Unique Slide Rule Company (U.S.R.C.)

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The British UNIQUE brand of slide rules was founded in 1920 by Burns Snodgrass (1886-1954) M.B.E, A.R.C.Sc., a mechanical engineering lecturer at Brighton Technical College. Unique specialized in a wide range of wood slide rules with celluloid covered paper scales and were most popular within the United Kingdom, and its colonies. The manufacturing process used fairly basic woodworking tools and printing presses, unlike their high end competitors which had mechanical tooling to make machine divided scales. This made possible relatively inexpensive slide rules that could also be customized to a broad spectrum of industries. The first Log Log slide rules were made around 1928-1929 and sold for 12 Shillings in 1931. Burns made these by himself on a part time basis until 1935, where he added a couple of employes, along with his son. In 1945, the last year of WWII, they sold 100,000 slide rules. In 1951 they became the Unique Slide Rule Company, Limited. Burns Snodgrass was also the author of Teach Yourself the Slide Rule ©1955 which was published in 1955, one year after his death. The book was popular for use in many schools and with other makers, although the graphics referred only to the UNIQUE brand. In 1954, The company was subsequently managed by his son, Donald Clayton Snodgrass. After an illness in 1981, Donald retired and his wife, Elain Snodgrass, took over as Managing Director. Various relatives worked in many aspects of the company making this a classic family business, much like all the other silde rule companies. It is estimated that they sold more slide rules in the UK more than any other maker, 2.5 million or more. In spite of their cheapness, older wood versions have survived in large numbers. They invested in all plastic slide rules in the early 1970's but found themselves, like other slide rule makers, obsoleted by the electronic calculator, and stopped production in 1975. They continued manufacturing other mathematical instruments as "Unique Instruments Limited" up until 1993 when Donald Snodgrass died.

Teach Yourself the Slide Rule ©1955 (45.78MB PDF scan) is available in the ISRM Library.




P020 English Mini-Rule
English Mini-Rule
Made in England
Front Scale
A [ B, CI, C ] D, K
Back: Blank
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


P013 Unique Universal I
Unique Universal I
Made in England
Front Scale
LU, S, A [ S, R, C ] D, T, LL
Back: Blank
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


P009 Unique Log-Log
Unique Log-Log pocket
Made in England
Front Scale
LU, A [ S, R, C ] D, LL
Back: Table of Trig Ratios
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


P202 Unique Log-Log
Unique Log-Log pocket
Made in England by Technical Supplu Co., Brighton
Front Scale
LU, A [ S, R, C ] D, LL
Back: Table of Trig Ratios
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


P010 Unique Concrete Calculator
Unique Concrete Calculator - pocket
Made in England
Front Scale
A(thickness) [ B(height), C(length) ] D (volume)
Back: Adv: Ready Mix Concrete
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


P199 Unique Five-Ten
Unique Five-Ten
Made in England
Front Scale: Note scales wrapped to double the length to 10 inches
A1, D1 [ C1, L1 | L2, C2 ] D2, A2
Back: Table of Trigonometrical Ratios
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


REF Unique Five-Ten (Late model)
Unique Five-Ten (Late model)
(Note: Later model, no nails to hold laminate)

Made in England
Front Scale: Note scales wrapped to double the length to 10 inches
A1, D1 [ C1, L1 | L2, C2 ] D2, A2
Well: Decimal Equivalents of Fractions
Original Owner/Location: John Sykes/England
Archive - Scan donated by John Sykes (UK)


Unique (Mannheim) Lietz 2975

ISRM 12.03.02.19
Unique (Mannheim) Lietz 2975
Made in England by U.S.R.C.
Front Scale:
A [ B, CI, C ] D, K
Back Scale: [ S, L, T ]
Well:Decimal Equivalents of Fractions
Donated by Richard Davis, Las Vegas, Nevada
Richard is a retired Electronics Engineer in the semiconductor industry. He is a collector and Fellow of the Oughtred Society.Collects most all slide rules, has a comprehensive collection of Reiss mill finish aluminum slide rules, but prefers the spiral scale cylindrical versions. He has donated many slide rules to support the ISRM Slide Rule Loaner program.


REF Unique Ten-Twenty
Unique Ten-Twenty
Made in England
Front Scale: Note scales wrapped to double the length to 20 inches
A1, D1 [ C1, L1 | L2, C2 ] D2, A2
Back: Equivalents and material properties
Archive - Jim Bready Collection (UK)


P011 Unique J180
Unique J180
Made in England - 9" long
Front Scale
K, A [ B, CI, C ] D, S, T, STR
Back: Blank
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


S069 Unique Universal
Unique Universal
Made in England - Tacked laminate, metal frame cursor
Front Scale
LU, S, A [ B, CI, C ] D, T, LL
Back: Trig Identities
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


S267 Unique Universal I
Unique Universal I
Made in England - Tacked laminate, Plastic frame cursor
Front Scale
LU, S, A [ B, R(CI), C ] D, T, LL
Back: Trig Identities
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


S405 Unique Universal One
Unique Universal One (Modern)
Made in England
Front Scale
LU, S, A [ B, CI, C ] D, T, LL
Back: Conversion Factors
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


S062 Unique Universal II
Unique Universal II
Made in England - Tacked laminate
Front Scale
LU, A [ B, S, T, C ] D, LL
Back: Trig Identities
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


