Measuring & Mapping - Overview
Where, how far, and how much? People have invented an astonishing array of devices to answer seemingly simple questions like these. Measuring and mapping objects in the Museum's collections include the instruments of the famous—Thomas Jefferson's thermometer and a pocket compass used by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their expedition across the American West. A timing device was part of the pioneering motion studies of Eadweard Muybridge in the late 1800s. Time measurement is represented in clocks from simple sundials to precise chronometers for mapping, surveying, and finding longitude. Everyday objects tell part of the story, too, from tape measures and electrical meters to more than 300 scales to measure food and drink. Maps of many kinds fill out the collections, from railroad surveys to star charts.
"Measuring & Mapping - Overview" showing 1 items.
- In the 1970s, after metric units of measure had been adopted in Canada and Great Britain, some people in the United States advocated adoption of the metric system. The National Bureau of Standards of the U. S. Department of Commerce prepared this white plastic reference card to assist those wishing to use the unfamiliar units of measure. One side gave approximate conversion factors for computing metric measures from customary measures of length, area, mass and volume. This side also has a scale eight centimeters long divided to millimeters, and a chart with temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit along the top and temperatures in degrees centigrade along the bottom.
- The other side of the card gives factors for converting from metric to common measures of length, area, mass, volume, and temperature. There also is a scale three inches long divided to 1/16th of an inch.
- The card was a gift of machinist George A. Norton, a longtime employee of the National Museum of American History.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- U.S. Department of Commerce. National Bureau of Standards
- ID Number
- catalog number
- nonaccession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center