Authors: Ben Ruhe
Date Submitted: May 31, 2007
Article Type: Journal

A professor of architecture at Berkeley by vocation and kite aerial photographer by avocation, Charles Crisp (Cris) Benton maintains one of the most popular KAP Websites going. He uses it to his significant advantage.

After receiving many compliments for the images on his site, Benton decided to take up trading. He offered a signed, original print for a slide rule. Now antiquated but still useful, slide rules have arrived at Benton’s campus office ever since. Cris says his collection now totals more than 100 slipsticks. “Many are routine and worth $20,” he says, “some are gems and worth maybe $350. None are one-of-a-kind, alas. All of them are industrially produced. The oldest? It dates to 1905.”

“The world’s most specialized barter system,” to use his words, has brought him a wooden rule from Moscow with the interesting characteristic of having all divisions share the single line weight used in its graphic layout. “It’s so Russian,” he says. “Not well designed and even clumsy in comparison to its Western counterparts, it’s still very utilitarian, still gets the job done nicely.”

PDF Link: Journal Issue