Faber-Castell Map Measure Sold by U. S. Blue Co.

This metal map measure consists of a slender tubular handle attached to a dial with a wheel protruding from the bottom. The white paper dial is covered by glass and has a thin blue metal arrow attached in the center. The arrow moves as the wheel is traced along a map. The outer ring of the dial is marked by threes from 0 to 39 for converting inches to miles or inches to verstes (a traditional Russian length measure equivalent to 3,500 feet). The inner ring is divided by units and numbered by tens from 0 to 100 for converting centimeters to kilometers.
The center of the dial is marked: Made in (/) Switzerland (/) U.S. BLUE CO. (/) CHICAGO. The metal between the dial and the wheel is marked: F C (/) DEPOSE. The Faber-Castell logo of a castle is between the letters F and C. The letter B is scratched into the back of the instrument.
The German company A. W. Faber was renamed Faber-Castell in 1905. It sometimes manufactured products in Switzerland, and "depose" suggests that the firm filed for a trademark there. U.S. Blue was presumably a blueprint company located in Chicago; it also sold slide rules from Hemmi. The Eugene Dietzgen Co. also sold this instrument, charging $2.20 in 1926. Alfred J. Betcher (1887–1971) owned this example, perhaps purchasing it when he was studying at the University of Minnesota (1906) or at West Point (1907–1911). He was commissioned as a captain, served at posts in New York, Vermont, and Kentucky, and retired in 1939 at the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In 1940 he was elected mayor of Canajoharie, N.Y.
References: Russ Rowlett, How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement, July 11, 2005, http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/index.html; Catalogue & Price List of Eugene Dietzgen Co., 12th ed. (Chicago, 1926), 171; accession file.
Currently not on view
Object Name
scale rule
date made
ca 1910
Faber, A. W.
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: 11.5 cm x 3.5 cm x .5 cm; 4 17/32 in x 1 3/8 in x 3/16 in
place made
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
Gift of John A. Betcher
Additional Media

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