Advertising ruler

Object Number: 
2012.16.30
Date: 
1885-1900
Medium: 
Celluloid
Dimensions: 
Overall: 6 x 1 in. (15.2 x 2.5 cm)
Inscriptions: 
Left text: Manufacturers / of / MECHANICAL / RUBBER GOODS / of every kind. / BELTING, / PACKING, / HOSE, / TUBING, / VALVES, / MATS, / MATTING / &c. &c. Middle text: The Gutta Percha & Rubber Mfg Co. / ESTABLISHED 1855 / PARA BUILDING, 35 WARREN ST. / NEW YORK / THOS JAY GLEASON, 112 LIBERTY ST. NY. Right text: Branches / CHACAGO / 170 Lake St. / SAN FRANCISCO, / 409 Market St. / BOSTON, / 177 Deconshire St. / PORTLAND, ORE., / 91-93 Front St. / CINCINNATI, / 41 Main St. / PITTSBURG, / 102 Water St. / ST. LOUIS / 421 N. 4th St. / NEW ORELEANS, / 94 Common St.
Description: 
Celluloid advertising ruler for the Gutta Percha & Rubber Mf'g Co. Text at left reads: Manufacturers / of / MECHANICAL / RUBBER GOODS / of every kind. / BELTING, / PACKING, / HOSE, / TUBING, / VALVES, / MATS, / MATTING / &c. &c. Middle text: The Gutta Percha & Rubber Mf'g Co. / ESTABLISHED 1855 / PARA BUILDING, 35 WARREN ST. / NEW YORK. / THOS JAY GLEASON, 112 LIBERTY ST. NY. Right text: Branches / CHICAGO, / 170 Lake St. / SAN FRANCISCO, / 409 Market St. / BOSTON, / 177 Devonshire St. / PORTLAND, ORE., / 91-93 Front St. CINCINNATI, / 41 Main St. / PITTSBURG, / 102 Water St. / ST. LOUIS, / 421 N. 4th St. / NEW ORLEANS, / 94 Common St.
Gallery Label: 
Celluloid, the first entirely synthetic plastic, was invented by John Wesley Hyatt (1837-1920) of Albany in 1869. It is created from nitrocellulose and camphor along with dyes and other agents. Hyatt first developed the material as a less expensive alternative to ivory in the production of billiard balls. Hyatt's invention was patented in 1869 and subsequently used for a wide range of objects, both in imitation of expensive animal products like ivory, horn, and tortoiseshell, and also as an inexpensive medium for objects such as dresser sets, jewelry, picture frames, and advertising giveaways. Celluloid, which is both flammable and fragile, was gradually supplanted by the stronger Bakelite in the 1920s. Celluloid continues to be used today for making Ping Pong balls and guitar picks.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Dadie and Norman Perlov and Daughters
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group