Archive of Collections

The Cliff Fröhlich Collection

Cliff Fröhlich

Cliff Fröhlich is retired from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was employed for 40 years as a Research Scientist specializing in investigating earthquakes. He is best known for his publications on deep-focus earthquakes, human-caused earthquakes, and the physics of sports.

He received a B. A. from Grinnell College, majoring in mathematics and physics. As an undergraduate, he came to prefer bamboo rules when he was given a Sans & Streiffe 311 slide rule by a dorm-mate, who had acquired the rule in high school but decided at Grinnell not to pursue a STEM career.

Cliff subsequently received a Ph.D in physics at Cornell University. He has vivid memories of the slide rule/calculator transition. As a Teaching Assistant in 1969, his students were required to bring slide rules to exams, and their answers were considered correct if they were accurate to two significant digits. By 1971 students were required to bring calculators to exams, and answers were considered wrong if inaccurate at any level of precision.

Cliff began acquiring slide rules only in 2012, much later than most Oughtred Society members. As a collector his interests have wandered. But he likes rules that are beautiful, historically interesting, or peculiar, especially if they are made of bamboo. He has published several articles about slide rules in the Journal of the Oughtred Society. Besides thinking about slide rules, his other activities include cycling and woodworking.

We are privileged to present HERE Cliff's collection of slide rules.