Northampton House Clearance Yields Mystery Antique Measures

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Recovered from a House Clearance in Northampton here are two antique boxwood measures. Here at Junkout we come across all sorts of things in our work and it is only occasionally that we are stumped. These two rulers however have got the better of us. The first measures about 19 inches in overall length. At one end is a fixed stop about 3.75 inches in height. A brass thumb piece moves a second stop along the measuring scale. Sizes would appear to be in metric and imperial and are denoted as being ‘French Sizes’ and English Sizes’. The fixed end stop has imperial measurements to two inches. The moving stop has the word ‘Patent’. There is no makers name. Might this measure perhaps be for measuring shoe sizes? The second measure is about 12 inches in length and about 1 inch square. The middle section of each face slides. We have removed one to show what we mean in the picture. What was this one used for we wonder? Measurements are imperial. The makers mark is shown in the picture and is that of Edward Roberts Maker in Dove Court Old Jewry London. The back section of each sliding rule has further measurements marked and on the one shown in the picture is reference to drinks ‘Malt Wash to LW’, LW to spirits, Cyder or Perry to LW and LW to spirits’. Clearly has some use therefore in a distillery / brewery environment but for what? As we said, are at a loss with these. We never know what we will come across next when sorting through the rubbish and perhaps that is where we will one day find the answer!


Author: Julian Menzies

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  1. We are really surprised to find out how old the second measure is. We think that finding out more about the other measure is going to be more of a problem!

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