Folding wooden two-foot carpenter's rule

A wooden folding two-foot carpenter's rule from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The wooden carpenter's rule has a brass centre hinge and steel reinforcements at the ends. It is held together when shut by two steel pins.

The rule was found by Lieutenant William R. Hobson's sledge team on 6 May 1859, as part of the search expedition led by Captain F. L. McClintock. It was found among the abandoned items of equipment and a four-foot pile of unmarked clothing near the Ross Cairn, Point Victory, on the west shore of King William Island. Hobson described it in the list at the end of his account as 'A carpenter's rule.' [Stenton, 'Arctic' v.69, No. 4, p. 520]. McClintock recorded it as a '2-foot rule' [McClintock, 'Voyage of the Fox' (1860), p.368].

The 2-ft rule was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, in Case 2, No. 84 'Two-foot rule'. The item is also shown in 'Stereoscopic slides of the relics of Sir John Franklin's Expedition' photographed by Lieutenant Cheyne RN, at the United Services Museum, Whitehall, No. 11 (top).

Object Details

ID: AAA2225
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Folding rule
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Vessels: Fox (1855)
Date made: Before 1845
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: 3 x 316 x 102 mm

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