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Large Stanley ruler 26" x 2". Info needed please!

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Office Antiques910 of 1604Ink bottleDesk Set - very tiny!
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Posted 4 years ago


(1 item)

Does anyone know anything about this ruler which belonged to my late Dad?

It has STANLEY Trade Mark, LONDON on it, and also
PATENT Made in England.
It's 26" long & 2" wide.
On one side it has 1/8 and 1/4 inch = 1 foot and on the other 3/8 and 1/2 in = 1 foot.
It's wood and what?!!
It's made out of some sort of creamy white celuloid-type material I think, with a strip of very smooth pale wood down the middle on each side.
I would love to know what the white material is?
And also when it might have been made?
I can't find one like it anywhere on the internet, so any info, or advice on where to look to info would be greatly appreciated!

Unsolved Mystery

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  1. valentino97 valentino97, 4 years ago
    Graphic artist or architect tool?
  2. sandyshore, 4 years ago
    Yes absolutely!
    My Dad was a draughtsman, and then a ship designer for the MOD, so that much I had deduced! :-)
    I'd just love to know more details about it... and how rare it might be!
  3. valentino97 valentino97, 4 years ago
    Sorry I don't know anything more. I'm a graphic artist trained in the 70's. But most of my rulers and tools are metal.
  4. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 4 years ago
    If you can't find it in the Stanley archives try searching under Stanley Judd. The division I worked for back in 1966 between high school and the Army was Stanley Judd. It was all Stanley Tool Company owned but for some reason (shifting money probably) different items were produced or shipped by different departments. My dad had one and it came in a hard case with a furry lining. You never touched it and he always kept it in the case. Looked like it was lined with green felt as was the case his other drafting tools were kept in. I think you can access Stanley archives online or at least part of them. For this item you could contact:

    I don't think this rule is old or rare because it is wood bound in acrylic. I also think it is an engineering rule as opposed to a drafting rule. Drafting rules are triangular, three sided with six scales for doing layout that is to scale. It is however in great shape.
  5. AzTom AzTom, 4 years ago
    I have had a few similar to this over the years. This one could date back into the 30's/40's? and could be celluloid but also could be ivory. The wood is probably boxwood. With the scale giving I would say it is a drafting rule, also referred to as an engineer's scale made prior to the newer triangle type mentioned above.

    I have see even the ivory ones in the 12 in size selling for under $20.00. I don't remember ever seeing one as long as yours. I would guess for really large plans.

    Welcome to CW, I hope you more to share.
  6. sandyshore, 4 years ago
    Thanks for your help everyone!

    Valentino - Ah, my Dad was born in 1925, so he did his training long before you did, and before metal rulers came about I expect! :-)

    fhrjr2 - Thanks! This is really helpful! I'll certainly have a look on the websites you mention! I loved hearing that your Dad had one too, and that his was still in it's box! My Dad also had slide-rules etc, some of which are still in their original boxes, but not this ruler unfortunately! My Dad was more of the opinion that if there's a tool that will do the job, then use it! My brothers and I were allowed to use it any time we needed it. Was your Dads the same size as this, or a smaller one? I think Dad may well have bought it 2nd hand, so maybe he never had the case. I'm sure the case would still be with it if he'd ever had it!

    AzTom - Thanks, yes I'd wondered if it might be 30s/40s because as I said to Valentino above, my Dad was born in 1925 and would have done his training in the 40s and 50s. I know he bought a lot of tools, slide-rules etc 2nd hand when he was a student/trainee, so I suspect the same might be said of this ruler.

    I'm positive that it's not ivory.
    I'm a piano tuner, and I know that you couldn't even get a piece of ivory large enough to make a whole piano key covering, they are made in two pieces.
    This ruler is 26" long, and the whole of the white part is made in one piece. I'm sure it's probably a synthetic material (celluloid etc), though I did wonder about bone.. as I know nothing about what that looks or feels like, or how big the pieces can be.

    Have you had ones of this size? I've seen plenty of 12" ones around, but I can't find a trace of one this size anywhere at the moment!

    Thanks again everyone!
    Having been trawling the internet for hours trying to find info it's brilliant to have such a great response on here after less than a day! :-)

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