Charles Bruning 2710 Chain Scale with Drafting Machine Mounts

This 12" beveled aluminum rule is divided to 1/16" and numbered by ones from 0 to 12 along one edge. The other edge is divided to 1/32" and numbered by ones from 0 to 24. In other words, as marks on the rule indicate, the first scale is "full size," for making drawings at a proportion of 1" to the foot, while the second scale is "half size," for making drawings at a proportion of 1/2" to the foot. The center of the rule is also marked: CHARLES BRUNING. A paper table for inches in decimals of a foot is pasted to the rule, partially covering the mark.
Oblong aluminum mounts at both ends allow the rule to be attached to a drafting machine. Both mounts are marked: VARD INC. (/) PATENT NO. (/) 2192422. Vard Beecher Wallace (1901–1988) of Sierra Madre, Calif., applied for a patent for these attachments in 1939 and received it the next year. He and a partner, Paul H. Ford, operated Vard Mechanical Laboratory, which supplied drafting machines to aircraft engineers such as Allen Lockheed and Jack Northrop, for whom Wallace had previously worked. The firm was renamed Vard, Inc., by 1945 and was purchased by Royal Industries in 1959.
Charles Bruning (1866–1931) was born in Denmark and immigrated to the United States. In Chicago during the 1890s, he became interested in the blue print business. In 1897, he set up his own blue printing company in Manhattan, which was incorporated as the New York Blue Print Paper Company in 1901. Around 1920,he purchased American Blue Print Company of Chicago, and the combined firms became known as the Charles Bruning Company, Inc.
The company began to offer this rule in 1948 as model 2710, style C-16. According to the donor, the instrument was used by her husband, the electrical engineer Robert H. Wieler (1923–1993). Compare this object to 1998.0032.14.
References: Vard B. Wallace, "Drafting Instrument Chuck and Wrench" (U.S. Patent 2,192,422 issued March 5, 1940); Bruce Butler, "Vard Wallace," Glendora Friends Church blog, May 3, 2010,; Patrick Conyers and Cedar Phillips, Pasadena 1940–2008, Images of America (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2009), 59; "Charles Bruning," New York Times (January 31, 1931), 14; Charles Bruning Company, Inc., General Catalog, 14th ed. (New York, [1948]), 132–134; Charles Bruning Company, Inc., General Catalog, 15th ed. (New York, 1952), 176.
Currently not on view
Object Name
drafting machine rule
scale rule
date made
Charles Bruning Company
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
aluminum (overall material)
overall: .6 cm x 32 cm x 4 cm; 1/4 in x 12 19/32 in x 1 9/16 in
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Scale Rules
Science & Mathematics
Drafting, Engineering
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Norma P. Wieler
Additional Media

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