Gauging Rod

Gauging Rod

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Usage conditions apply
The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, in 1873, prescribed this form of gauging rod for use with spirituous liquors subject to taxation. This ornate example is made of nickel-plated brass and marked “PRIME & MCKEAN / PATD MARCH 31 & JULY 12, 1870 / WASHINGTON, D.C.” and “U.S. STANDARD INT. REV.” and “Wine Gallons.” The whole is contained in a wood box. The form combines the ideas of Eli S. Prime (ca. 1840-1885), a gauger in Baltimore, and Edwin McKean (ca. 1835-1896), then of Nashville. The maker is unknown.
Ref: Eli S. Prime, “Improvement in Gauge Rods,” U.S. Patent 101,309 (March 29, 1870).
Edwin R. McKean, “Improvement in Cask Gauging Instrument,” U.S. Patent 105,352 (July 12, 1870).
Currently not on view
Object Name
Gauging Rod Kit, U.S. Standard
gauging rod kit
Date made
ca. 1870 (patent date)
Associated Place
United States: New Jersey
assembled: 111.7 cm; 44 in
box: 2 in x 14 in x 9 3/4 in; 5.08 cm x 35.56 cm x 24.765 cm
overall; box: 2 1/8 in x 13 15/16 in x 11 5/8 in; 5.3975 cm x 35.40125 cm x 29.5275 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Transfer from U.S. Treasury Department Internal Revenue Service
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Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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