Sunday, March 26, 2017

Do You Know What This Is?

Made By Shaker Hands
In the previous post I mentioned my time spent visiting Hancock Shaker Village and my friendship with Faith Andrews, who was so kind to me.  She gave me many hours of her time answering my questions and showing me her personal collection.  It was as much spiritual as it was educational.

During one of my visits she opened a desk and took out a simple piece of wood.  It appeared to be a ruler, but it had no visible markings at all.  It was made from a wonderful piece of highly figured birdseye maple with a shellac finish.

She said to me, "I want to give you a gift.  This is something I picked up from the Shakers at Hancock many years ago.  It has always made me wonder what it was used for.  It must have a purpose, but I cannot figure it out.  Maybe you can."

As she handed it to me I immediately knew what it was designed to do.  I pointed out to her its specific features which proved my conclusion.

As I thanked her for her kindness, she said, "I knew you would know what to do with it."

End View Showing Profile 

If this object was recorded into a museum collection, the Registrar would note:

Solid wood rule, 14 1/4" long 1 1/8" wide 1/4" thick, birdseye maple, shellac finish.  Parallel sides in length, tapered profile on end from 1/4" to 1/8".  No visible markings on any surface.  Each end has 5 small notches at regular intervals on each face.  Origin: Hancock Shaker Village. Function: unknown.

5 Spaced Notches on Each End

Can you identify its function and finish this entry?  Send Your Comments.

PS:  The first comment I just received is correct.  However, I will wait a bit to post other comments to see what the response is...

The Next Day.

After several comments in the past 24 hours I am now posting the solution.  This is a very practical rule for making music staff quickly.  Using a pencil to draw along both sides of the length provides a register.  Marking the notches on each end with ink leaves dots for drawing the staff lines, in ink.  Then the rule is moved down to the next pencil line and the work is continued.  After all the ink lines are drawn the pencil lines are removed, leaving a neat space between each staff line.  Finally the rule is used for marking the measures vertically, as necessary.

Thought you would like this.  If you are a composer, make one for yourself.  Manual Music Rules!

Use Pencil first then Ink

Remove Pencil and add Notes and Music

Now I will post the comments in the order received.