Ruler Advertising Monroe Calculators

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This promotional white plastic six-inch ruler is divided along the top edge to sixteenths of an inch and numbered by fourths from 1 to 6. The ruler is marked: MONROE CALCULATING MACHINE COMPANY, INC. (/) CALCULATING • ADDING • ACCOUNTING • BOOKKEEPING • CHECK WRITING MACHINES (/) J. C. Fleming, Representative 1320 Eighteenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., COlumbia 5-1222. A list of decimal equivalents of fractions is on the back of the ruler. Below the list is the Monroe logo and the words: MADE IN U.S.A.
In 1912, Jay Randolph Monroe purchased a factory in Orange, N.J., to manufacture mechanical calculators on a design by Frank Stephen Baldwin. The Monroe Calculating Machine Company quickly became a leader in its field, opening sales offices around the world and building additional factories in Virginia and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Litton Industries purchased the firm in 1958, changed its name to Monroe Systems for Business in 1980, and sold it in 1984 to Jeffry M. Picower.
The company refocused on calculators in 1998 and was purchased by Carolina Wholesale Office Machine Company in 2001. J. C. Fleming was presumably the Monroe sales agent for Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian collections include 25 Monroe calculating machines and over 30 pieces of related documentation. For promotional rulers by Monroe's chief competitors, see MA.293320.2811, MA.293320.2813, and MA.293320.2816. Large American cities used postal zone numbers from 1943 to 1963, hence the dating of the object.
References: Frank S. Baldwin, "Calculating and Recording Machine" (U.S. Patent 890,888 issued June 16, 1908); John Wolff, "The Monroe Calculating Machine Company," May 27, 2012, John Wolff's Web Museum,; Monroe Systems for Business, "History,"
Currently not on view
date made
Monroe Calculating Machine Company
Monroe Calculating Machine Company
place made
United States: New Jersey, Orange
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: .1 cm x 16 cm x 2.5 cm; 1/32 in x 6 5/16 in x 31/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana
Promotional Item
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Data Source
National Museum of American History