Wang Rule


This two-sided WANG rule has spacing guides for horizontal and vertical measures. It was used in the 1980s by the museum’s Office of the Registrar to design typed forms (not computer printouts).

The front of the rule has four different horizontal scale divisions. Along the top edge are a 14 inch scale marked in 16ths and a 168 space scale marked 12 spaces to the inch. The bottom edge has a 140 space scale marked 10 spaces to the inch and a 210 space scale marked 15 spaces to the inch. The back has three vertical scale divisions. Along the top edge are a 110 space scale marked eight lines to the inch and a 350 mm scale. Along the bottom edge is an 84 space scale marked 6 lines to the inch.

The museum acquired a WANG minicomputer system in 1982 -- a VS80 with two 75mb hard drives (each one was about the size of a modern dishwasher) and 14 workstations. The minicomputer was used for word processing, email, and data entry. This particular rule was given away with the minicomputer but not used in designing computer printouts. Instead, in the 1980s the Office of the Registrar made an effort to design forms that could be completed on a typewriter. The designs had to be precisely spaced horizontally and vertically so that each line/field would accurately line up when using typewriter tab and/or carriage return keys. This rule was used to ensure that accuracy.

Date Made: ca 1982ca 1980

Maker: Wang Laboratories

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Mathematics


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Computers & Business Machines, Science & Mathematics, Scale Rules


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2017.0318.01Accession Number: 2017.0318Catalog Number: 2017.0318.01

Object Name: rule

Physical Description: plastic (overall material)Measurements: overall: 40.6 cm x 4.5 cm; 15 31/32 in x 1 25/32 in


Record Id: nmah_1867903

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