Triangular Open Divided Scale Signed William Minifee

Description
This 12-inch triangular boxwood architect's rule has indentations along each side. On one side, one edge has a scale divided to 1/16" and numbered by ones from 0 to 12. The other edge has scales for 2" and 4" to the foot. Between these scales is a scale divided to 2" and numbered from left to right by ones from 0 to 2, and from right to left by ones from 0 to 1. This side is marked: WM MINIFIE. BALTIMORE.
One edge of the second side 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 0 to 20 and from right to left by ones from 0 to 10. The other 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 0 to 92 and from right to left by twos from 0 to 46. A white sticker on this side is marked: 786.
One edge of the third side has scales for 3/8" and 3/4" to the foot. Between these scales is a scale divided to 3/8", numbered from left to right by ones from 0 to 28 and from right to left by ones from 0 to 14. The other edge has scales for 1-1/2" and 3" to the foot. Between these scales is a scale divided to 1-1/2", numbered from left to right by ones from 0 to 4 and from right to left by ones from 0 to 2.
William Minifie (1805–1880) apprenticed as a cabinetmaker in England before moving to Baltimore in 1828. He became an architect and builder, professor of drawing at Central High School in Baltimore, and author of a successful textbook on geometrical drawing. A Textbook of Geometrical Drawing (Baltimore, 1849) does not, however, contain any illustrations of drawing instruments. In 1847 he purchased the bookstore that became Wm. Minifie (adding "& Son" in 1868), selling stationery and artist’s materials. The Maryland Historical Society holds his journal, MS 1993 and 1993.1, and photographs of his home at 80 N. Greene St. around 1870, the Baxley Family Collection, PP90. (Minifie's daughter, Gertrude, married the pharmacist Jackson Brown Baxley in 1865.)
The previous owner collected more than 1,200 hand tools and machine tools and displayed them at his family's building company in Baltimore, Md. This object was item number 786 in his collection.
References: C. Herbert Baxley, "Travel in the 1830s: The Diary of William Minifie," Maryland Historical Magazine 78 (1983): 287–296; Baltimore City Directories of 1863–64 (p. 192) and 1879 (p. 535).
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
scale rule
date made
1847–1868
retailer
Minifie, William
Physical Description
boxwood (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 2.2 cm x 31.6 cm x 2.2 cm; 7/8 in x 12 7/16 in x 7/8 in
place made
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
ID Number
1977.1101.0019
accession number
1977.1101
catalog number
1977.1101.0019
subject
Scale Rules
Science & Mathematics
Mathematics
Drafting, Engineering
Architecture
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
The John R. Gerwig, Jr., Collection
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

Submit a comment or ask a question about this object using the form below. Submissions are moderated and may receive a curator response. Please note that we cannot evaluate or appraise your personal artifacts. For other questions or general inquiries please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.