Rule Advertising Marchant Calculators


This promotional white plastic six-inch ruler is divided along the top edge to sixteenths of an inch and numbered from 1 to 6. The bottom edge has six one-inch sections, divided to 1/10", 1/12", 1/16", 1/24", 1/32", and 1/64", respectively. The center of the ruler is marked: MARCHANT CALCULATORS. Between these words is marked: NORMAN G. HOUGH, SR. (/) 1412 Eye St., N.W. Washington 5, D.C. (/) Republic 1673-1674-1675. A 1951 calendar is on the back. Compare to MA.293320.2811.

The Marchant Calculating Machine Company of Oakland, Calif., was the oldest and one of the most influential American manufacturers of mechanical and electronic calculators. Established in 1911, the firm quickly built up a national sales network. Recognizing that the term "calculating machine" had fallen from use, the firm formally changed its name in 1952 to Marchant Calculators, Inc. In 1958 the company merged with Smith-Corona, Inc., a manufacturer of typewriters, adding machines, and cash registers. A slow decline followed for the combined firm, as electronic computers began performing the tasks of Smith-Corona Marchant's machines. SCM stopped selling calculators in 1973. Over 150 of Marchant's products and related documentation are in the Smithsonian collections.

Norman G. Hough, Sr., presumably distributed Marchant cacluating machines in Washington, D.C. It is not known whether he was the same Norman G. Hough who directed a trade organization for lime and concrete from the 1910s to the 1930s.

References: "Marchant Calculator,"; Nigel Tout, "Marchant," Vintage Calculators Web Museum,; Ernie Jorgenson, "My Years with Marchant," December 1987, Xnumber World of Calculators, ed. James Redin,

Date Made: 1951

Distributor: Marchant Calculating Machine CompanyMaker: Marchant Calculators

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States

Subject: MathematicsPromotional Item


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Science & Mathematics, Scale Rules, Measuring & Mapping


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MA.293320.2816Accession Number: 293320Catalog Number: 293320.2816

Object Name: rulescale rule

Physical Description: plastic (overall material)Measurements: overall: .1 cm x 15.2 cm x 2.1 cm; 1/32 in x 5 31/32 in x 13/16 in


Record Id: nmah_690258

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