The Tison Tool Barn houses several two-foot long (and one three-foot long) folding rulers. All of those rulers are four-fold. Unlike the one-foot folding rulers described in the previous post, none of the two-foot folding rulers have calipers. Some of the rulers described in this post do have other tools combined with them.
Six of the two-foot folding rulers in the Tison Tool Barn were made by the Stanley Rule and Level Company. The collection includes two examples of the Stanley Model No. 62 folding ruler. This model is distinguished by brass banding that covers the narrow sides of the legs of the ruler, and the large brass caps flanking the center hinge.
The Tison Tool Barn holds three examples of the Stanley Model No. 68 folding ruler. This model has brass hinges and end caps, but does not have brass edging or any brass flanking the central hinge.
The Tison Tool Barn also holds a Stanley Model No. 84 folding ruler. The Model No. 84 has brass banding flanking the center hinge, similar to the Model No. 62 shown above, but does not have brass edging on the narrow sides of the legs.
The Tison Tool Barn has a few folding rulers made by the Lufkin Rule Co. Two of them are combination tools, and include a spirit-bubble level and a bevel, or angle-gauge (a protractor). The latter allows a worker to measure and transfer angles. First is this Model No. 863 L.
Next is the Model No. 873 L. The spirit-bubble on the Model No. 873 L is slightly shorter, and positioned a little closer to the central hinge, than that on the Model No. 863 L. There is also a difference in the profile of the brass banding next to the center hinge.
Another Lufkin folding ruler in the Tison Tool Barn is the Model No. 3851. Unlike the other rulers covered in this post, the Model No. 3851 is three feet long when fully opened. It is a four-fold ruler, so each segment is nine inches long,
The last item in this post, from the first half of the 19th century, is older than the others covered here. The ruler is marked "J. WATTS BOSTON." Joseph Watts is known to have produced tools in Charleston, Mass. from 1834 until 1849. This ruler is two feet long, and four-fold. One end segment has an extension bar, which may be slid out almost six inches. This feature makes it easy to measure inside an opening of up to almost 2-1/2 feet across, using only one hand to hold the ruler. (Various foldings of the ruler give a base measurement of 6, 12, 18 or 24 inches.) One of the uses for this tool in the 19th century would have been finding the inside diameter of a cask, needed to calculate the capacity of the cask.
In my next post I will look at a few zig-zag rulers, and one interlocking or slide ruler, that are in the Tison Tool Barn.
I have been a volunteer at the Matheson History Museum. Feeling an affinity with old hand tools (some of which I remember from my youth), I have tried to learn more about the history of the tools in the Tison Tool Barn, and how they were used.
All text and photographs by Donald Albury in this blog are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All illustrations taken from Wikimedia Commons are either in the public domain, or have been released under a Creative Commons license.
Interesting Sites about Old Tools