Persian Drah

This wooden rectangular rule is reported to be a Persian drah, or pic, and said to have been used for measuring dry goods. It is divided on two sides by roughly cut arrows and vertical lines. One side has Persian characters inside circles at both ends. On that side, the divisions are at: 4.5, 8.8*, 13.2, 17.4*, 21.5, 25.9, 30.0, 34.3*, 38.5, 42.7, 47.1, 51.2*, 55.5, 59.7*, and 64.1 cm. Divisions with an * are marked with an arrow rather than a line on the rule. These divisions are spaced apart 1 centimeter further than the divisions on another Persian drah, 1979.0991.01. On the other side, all of the divisions are vertical lines, at: 11.7, 23.0, 34.2, 45.5, and 57.0 cm.
In 1892 the U.S. Department of State transferred this object to the Smithsonian.
Currently not on view
Object Name
scale rule
date made
19th century
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
overall: 1.5 cm x 68.2 cm x .3 cm; 19/32 in x 26 27/32 in x 1/8 in
Place Made
Îrān: Tehrān, Tehran
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Scale Rules
Science & Mathematics
Measuring & Mapping
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 the U.S. Department of State
Additional Media

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