19th. c. W. & T. Avery Standard Inch
On an auction of the Dutch Weights and Measures Collectors Society (GMVV) this Standard Inch came up for sale in 2014. It was offered for sale together with the Standard Yard in the collection. Having already a 66ft Standard Chain in the collection these two standards were the perfect excuse to visit the auction.
This Standard Inch was made by William & Thomas Avery Ltd., who had their premises in Birmingham from 1817 until 1894, and came complete with its original case.1
The inch is subdivided into 100 parts on one side, and in 10 parts on the other. It came with its original case and loupe.
The inch has hallmarks on both sides with dates over portcullises, the oldest of which dates from 1891, the others from 1908, 1924 and 1932. On both sides crowned hallmarks for Edward VII and George V can be found next to the date hallmarks.
One hallmark on the back has been erased by stamping an asterisk over it twice, which was done that hard that it left a bulge on the front side of the inch. It was usual practice to cancel measures using a 6-pointed star stamp.2 That could be because although perfectly accurate they did not comply with legislation. One such regulation required that the measure showed the name of the maker (in this case the maker's name is on the box, not on the standard).3
The rear also bears the Indenture Number 3536, which I have not yet been able to trace.
Notes: G. Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851, (London, 1996), p.13.
: Ricketts, C., Marks and Marking of Weights and Measures of the British Isles, (Taunton, 1996), pp.48.
: idem, p.62. With thanks to Carl Ricketts for pointing me into this direction.
If you have any questions and/or remarks please let me know.
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