Surveyor's folding rule, 1574.
2 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm

Surveyor's folding rule, 1574.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


A bras folding rule, signed and dated by Humfrey Cole (1530?-1591). Cole was the first craftsman of the English instrument-making trade, which became established in the 16th century. This instrument is a surveyor's compendium. When fitted with sights it can be used to measure and draw land surveys to scale. On the reverse it carries mathematical tables, a quadrant, and a sundial. They were probably bought by gentlemen and wealthy practitioners keen to demonstrate their mathematical skill.

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