Gauge rule (detail) (1 of 2)

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probably made in London

Postcard of Gauge rule (detail) (1 of 2).
© National Museums Scotland

Gauge rule (detail) (1 of 2)

This excise officer's gauge rule was made around 1790, probably by Edward Roberts of Old Jewry in London. It is made of wood. The design is a modified version of Thomas Everard's sliding rule proposed by Charles Leadbetter in 1750.

Under one slide the rule is inscribed 'EDWD. ROBERTS Maker in Old Jewry LONDON'. Roberts was working at this address between 1749 and 1784, which was in the same street as the Commissioners of the Excise Office.

In brewing and distilling, it was necessary for excise officers to work out the tax due from the volume of barley malted and from amounts of liquor held in casks. Calculation of the total and partial content (or ullage) of casks was aided by specially designed slide rules such as this one.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-002-215-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1975.83
Date: Around 1790
c. 1790
Material: Inscription: E Jenkins London Docks 1810; EJ 1841
What: Excise gauge rule
Subject: 19. MATHEMATICS (Departmental Classification)
Who: E. Jenkins (Inscribed on the rule)
Edward Roberts, Old Jewry, London (Maker)
Where: England, London
England, London Docks
Description: Excise gauge rule by Edward Roberts of London, c. 1790
  • Charles Leadbetter, The Royal Gauger, London, 1739.  
  • For Edward Roberts, see Gloria Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851, London, 1995, p 234 
  • Peter Delehar, 'Notes on Slide Rules', Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society, No. 3 (1984), pp 3-10 
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