Please donate to help keep TarBoard and All Things Ransome going

Re: Young Ladies' Calculators and Neville Shute's

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Previous # Next ] [ Start New Thread ] [ TarBoard ]

Posted by John Wilson on February 23, 2022 at 12:27:04 user hugo.

In Reply to: Re: Reading Ransome in the War and Young Ladies' Calculators posted by John Nichols on February 23, 2022 at 05:41:15:

I still have a Faber-Castell slide rule and a set of Chambers four-figure log tables somewhere. In the New Zealand Post Office in the 1970s and 1980s or so so we had two Hewlett-Packard desktop calculators in planning the telephone system, one (Model 30?) using eight inch floppies and one using magnetic cards about 5 inches by 1½ inches which stored data and a series of commands on the one card.

Neville Shute Norway in his autobiography "Slide Rule" describes using a Fuller slide rule to calculate the stress on girders for the R100 airship in 1926-27. Each rib had eight radial wires, with normally 4 or 5 in tension; so a guess would be made which were in tension. “The forces and bending moments in the members could then be calculated by the solution of a lengthly simultaneous equation containing up to seven unknown quantities; this work usually operated two calculators about a week using a Fuller slide rule and working in pairs to check for arithmetical mistake … it was usual to find a compression force in one or two of the radial wires; the whole process had to be repeated using a different selection of wires.

It produced a satisfaction almost amounting to a religious experience .... "after literally months of labour, having filled perhaps fifty foolscap sheets with closely pencilled figures ... the truth stood revealed."

He had been he was shocked to find that before building the earlier R38 airship the civil servants (at Cardington) concerned "had made no attempt to calculate the aerodynamic forces acting on the ship" but had just copied the size of girders in German airships. The R38 and the R101 both crashed, but the (private enterprise) R100 made a successful flight to Canada.

Follow Ups:

Post a followup (Only if you agree to the Terms and Conditions)

Email (optional). This will be visible to everyone on TarBoard, and spammers:

Existing subject (please edit appropriately) :

or is it time to start a New Thread?


Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

post direct to TarBoard test post first

Before posting it is necessary to be a registered user.

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ TarBoard ]