Carpenter's Combination Tool, Patent Model

This combination bevel and try-square tool served as a model for patent application number 70,547 submitted by John Graham of Ludlow, Vermont November 5th, 1867. The tool combines several carpentry tools including a bevel, marker, gauge, try-square, and level (what Graham describes as an “indicator”). When the square was placed upon a surface, the indicator would point vertically to 12 o’clock if the surface was level, varying to the left or right if not. The indicator was Graham’s main claim to invention in his patent, but he additionally claimed “the combination of one or more supplemental movable or adjustable squares, with a try-square.” This claim in the patent essentially made Graham’s invention an early multi-tool, a carpenter’s Swiss-army knife of bevels, levels, and squares.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Graham, John
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 19.2 cm; 7 9/16 in
ID Number
accession number
patent number
catalog number
Industry & Manufacturing
See more items in
Work and Industry: Hand Tools
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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