Gauging Slide Rule, 18th C

Gauging Slide Rule, 18th C

Stock Number: 00 380816 ap S



31 x 2,9 x 2 cm.


18th Century

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Scientific, Scales Weights & Measures


An English 18th century unsigned Gauging Slide Rule. This one foot ( 31 cm) Everard style gauging slide rule, used for the practice of gauging, i.e. computing the amount of alcoholic liquids in partly-filled casks in order to figure the excise taxes on them. Taxing people’s pleasures and vices has always been attractive to governments, and there was much activity in this space. That’s why Thomas Everard, an officer of the excise in London, had devised this form of rule in 1683; and why it remained in widespread use for the next two centuries. The tax officer would use various calipers and dipping rods to measure the cask and the depth of liquid in it (thereby figuring the ullage, or empty portion of the cask) and would then use the various scales on the slide rule to calculate the volume of ale, wine or spirit. This is no mean feat, if you consider the complex geometry of a barrel!


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NL Van Leest Antiques

Van Leest Antiques

Van Leest Antiques, based in Utrecht in the Netherlands, specialises in antique scientific and medical instruments. Their collection covers mainly scientific and medical antique instruments: barometers, globes and planataria, nautical instruments, anatomical models, and pharmacy items. Toon Van Leest travels regularly in Europe and visits trade fairs, auctions, and antique dealers to collect stock and to find pieces to fulfil his clients' unusual requests.

As well as being an avid antique collector and dealer, Toon Van Leest is also a dentist. He believes that antiques are a stable investment, not reliant on trends or fashion, and have truly lasting value. Above all, he says, antiques are timeless and never lose their beauty.