S063 Unique Universal II
Unique Universal II
Made in England - new cursor, no tacks
Front Scale
LU, A [ B, S, T, C ] D, LL
Back: Trig Identities
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


S272 Unique Universal Two
Unique Universal Two (Modern)
Made in England - new cursor, new logo
Front Scale
LU(LL2), A [ B, S, T, C ] D, LL(LL3)
Back: Trig Identities
Original Owner/Location: Unk/England


S126 Unique Log Log
Unique Log Log
Made in England - Note riveted reingorcement on scale
Front Scale
LL2, A [ B, C] D, LL3
Back: Trig Identities
Owners: J.D.Freeman/The College at Marlborough England
Owners: Sidney Sussex/Cambridge College, England


Unique Log Log

ISRM 14.10.14.01
Unique Log Log
Made in England - Note riveted reingorcement on scale
Front Scale
LL2, A [ B, C] D, LL3
Back: Trig Identities
Owners: H.G. Millhouse of England
Instructions - All Models (24.46MB PDF)


S126 Unique Log Log (Modern)
Unique Log Log (Modern)
Made in England - new cursor, new logo
Front Scale
LU(LL2), A [ B, C] D, LL(LL3)
Back: Trig Identities
Owners: New


S279 Unique Brighton
Unique Brighton
Made in England by USRC
Front Scale
25.4mm // K, A [ B, CI, C] D, L, P || S, T
Back Scale: LL1, LL2, LL3
Well: Decimal Equivalents
Back: Trig Identities
Owners: D.A. Bridle/Dorset, England


S484 Unique Commercial
Unique Commercial
Made in England
Front Scale
H, K, M [ N (Discounts Scale), R(CI), C] D, U, V
Back: Table for converting shillings and pence into pounds


ISRM Unique Electrical
Unique Electrical
Made in England
Front Scale
LL2, Fahr, DF [ CF, CI, C ] D, Cent, LL3
Back: Specific Resistance & Temp Coeff. Table of Metals
Owned by Roman Marian Russek (1933-2011). Donated by his wife, Shiela Russek, Toronto, Canada.
Roman Russek was known for his wide knowledge of power cables and, in later years, for his expertise the transfer of technology within international joint ventures. At the close of WWII Roman was a member of the Polish Army under British command. With Communism descending on his homeland his left to study in Britain where he earned engineering degrees from Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh) and London University. By 1949 he was a Scientific Officer in the Wood Lane Research Laboratories of British Insulated Callenders Cables in London. There he was assigned to teams studying the mechanical behavior of aluminum sheaths, electrical characteristics of oil impregnated paper as well as assisting in the development of flexible joints for submarine cables destined to be used in the HVDC link between North and South Island in New Zealand. As Design Engineer and then Department Manager Roman traveled widely within Canada and internationally representing CWC in many negotiations and discussions with customers and associated firms. He was fluent in five languages. Later as Vice-President Technical Services Roman spent another 14 years transferring technology from the domestic company to the many fledgling associate companies in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Ireland, Spain, Brazil. South Africa, Nigeria, New Zealand, Australia and Iran. Roman and his wife Shiela spent much of their retirement years traveling around the world.

An Article about Roman Russek by his friend XAVIER KATAQUAPIT



S413 Unique Electrical
Unique Electrical
Made in England
Front Scale
LL2, Fahr, DF [ CF, CI, C ] D, Cent, LL3
Back: Specific Resistance & Temp Coeff. Table of Metals


S279 Unique Electrical
Unique Electrical (modern cursor)
Made in England
Front Scale
LL2, Fahr, DF [ CF, CI, C ] D, Cent, LL3
Back: Specific Resistance & Temp Coeff. Table of Metals
Archive - Atsushi Tomozawa Collection


Unique Navigational Slide (c1960)

REF
Unique Navigational Slide Rule
Made in England
Front Scale
1:1000000 || S, A [ B, S, T, C] D, T || 1:500000
Back: Tables and factors used in navigation and windspeed calculations.
Archive - Scan By Steve Seale Collection


S413 Unique Tubemaking And Deep Drawing
Unique Tubemaking And Deep Drawing - 1952
Made in England by Unique for Tube Investments, Ltd.
Departsments of Development and Research and of Plant and Construction
Front Scale
MM, R1 [ R2, TH(1G-21G), TH(22G-44G), TH(33-314), C ] D, WT (Mild Steel)
Back: Weight Conversion Factors, Given Steel=1.000
Ad


Unique Study 500

ISRM 11.12.09.01
Unique Study 500
Made in England by Unique Slide Rule Co.Ltd. Newhaven Sussex
Front Scale: K, A [ B, CI, C ] D, S, T
Back: Blank
Donated by Ted Hume of San Angelo,Texas.
Ted is a retired structural engineer. In the past, when actively collecting and selling, Ted specialized in Post slide rules, his favorite being the Versalog. Co-author, Post Slide rule Archive. Editor and contributing author of the The Oughtred Society Slide Rule Reference Manual. Editor of Joe Soper's book K&E Salisbury Products Division Slide Rules.He received the 2010 Oughtred Society Award 2010 and is a Fellow of the Oughtred Society and past OS director. Supporter and advisor to the ISRM curator.

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