Log Tables

Remember these?

log tables

Whilst having a summer holiday clear out and rummaging through an old cupboard, I came across these “Log Tables” as we used to call them when I was at school ( a long, long time ago!)

But they had so much more than just logs, they had sine, cosine and tangent tables too:

sine tables

The calculator is a brilliant tool – and I wouldn’t do without it – but leafing through the dusty pages of my old book of tables I was reminded of the fascination and mystery that these slim tomes held, with their pages of numbers and formulas and graphs. (And I should also mention the pain – one particular teacher would, as a punishment, would make you copy out a page of logs or sines or tangents.  We soon learnt that he would only check the first and last few so once you’d copied out the first line you could just make up the numbers as you went along, but it was still a pretty tedious activity.) Oh happy days!

sine, cos and tangent graphs


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