U.S. Yard Standard and Matrix

Description
This brass yard standard and matrix are stored in a mahogany case with brass handles on either end and brass hooks to secure the lid, one of which no longer closes. The yard standard has extensions on either side which make it 104 cm (41") long. The yard fits into a matrix, which is divided into tenths, with the first division also divided into tenths. The yard and matrix each weigh 13 lbs., 4 oz. The case also contains 4 mahogany wedges and 3 mahogany rectangles, each less than 7 cm long. A scriber and square were originally in the case.
This yard standard is one of those distributed by the Treasury Department to the states after Congress set standard measures on June 14, 1833. Sets of weights were distributed to the states by 1838. Metric length standards were distributed to the states and to customhouses into the 1860s. The Bureau of Standards transferred this object to the Smithsonian in 1929.
Reference: Rexmond C. Cochrane, Measures for Progress (Washington, D.C.: National Bureau of Standards, 1966), p. 27-28.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
rule
scale rule
date made
1836
maker
United States Office of Weights and Measures
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
mahogany (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 8.5 cm x 122.4 cm x 16.5 cm; 3 11/32 in x 48 3/16 in x 6 1/2 in
place made
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
ID Number
MA*309586
accession number
103830
catalog number
309586
subject
Scale Rules
Science & Mathematics
Mathematics
Weights & Measures
Metric System
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Scale Rules
Metric System
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Transfer from Bureau of Standards, U.S. Department of Commerce
Additional Media

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