Beth Carroll-Horrocks, the special collections archivist at the at the Massachusetts State House, has a blog about interesting rulers from her personal collection. A lot of them are created to measure very specific things like knitting stitch size, or to double as advertising materials. That latter category certainly caught my eye, because the ruler that's been residing in my desk drawer for the past nine years is a brass-colored advertisement for The Congregationalist newspaper.
|ONE OF AMERICA'S
|a leader in thought
and influence among
|established in the
homes of the people
The text in the middle section is quite burnished from use, so I've transcribed it above. The part I find most amusing is that it's not only an advertisement for the paper itself, but also an ad to entice others to advertise in the paper.
If rulers don't quite grab your attention, take a look at the Early Office Museum website. They have galleries devoted to everything from paper clips to seal presses, many of which we've come across in our older collections. Some of them are beautifully made as well as being functional. It makes me wonder what historians will make of our office gadgets in another hundred years.