Full Figured Calipers (7" sheet iron)

Click for a Closer LookThis pair of calipers can be used to measure an inside diameter (as shown) or by pivoting both figures around 180 degrees it can measure outside diameters. Calipers in the shape of full figures are less common than calipers shaped like a pair of legs. Usually the figures are of a man and a women. This pair is somewhat unusual in that both figures are women. Get a closer view of the object (46KB).

We live in a very quantitative world. We build things to dimensions. We use rulers. We measure. This is important in a society where everything has to fit together and meet a standard and things are made to a written plan. In previous generations things were made to fit. Craftsman worked by making one part and then used it to determine the size of the matching part. Calipers are used to transfer measurements from one piece to another. In  turning wood, the standard way of making duplicate parts. Such matching stretchers for a chair is to make one and use it as a pattern to make duplicates, using a caliper to compare diameters on the master pattern to the piece being turned.

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