Ruler Advertising Marchant Calculators

This promotional black 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 (/) 1412 Eye St., N.W. Washington, D. C. (/) Republic 1673-74-75. A 1946 calendar is on the back of the ruler. Compare to MA*293320.2816.
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, with receipts of $12,000,000 in 1946. In 1958, the company merged with Smith-Corona, Inc., a manufacturer of typewriters, adding machines, and cash registers. A slow decline resulted 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 calculating 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,"; Nigel Tout, "Marchant," Vintage Calculators Web Museum,; Ernie Jorgenson, "My Years with Marchant," December 1987, Xnumber World of Calculators, ed. James Redin,
Currently not on view
Object Name
scale rule
date made
Marchant Calculating Machine Company
Marchant Calculators
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: .1 cm x 15.2 cm x 2.1 cm; 1/32 in x 5 31/32 in x 13/16 in
place made
United States
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Scale Rules
Science & Mathematics
Measuring & Mapping
Promotional Item
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana
Additional Media

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