Set of 7 Japanese Scale Rules Signed Fujishima

Description
A rectangular paulownia wood case has a red and white sticker on the right end marked: 45 (/) M. Inside the case are seven bamboo rulers, six that are just over 12" (about 31 cm) long and one that is 2-1/4" (15.5 cm). The first rule is either ebonized or coated with blackboard paint. The front is marked in Japanese: Made by Kokoudo Fujishima. The scales along both edges are identical, divided to fifths of a unit and numbered by twos from 2 to 96. Each unit is 1/8" (3 mm), and the scales are both labeled: 1/8. The back of the rule is stamped: 7.
The second rule is marked in Japanese: Made by Fujishima. It is also marked: 4 500. The scales along both edges are identical, 30 cm long, divided to tenths of a unit, and numbered by twenties from 2[0] to 1340. The scales thus correspond to dividing the meter into 4,500 parts. The back of the rule is stamped in red: METRE. It is also stamped: 1 (/) 4500.
The third rule has a scale labeled "1000 FEET" along one edge. It is divided to fives and numbered in both directions by hundreds from 0 to 1,000. Each increment of 100 units is 1-3/16" (3.05 cm) long. The other edge is divided by ones and numbered in both directions by tens from 0 to 250. This scale is labeled: 250 FEET. The scales are 12" (30.5 cm) long. The back of the rule is marked: Fujishima.
The fourth rule is marked in Japanese: Made by Fujishima. It is also marked: 250. The scales along both edges are identical, 12-1/16" (30.7 cm) long, divided to single units, and numbered by tens from 0 to 250. The back of the rule is stamped in red: FOOT. It is also stamped: 1 (/) 250. It is also stamped: C-1.
The fifth rule is marked in Japanese: Made by Fujishima. It is also marked: 200. The scales along both edges are identical, 12" (30.5 cm) long, divided to single units, and numbered by tens from 0 to 200. The back of the rule is stamped in red: FOOT. It is also stamped: 1 (/) 200. It is also stamped: 5. Handwriting in Japanese on the back of the rule has not been translated.
The sixth rule has scales for 3/8" to the foot and 3/4" to the foot along one edge. The other edge has scales for 1-1/2" to the foot and 3" to the foot. The back of the rule is stamped in red: FOOT. It is also stamped: C-1.
The scales on the seventh and shortest rule are 1-13/16" (4.6 cm) long and numbered by ones from 0 to 3. The scale along one edge is divided to quarter-units, and the scale on the other edge is divided to twelfths of a unit. The rule is marked on the back: 1/20. It is also stamped in red: 1.
These rules were likely used in engineering and architectural drawing. Compare to MA*261284, MA*261285, MA*261286, and MA*261287. The rules were exhibited by the Japanese Empire Department of Education at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. They then were displayed by the Museum of the U.S. Bureau of Education until 1906 and transferred to the Smithsonian National Museum in 1910. For more information, see MA*261298 and MA*261313.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
scale rules, set of
rules, set of
date made
before 1876
maker
Fujishima
Physical Description
bamboo (overall material)
wood (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 4.2 cm x 33 cm x 4.6 cm; 1 21/32 in x 13 in x 1 13/16 in
place made
Japan
ID Number
MA*261283
catalog number
261283
accession number
51116
subject
Scale Rules
Science & Mathematics
Mathematics
Drawing Instruments
Rule, Measuring
Drafting, Engineering
Expositions and Fairs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Transfer from Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior

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