Gunter's Scale

The top edge of one side of this 12-inch wooden rule has a scale of inches, divided to tenths of an inch and numbered by ones from 24 to 13, with a "1" visible at the right for the 12" mark. Underneath this scale are 10" and 9" (divided to 1/2") plotting scales with diagonal scales at each end. On the other side are unlabeled, partial scales for logarithms, logarithmic sines, logarithmic versines, logarithmic tangents, meridional lines, and equal parts. On the scale of equal parts, ten units are equivalent to 3 cm.
This object appears to be a Gunter's scale that was cut in half. Compare to MA*319077, MA*318174, and MA*333945. The Smithsonian's Division of Ethnology received this rule in 1951 and believed it to be of American manufacture.
Currently not on view
Object Name
gunter's scale
scale rule
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 30.5 cm x 3.9 cm x .4 cm; 12 in x 1 17/32 in x 5/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Scale Rules
Science & Mathematics
Rule, Calculating
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur M. Greenwood
Additional Media

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