Moonstick Co. History
The Moonstick Co. was founded in September of 1997 with the invention of our flagship product, the moonstick, a slide rule that could calculate moon phases. You can see the original patent here. The original moonsticks were made of paper and sold outside of planetarium shows during the late 1990's for $5. (These "paper" moonsticks will soon be reintroduced as a cheaper alternative to the currently available moonstick.) In about 1998, an agreement was reached with Custom Molded Products of Atlanta, Georgia (now in Tyrone, Georgia) to produce the moonstick of ABS plastic. The Moonstick Co. website, moonstick.com, was launched in January of 2000 and listed in the Yahoo! directory in the following month. In this same month the first plastic moonstick was sold. In January of 2001, the moonstick was featured in the Sky & Telescope Magazine New Product Showcase. See a scan of the page here. Other products followed, the "4000 year perpetual calendar" (now superseded by a more advanced product), the lunawheel (a "light" version of the moonstick manufactured by Datalizer Slide Charts Inc. which was later featured in Sky & Telescope), the sunsetwheel (for calculating sunset times), the calendarwheel (which replaced the "4000 year perpetual calendar"), and most recently the calcudator (for project scheduling) which was driven by customer requests. There has for some time been an effort to design a scientific calculator slide rule, but every prototype so far has been extremely difficult to use.
The Moonstick Co. Today
In our company's ten year history, it has become clear that we are a company of manual calculating instruments (in contrast to automatic calculators). It is a firmly held belief of the company that the user learns more when he is fully involved in the calculation. And the calculators that are most transparent to the user are those of the visual manual type. In the realm of analog calculators these tend to be slide rules (though it is not clear whether the calcudator can be called a "slide-rule"). With these beliefs in mind, the company is currently devoting a great deal of effort into the devolvement of a manual visual digital calculator, the binary abacus. With a binary abacus, one will be able to perform calculations that are quite difficult in decimal (like extracting square roots or calculating logarithms) with surprising ease and without the use of any automatic system or reference to any outside information or memorized knowledge (including basic addition and multiplication tables). The binary abacus will require no knowledge of the decimal number system at all. For this reason, children that are not even able to recite their decimal addition tables from memory may in fact be able to perform complex calculations without the aid of any automatic system or outside reference. It may be possible to completely bypass the agony of memorizing arithmetic tables and replace this knowledge with an understanding of calculation itself.
Moonstick Co. Products
We currently offer five products. Detailed information about the products is available by clicking on each product below
moonstick (a hexagonal slide rule to calculate moon phases for 16,000 years) -- $65.00 (shipping included)
lunawheel (a smaller flat circular version of the moonstick) -- $17.50 (shipping included)
calendarwheel (perpetual calendar) -- $26.50 (shipping included)
sunsetwheel (to compute sunset times for any date anywhere) -- $55.50 (shipping included)
calcudator (project scheduler) -- $25.00 (shipping included)
abacus (manual digital calculator) -- $350.00 (shipping included)
(only one in stock)
How to Contact Us
Moonstick Co. staff are here to assist you via instant messaging, email, and postal service (no telephone):
on Yahoo! Messenger: moonstickco
on AOL Instant Messenger: moonstickco
on ICQ: 410771880
on MSN Messenger:
by postal mail: 507 East Jefferson St., Quincy, FL 32351, United States
Instant messaging may or may not be available but is often available Saturday mornings in the US and Saturday afternoons in Europe. Emails are generally answered within 24 hours except during weekends and holidays. Correspondence by postal service is generally answered within a week.