U.S. Yard Standard and Matrix


This brass yard standard and matrix are stored in a mahogany case with brass handles on either end and brass hooks to secure the lid, one of which no longer closes. The yard standard has extensions on either side which make it 104 cm (41") long. The yard fits into a matrix, which is divided into tenths, with the first division also divided into tenths. The yard and matrix each weigh 13 lbs., 4 oz. The case also contains 4 mahogany wedges and 3 mahogany rectangles, each less than 7 cm long. A scriber and square were originally in the case.

This yard standard is one of those distributed by the Treasury Department to the states after Congress set standard measures on June 14, 1833. Sets of weights were distributed to the states by 1838. Metric length standards were distributed to the states and to customhouses into the 1860s. The Bureau of Standards transferred this object to the Smithsonian in 1929.

Reference: Rexmond C. Cochrane, Measures for Progress (Washington, D.C.: National Bureau of Standards, 1966), p. 27-28.

Date Made: 1836

Maker: United States Office of Weights and Measures

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: District of Columbia, Washington

Subject: MathematicsWeights & Measures


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Metric System, Science & Mathematics, Scale Rules


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Transfer from Bureau of Standards, U.S. Department of Commerce

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MA.309586Accession Number: 103830Catalog Number: 309586

Object Name: rulescale rule

Physical Description: brass (overall material)mahogany (overall material)Measurements: overall: 8.5 cm x 122.4 cm x 16.5 cm; 3 11/32 in x 48 3/16 in x 6 1/2 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a7-5b89-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_904683

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