The giant slide rule went missing

David Brooks of the Nashua Telegraph reports:

Information hard to find about world-record 320-foot slide rule built at Alvirne High School

[This] truly gigantic creation – as long as a football field – was built in 1979, just as slide rules were being made obsolete by electronic calculators…. [It] was 320 feet long. Considering that real slide rules are rarely longer than 18 inches and that an expert in oversized slide rules contacted by The Telegraph has never seen one longer than 4 feet, this boggles the mind….

So, why do we call it a mystery? Because when The Telegraph asked around, we couldn’t find anybody who knows where the behemoth went, couldn’t find anybody with a picture of it and aside from the younger Reed, couldn’t find anybody who remembers anything about it.

UPDATE: Here’s a follow-up report about the people who made the slide rule (with photos, including the one reproduced here], and a further follow-up about finding a tiny piece of the grail.

Improbable Research