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The Stanley No. 17 24 inch two-fold rule was made for the blacksmith’s shop, and is constructed from solid brass. It is highly durable, able to withstand the scrapes, bangs, dirt and heat that would quickly destroy a conventional wooden rule. The color of the brass contrasts better against the blacks and grays of the iron and steel stock used by the smith than a conventional steel rule. The incised marking are crisp, large and easy to read. All around, it is a perfect tool for its application.
My research suggests that this is a rare type one example, dating from 1859-1869 – the distinguishing factor being that it is plainly marked with just “Stanley No. 17″… However, I have not found an authoritative source to confirm that theory. Regardless of date, it is in very good original condition, unbent, with a light patina consistent with age (including a couple of patches of verdigris where the brass has oxidized, and a few bangs and scuffs. It is also marked with the initials JBH – no doubt the now long forgotten smith who was the original owner.