Flexible Ruler Invented by Frank G. Hunt

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Frank G. Hunt of Buffalo, N.Y., designed this flexible steel rule for drawing straight lines on curved surfaces, such as those of ledger books. The rule has no scales, but it has a small round metal handle in the middle of the front. Nine rectangular clips on the back hold several layers of paper covered by a metal rectangle. The middle clip is marked: EXP. ACC'T. F. G. HUNT (/) PAT'D. FEB.25.02 (/) BUFFALO, N.Y. Hunt distributed the rule via the Hunt Ruler Company in Buffalo at least as late as 1920. By 1922, he had passed away but the firm was expanding.
References: Frank G. Hunt, "Flexible Ruler" (U.S. Patent 694,061 issued February 25, 1902); "Buyers' Reference Bureau: Rulers: Metal or Steel," The American Stationer and Office Outfitter 86, no. 18 (May 8, 1920): 102; "Hunt Ruler Company Expanding," Office Appliances 36 (July 1922): 49; Buffalo Historical Society, "Buffalonians More or Less Noted, Who Died in 1922," in Reports of the President and Secretary (Buffalo, 1923), 46.
Currently not on view
date made
1902–ca 1922
inventor; patentee
Hunt, Frank G.
place made
United States: New York, Buffalo
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: 1.5 cm x 45.6 cm x 3.6 cm; 19/32 in x 17 15/16 in x 1 13/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Robert M. and June W. Leonard
Drawing Instruments
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Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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