Scale RulesPromotional Rules
Since people frequently needed length measures for everyday activities, American companies realized in the late 19th century that rulers could be effective giveaways for promoting their businesses. Some of these were based on a design patented by Henry Adler, an inventor who manufactured iron and sheet metal products in Pittsburgh, so this page also includes three of the four patent models for scale rules found in the mathematics collections. (The fourth is shown on the page for triangular rules.) Since the promotional rules and patent models were often combination instruments—putting length measures together with paper cutters, protractors, and the like—these objects are included in this category.
"Scale Rules - Promotional Rules" showing 1 items.
- This promotional white plastic six-inch ruler is divided along the top edge to sixteenths of an inch and numbered from 1 to 6. The bottom edge has six one-inch sections, divided to 1/10", 1/12", 1/16", 1/24", 1/32", and 1/64", respectively. The center of the ruler is marked: MARCHANT CALCULATORS. Between these words is marked: NORMAN G. HOUGH, SR. (/) 1412 Eye St., N.W. Washington 5, D.C. (/) Republic 1673-1674-1675. A 1951 calendar is on the back. Compare to MA*293320.2811.
- The Marchant Calculating Machine Company of Oakland, Calif., was the oldest and one of the most influential American manufacturers of mechanical and electronic calculators. Established in 1911, the firm quickly built up a national sales network. Recognizing that the term "calculating machine" had fallen from use, the firm formally changed its name in 1952 to Marchant Calculators, Inc. In 1958 the company merged with Smith-Corona, Inc., a manufacturer of typewriters, adding machines, and cash registers. A slow decline followed for the combined firm, as electronic computers began performing the tasks of Smith-Corona Marchant's machines. SCM stopped selling calculators in 1973. Over 150 of Marchant's products and related documentation are in the Smithsonian collections.
- Norman G. Hough, Sr., presumably distributed Marchant cacluating machines in Washington, D.C. It is not known whether he was the same Norman G. Hough who directed a trade organization for lime and concrete from the 1910s to the 1930s.
- References: "Marchant Calculator," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marchant_Calculator; Nigel Tout, "Marchant," Vintage Calculators Web Museum, http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/marchant.html; Ernie Jorgenson, "My Years with Marchant," December 1987, Xnumber World of Calculators, ed. James Redin, http://www.xnumber.com/xnumber/marchant.htm.
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- Marchant Calculating Machine Company
- Marchant Calculators
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center