Whitehead & Hoag Ruler Advertising E. Machlett & Son

This white plastic advertising rule has a scale of inches along the top edge, divided to 1/16" and numbered by ones from 1 to 6, and a scale of centimeters along the bottom edge, divided to millimeters and numbered by ones from 1 to 15. A list of equivalent measures is at the right end. The center of the rule is marked: E. MACHLETT & SON (/) 22 E. 23rd Street NEW YORK 10, N.Y. (/) Laboratory APPARATUS & CHEMICALS (/) ESTABLISHED 1897. The left end is marked: PHONE (/) LEXINGTON 2-1313 (/) BELL TELETYPE (/) N. Y. 1-2444.
The back of the rule has scales for converting between Fahrenheit and Celsius temperatures and for measuring the size of a cork. A table of diameters and weights of rubber stoppers is in the lower right corner. The center of the rule is marked: MACHLETT. The right end is marked in very small type: WHITEHEAD-HOAG NEWARK N J.
Founded in 1892 and in business until 1959, Whitehead & Hoag was a major producer of paper and plastic advertising novelties. It was headquartered in Newark but had branch offices in about thirty cities around the world. For other mathematical objects made by this company, see 1984.1080.01, 1987.0221.02, 1988.0323.01, 1988.0350.01, and 2004.010.0170. Items made by Whitehead & Hoag are also found in several other Museum collections, including numismatics, political history, and medicine.
E. Machlett & Son began making glass laboratory apparatus in New York City in 1897. Fisher Scientific acquired the firm in 1957. The U.S. Post Office Department began using two-digit postal codes in 1943, so that must be the earliest date for the instrument.
References: "Whitehead and Hoag Collection," Nehushtan Antiques, http://www.nehushtanantiques.com/whitehead_and_hoag.html; Laine Farley, "Whitehead & Hoag Celluloid Bookmarks," http://www.bibliobuffet.com/on-marking-books-columns-195/archive-index-on-marking-books/1039-whitehead-a-hoag-celluloid-bookmarks-053109; Machlett advertisement, Analytical Chemistry 25, no. 4 (1953): 15A.
Currently not on view
Object Name
scale rule
date made
Whitehead & Hoag Company
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: .1 cm x 15.9 cm x 2.6 cm; 1/32 in x 6 1/4 in x 1 1/32 in
place made
United States: New Jersey, Newark
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Promotional Item
Rule, Measuring
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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