"I know that between Clark McCoy, Bob Otnes, Dave Rueb, Conrad Shure, Ed
Chamberlain, Wayne Feely, Bob DeCesaris, David Davis, and myself, we
probably have around 90-95% of K&E's 624 or so identified models and
variants in the Keuffel & Esser Slide Rule Master Cross Reference (K&E
XREF). Some may never be found..."
"One of the nice things about all this is that a number of us have sort of
banded together to share information on the various models and variants.
For example, Bob Otnes, on behalf of the Oughtred Society, has provided
Clark McCoy with some of the early catalogs Clark did not have for his
website. Clark has identified most of the 4081 variants. David Davis has
been doing some great work on the Doric series of rules, rooting through
catalogs, price lists and manuals, and discovering a lot of material in this
uncharted area. These are just some of the examples of the cooperation
among the collectors which has made the K&E XREF possible. There are many, many more..." --- text copied from International Slide Rule Group msg. 14406, Monday, June 17, 2002. From the late Michael O'Leary to Ted Hume and others.
It doesn't seem that long ago, that Michael was still with us, that his huge undertaking of making the K+E cross reference was still ongoing. Wow. 2002? I guess it was a long time ago.
It was during that whole process that Michael, Clark McCoy, and I realized that there were some interesting anomalies in the catalogs and price lists, especially where the "Doric" series of rules were concerned. In particular, we had in hand 9071-3 rules which did not appear in any catalog, and we had the curious Doric 10000/10002 manuals, for which no rule had ever been seen, AND which did not appear in any catalog or price list. In fact, the only place both the 9071-3 and the 10000 appeared was in a parts list.
The 10000 and 10002 fast became "Holy Grails" of sorts for me especially, and I know for Michael for sure. Everyone loves a good mystery, right? Well, unfortunately Michael did not live to see this one solved, but the rest of us have, now.
Below, the newly discovered 10000 rule, along with a manual for it, pictured with the widely known "next" variant, the Doric 9068. Seen here for the first time anywhere also is the wrap-around sleeve on the right manual, indicating that with modification, this manual could be used for the 9068. It makes mention of all the differences between the rules, and as we can now see, that sleeve is exactly accurate. (All images on this page can be clicked on for a larger view!)
Below, we see another curious anomaly which actually matches that found on some other Doric rules. The correct patent number ends in "502", as seen on the upper rule, here the 9068. BUT on the 10000, like on some other Doric rules, the last three numbers have been transposed. Also, note the star on the cursor bar, just like on the rule itself. Purpose unknown.
Below, two views, front and back, of the 10000 and the 9068 for comparison. Note that the 10000 uses two colors on its scales, (red for inverse), whereas the 9068 has the familiar "Doric" styling of all black scales but slanted numbers. Also, note the star on the 10000. Why? I have no idea. It's on the cursor bar too.
Ok, so just where have these things been? Well, there are very, very few of them, but they have been hiding out in plain sight for YEARS. According to Rod Lovett's very very cool search feature, NO MORE than 17 of these things have traded hands on EBay since he started compiling records, ALL OF THEM have been 10000's, that is 6 inch rules. No 10002 rules have sold there, or anywhere else for that matter, so far as I can tell. But, two of them do exist! Wanna see 'em? Look here:
MIT museum 10002 slide rules
I don't currently know where exactly MIT got a hold of those, but I can tell you that the rest of the K+E rules they have are unbelievable. They are almost all PROTOTYPES or EXPERIMENTAL MODELS. Unreal stuff there. AND two cursor-less 10002 rules!!
So why haven't I (or anyone else) been able to crack this until now? It took finding this rule and seeing what you see in the picture below to crack it. See that "Ecco Co." on the 10000? The owner of that trademark was Keuffel and Esser!! They filed that trademark for that name back in 1920, and used it on German imported drafting sets and equipment. So, just like "Doric" was a branding wholly owned by K+E, so was "ECCO". It pops right up at the US trademark office. I was never looking for anything like that. Why the switch to "Doric"? Why start them out as conventional two colored mini-duplexes and switch to all black and italicized numbers? Probably cost. They were set on making "Doric" the mark of their lower priced stuff, so this plastic rule would fit in there. All conjecture though!!
This slide rule has been one of my "Holy Grail" rules for a long, long time. It was long thought not to exist at all, to never have been made, or made just briefly and then perhaps the remaining examples scrapped. We never could know for sure. Now we do. Now it is a mystery no more as to whether or not the 10000 and 10002 ever really existed, you have just seen both! No, the mystery is not fully solved, there are still more questions to answer, and more to explore about the entire "Doric" evolution. No, it's not a 25 scale log-log monster. BUT, it is certainly one of the rarest slide rules in existence, period. And, for the K+E fans, it is a mysterious rule, well worth seeking.
In part two of this "Holy Grail" series about K+E's Doric rules, especially the 10000/10002, we will look into some other interesting mysteries surrounding the 10000/9068 series, and beyond that, we will examine more fully the rest of the Doric line.