Open Divided Scale Advertising Dexter Brothers

This tan plastic scale rule is marked with faux wood grain and has been broken into two pieces. The top edge has scales for 1/2" and 1" to the foot. Between these scales is a scale divided to 1/2", numbered from left to right by ones from 1 to 20, and numbered from right to left by ones from 1 to 10. The bottom edge has scales for 1/8" and 1/4" to the foot. Between these scales is a scale divided to 1/8", numbered from left to right by twos from 1 to 92, and numbered from right to left by ones from 1 to 20 and then by twos from 20 to 46.
The center of the rule is marked: Use Dexter Brothers' English Shingle Stains. It is also marked: Copyrighted by (/) DEXTER BROS., (/) BOSTON, MASS. According to the Boston Directory of 1869, 1880, and 1900, Dexter Brothers was founded by Charles W., Frank K., Wallace D., and George B. Dexter. The firm manufactured paints, oils, and drugs on Broad Street in Boston. It remained in business at least as late as 1919. The donor, David Shayt, was a National Museum of American History staff member.
For other open divided or chain scales, see 1981.0933.14, 1981.0933.15, 1992.0433.04, 1998.0032.08, and 1998.0032.09.
Currently not on view
Object Name
scale rule
date made
Dexter Brothers
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: .1 cm x 29.8 cm x 3.2 cm; 1/32 in x 11 23/32 in x 1 1/4 in
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Scale Rules
Science & Mathematics
Promotional Item
Drafting, Engineering
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 David H. Shayt

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