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

Description
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.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1910
maker
Faber, A. W.
place made
Switzerland
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 11.5 cm x 3.5 cm x .5 cm; 4 17/32 in x 1 3/8 in x 3/16 in
ID Number
1982.0386.07
accession number
1982.0386
catalog number
1982.0386.07
Credit Line
Gift of John A. Betcher
subject
Mathematics
Surveying
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Measuring & Mapping
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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