Analogue slide rule belonging to Trevor Pearcey, who was one of the designers of the first digital computer in Australia, the computer CSIRAC. There is no evidence that suggests that Trevor Pearcey used the slide rule in designing CSIRAC; if anything, an analogue slide rule might well have been used by Maston Beard, another designer of CSIRAC, in developing the electronics.

Dr Pearcey was a pioneer in the field of electronic computing in Australia. He designed the computer CSIR Mark 1, later known as CSIRAC, while working for the Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Sydney in the 1940s. He also held a variety of academic positions in computing.

CSIRAC was built by the CSIR in Sydney in 1949 and was the fourth computer in the world. It was later transferred to the University of Melbourne. Designed by Trevor Pearcey and engineered by Maston Beard, CSIRAC completed more than 1000 projects by the time it was turned off in 1964. It is currently housed at Museum Victoria.

Physical Description

Brass base with silver coloured coating, possibly chrome. Ends slide out to reveal logarithms printed on a yellowed coated paper. Text is black. Slide rule is cylindrical shape.


This slide rule ushered in the new age of computing in Australia and saw the demise of hand calculators including the slide rule. Trevor Pearcey was a pioneer in Australian computing and designed Australia's first computer, CSIRAC, the fourth in the world.

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