Japanese Scale Rule

Description
This 60 cm brass ruler is divided to millimeters along one edge. The scale is not numbered. The other edge is divided into 20 units of 1-3/16" (3 cm). Each unit is thus roughly equivalent to the sun, a traditional Japanese unit of length that is 1/10 of a shaku, a "foot" measure. Four of the units are subdivided into 50 parts; the other 16 are subdivided into 20 parts. Each unit is marked with a small "0." The fifth and fifteenth units have a row of three zeroes above the "0." The tenth unit has a zero, a row of three zeroes, and another zero.
The Japanese Empire Department of Education displayed this rule at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. It then was held by the Museum of the U.S. Bureau of Education before transfer to the Smithsonian in 1910. For more information, see MA*261298 and MA*261313.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
rule
scale rule
date made
before 1876
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
Measurements
overall: .3 cm x 61.2 cm x 3 cm; 1/8 in x 24 3/32 in x 1 3/16 in
place made
Japan
ID Number
MA*261292
accession number
51116
catalog number
261292
subject
Scale Rules
Science & Mathematics
Mathematics
Rule, Measuring
Expositions and Fairs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Transfer from Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.