This scale rule was identified by Eliza Parke Custis Law, Martha Washington's granddaughter, as the "Box rule from the writing desk of my lamented grandmother." While Mrs. Washington may have used it for marking straight lines, laying out a grid on which to plot a needlework design, or measuring short lengths, the complexity of the scales indicate that it was likely originally part of a pocket set of drafting instruments manufactured for use by draftsmen, surveyors, and other gentleman-professionals. Mrs. Washington may have obtained this rule from one of the instrument sets owned by her husband.

See also W-220.
More

Date

c. 1750-1802


Geography


Material/Technique

Boxwood


Dimensions

Overall: 4 3/4 in. x 1 3/8 in. (12.07 cm x 3.51 cm x 0.08 cm)


Credit

Gift of Mary Means Huber, 2004


Object Number

W-4379


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
Buy Tickets What to See Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

Open today from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save