Remember This? Rulers

Dorri Partain
Contributor


Ruler fight? Touché!


Many school supplies inside the grade school desk provided options for the creative-minded student. When the teacher wasn’t looking, that bottle of glue could be used as a microphone and the scissors made a silly pair of glasses.


But the ruler had the most potential. Whether it was wood, plastic, or metal, it could be used to spar with a classmate in an under-the-desk sword fight. Likewise, if the ruler had holes, it could be fitted on the sharpened end of a pencil and become a helicopter blade.


All fun aside, the teacher required the ruler so students could learn measurement in math class and draw straight lines during art projects.


The 12-inch ruler as we know it today was conceived by the ancient Romans, who had the propensity to divide or count in increments of twelve. Early measurements were based on human anatomy, such as the hand or foot, and those terms still describe measurements today.

The British Weights and Measurements Act of 1827 sought to standardize measurements due to the different sizes of hands and feet. Foot, yard, ounce and pound are all referred to as Imperial Measurements.


Based on the British standards, Americans adopted the U.S. Customary System in 1832, and it is still referred to as English Measure.


Beginning in 1968, the movement to introduce the Metric System of Measurement led to the inclusion of centimeters along the bottom edge of the 12-inch ruler. The U.S. Metric Study recommended in 1971 that the Metric System should be adopted, but the U.S. is one of only three other countries, including Liberia and Burma, that still uses English Measure.

Both yardsticks and rulers have been offered as advertising giveaways to promote various businesses. This metal ruler was offered “Compliments of your Monumental Agent.” The Monumental Life Insurance Company was founded in Baltimore in 1858 and became part of the Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Co. in 2014.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Ghostly guests at Kansas City’s Coates House

    October 28th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher The foundation for the Coates House, originally the Broadway Hotel, was laid in 1857 prior to the […]


    Remember This? Bazooka Bubble Gum

    October 28th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor What type of goodies will you find in your trick-or-treat bag? Among your candy favorites, you’ll likely […]


    Remember This? Candy Cigarettes

    October 21st, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor What type of sweets will you find in your trick-or-treat bag? Candies that were once popular may […]


    A chardonnay with spirits please!

    October 21st, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Originally built in stages between 1900 and 1935 on a 240-acre hillside just outside the county seat […]


    Remember This? Peanut Butter Kisses

    October 14th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor What type of sweets will you get in your trick-or-treat bag? Once you’ve gobbled your favorites, there […]


    Ghostly Guardians at The John B. Wornall House

    October 14th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher The description on the back of this Chrome style postcard published by James Tetrick, 619 W. 33rd […]


    Remember This? Circus Peanuts

    October 7th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor What type of sweets will you get in your trick-or-treat bag? Once you’ve gobbled your favorites, there […]


    Ghostly check-ins at the Elms Hotel

    October 7th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher For the month of October, since Halloween everywhere else seems to be cancelled, we here at the […]


  • Historic Postcard Extra: Oregon Trail History in KC

    October 5th, 2020
    by

    On October 5, 1910, 110 years ago today, Oregon Trail pioneer Ezra Meeker was in Kansas City with his team […]


    Indian Mound preserved with cemetery in Marietta, Ohio

    September 30th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher The description on the back of this linen-style postcard published by the Curt Teich Company of Chicago, […]


    Remember This? Protractor & Compass

    September 23rd, 2020
    by

    Cool tools for school, useful for math class and art class too. The protractor was first used by mariners to […]


    Indian Mounds, St. Paul, Minn.

    September 23rd, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Continuing our History series of famous Indian Mounds, this week we travel north to St. Paul, Minnesota […]


    Largest prehistoric mounds located in Southern Illinois

    September 16th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher On the heels of last week’s profile of the Indian Mound located in Historic Northeast Kansas City, […]


    Remember This? Art supplies

    September 16th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor When the “father of the American Christmas card” needed art supplies for his young daughter, he started […]


    REMEMBER THIS? School boxes

    September 9th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Can you fit all your school supplies inside a cigar box? Elementary school students in the 1960’s […]


    Mound builders were region’s first residents

    September 9th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week we’re shifting gears and coming back to our Historic Northeast roots with a profile of […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Postcard

    American Made!

    September 2nd, 2020
    by

  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.