; celluloid cursor; L scale increases to right
N4053-3F 1928 258978 L wd 10.0 yes Polyphase Mannheim with very fine markings; rare; all glass cursor
4092-3 1929 277653 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex; sans serif; all-glass cursor; stitched case; missing flap
4092-3 1929 295472 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex; improved metal framed cursor; stitched case; R.W. Bluhm
4058C 1929-1937 L wd 10.0 no Beginner’s Rule; wood cursor frame; version 2 Equivalents
4093-3 1930 322530 L wd 10.0 yes First year of the first Vector rule
4058W 1930-1935 L wd 10.0 box Beginner’s Rule; wood cursor frame
4093-3 1933 429961 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex Vector; First of the Vector rules; very nice condition
Mystery 1933 434918 L wd 10.0 yes no model number, no patent info; labeled as K&E CO.; same scale set as 4097D 5-inch; nice condition; improved metal cursor
4092-3 1933 441408 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex; improved metal framed cursor; stitched case; J.A.B.
Mystery 1934 471354 L wd 10.0 yes no model number, no patent info; labeled as K&E CO.; same scale set as 4097D 5-inch rule, but 10-inch mahogany model; improved metal cursor; owner Frank H. Colburn, b. 1908
4095-3 1934 478354 L wd 10.0 yes Merchants Rule; nice condition; leather case; owners L.S. and S.F.Gleb
N4096 1935 509054 L wd 20.0 no Merchants Desk Rule with heavy legs, exceptional condition; no box
N4092-5 1936 547636 L wd 20.0 yes Log Log Duplex; long scale; improved metal framed cursor, missing spring; stitched case, missing flap
4058W 1936-1943 L wd 10.0 box Beginner’s Rule
4081-3 1937 589003 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex Decitrig; very worn-out case – U. Illinois engraved as well as Gates
N4053-5 1937 633813 L wd 20.0 yes Polyphase; 20in slide rule; very nice condition; serial numbers on left bottom edge and slide
N4100 1938 694091 L wd 10.0 yes Stadia rule, for use in surveying; instructions on back; metal rimmed cursor
4110 1940 808703 L wd 6.5 no Power Trig Slide Rule; very rare; not listed in any catalog; developed at US Naval Academy
N4041 1941 833535 L wd 10.0 box Mannheim; Rule and box in nice condition
4058D 1942 L wd 10.0 yes Beginner’s Rule, rare version
4058D 1942 L wd 10.0 yes + box Beginner’s Rule; celluloid cursor; rare version; with box + instructions
4097D 1944 065234 L pl 5.0 yes + box Ever-There, very nice condition; instructions, box; K&E circular logo; owner Lt. Milton S. Shaw
N4133 1944 414 L wd 8.0 yes + box Roylance Electrical Slide Rule, mahogany; 3-hairline cursor; scale set #3; original case and box
4098A 1944 42379 L wd 5.0 yes Pocket Slide Rule, nice condition; box and case
4139 1946 167058 L wd 10.0 yes Cooke Radio Slide Rule; Case: Polyphase Duplex DeciTrig 4071-3S
4054 1946 219646 L wd 10.0 yes Favorite Mannheim; nice box; broken cursor block
1948 10192 L pl 10.0 yes Polyphase Duplex Decitrig DORIC rule; case deteriorating; only made for 2-3 years
4083-3 1948 339747 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex Vector, good condition
1948 40304 L pl 10.0 yes+box Log Log Duplex Decitrig DORIC rule; very nice condition; black leather case + original box; only made for 2-3 years; same as one owned by American Astronaut Gordon Cooper
N4058W 1950 L wd 10.0 yes Beginner’s Rule
4070-3 1950 550030 L wd 10.0 yes Polyphase Duplex Trig
4055 1951 568414 L wd 10.0 yes Favorite Mannheim
4094 1951 590068 L wd 10.0 yes Merchants Rule, excellent condition; case, too; my 100-th slide rule!
4080-3 1953 762828 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex Trig; riveted leather case; McIntyre; missing screw on cursor
N4081-3 1954 790072 L wd 10.0 yes + box Log Log Duplex Decitrig; most parts, but cursor is broken one glass missing and slide is corroded; needs major cleaning
4081-3 1955 912871 L wd 10.0 yes Log Log Duplex Decitrig; riveted case; metal ring; O’Neal
4181-3 1956 060477 L pl 10.0 yes Jet Log Log Duplex Decitrig; came with copy of A Self Instruction (1955); from owner, Ken Olson, Mendota, IL
4081-5 1956 070019 L wd 20.0 yes+box early decitrig, pristine condition, as is the leather case; box, but tattered
4181-1 1957 111945 L pl 5.0 yes Log Log Duplex Decitrig; black leather; stitched
4097C 1957 135473 L wd 5.0 no Ever There 5-in pocket rule, nice condition
4181-1 1957 143610 L pl 5.0 yes Log Log Duplex Decitrig; dark-green leather; with metal clip
4158 1961 L pl 10.0 yes New K12 variant of Beginner’s rule; only made for 1 year
68-1130 1967 025531 L pl 5.0 yes Deci-Lon 5
68-1100 1969 167135 L pl 10.0 yes Deci-Lon 10; original owner: Erin Sommer; Maryland; 1962 Deci-Lon hardback instruction book
1970 L pl 10.0 no K12 Prep; last of the K&E Beginner’s Rules; replaced Model 4058; Special Desktop Edition, mounted on leather pad; K-12 Prep

Keuffel and Esser 4139 Cooke Radio Slide Rule, 1946.

designed by Nelson M. Cooke, author of Mathematics for Electricians and Radiomen, McGraw-Hill, New York (1942).

Keuffel and Esser 4181-1, 1957.

Keuffel and Esser N4096 Desk Rule, 1950.