Whalebone Ruler

Description
“Straight edges” or rulers were used aboard ships as writing guides on the unlined pages of letters, journals and logbooks. The back side of this long stick is marked in 2-1/4, 4-1/2 and 9-inch sections, indicating another usage, probably by the ship’s cooper to measure the level of liquid (water, wine, beer or whale oil) in his wooden casks.
Object Name
scrimshaw
scrimshaw yardstick
date made
1800s
collected
1960-07-26
Physical Description
bone (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 34 1/4 in; 86.995 cm
ID Number
TR*61.49
catalog number
TR*61.49
accession number
231930
related event
Expansion and Reform
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Work
Cultures & Communities
Industry & Manufacturing
Art
Natural Resources
On the Water exhibit
Transportation
Exhibition
On the Water
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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