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Advertising Rules!! (no - not that kind)  


In my day if you want to impress a client you give them a pen, or a mug, or if they are really special a hat or t-shirt. In 1900 the t-shirt hadn't been invented so freebie gifts I guess were a little harder to come by. Now I don't know much about promotional tools but a few years ago I acquired a 12" 4 fold ivory rule. The rule was made by Rabone (the great English rule making company) - it's a no. 2435 and pretty expensive at 26/0 per dozen (wholesale) but it also has "C. W. S. Cabinet Works" "Pelaw" on it which was the shop that gave them out.

What I don't get is what kind of customer merited a rule this nice. It's cute, it's ivory, it folds down to 3". And the markings are all hand scribed on the ivory.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest it was given to some decorator or architect. It's too good to be used regularly in a shop but perfect for an architect to carry in their pocket all the time for occasional use like checking if the molding was the same width as specified in a plan.

The other two advertising rules in the picture were much less expensive, a lot more common and also pretty useful. I don't know the actual maker but the elegant wooden one was a rope maker's giveaway and reads in Inches only on the front and metric on the reverse. On the back of the smaller brass caliper (which reads in both inches and metric) is the name "Small & Parkes Ltd" of Manchester. This latter one is real handy even today.

Tags:Historical Subjects
Comments: 3
02/16/2010David Gendron 
So Joel, What are your good clients gona get from you? Other than the great service we get from you;)
I remember, in my grand father garage, he was a mecanic, to find all kind of promotional stuff, from the fuel company to the tools etc... It is interesting that we lost that kind of usefull shwags, it was better than a cheep pen or stickers...
02/16/2010Larry Williams http://My favorite
I've got a steel folding rule/protractor with a vernier scale that I use often. I don't have it here at home with me so I can't give the name of the company that gave these out. I sometimes also refer to the decimal equivalents chart on the back. I picked up at a tool collectors meet for a couple dollars a number of years ago and I've about worn out the leather case it came in.
02/16/2010Andrew Davis 
That sure is a smart looking rule. I have a lumber guy that hands out a better pencil than I can buy anywhere. They are hoarded away...
Well to Ya
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