Whalebone Ruler

Whalebone Ruler

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Description
“Straight edges” or rulers were used aboard ships as writing guides on the unlined pages of letters, journals and logbooks. The back side of this long stick is marked in 2-1/4, 4-1/2 and 9-inch sections, indicating another usage, probably by the ship’s cooper to measure the level of liquid (water, wine, beer or whale oil) in his wooden casks.
Object Name
scrimshaw
scrimshaw yardstick
date made
1800s
collected
1960-07-26
Physical Description
ivory (overall material)
bone (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 34 1/4 in; 86.995 cm
ID Number
DL.61.0049
catalog number
61.49
accession number
231930
catalog number
61.0049
Credit Line
Gift of Avis and Rockwell Gardiner
Expansion and Reform
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Work and Industry: Maritime
Cultures & Communities
Work
Industry & Manufacturing
Natural Resources
Transportation
On the Water exhibit
Art
Exhibition
On the Water
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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