Squares & Triangles



In addition to the instruments discussed in this object group, squares and triangles for technical drawing and carpentry are found in the collections of the Division of Work and Industry at the National Museum of American History. Catalogs from manufacturers and distributors are part of the trade literature collections of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

Additionally, these museum databases include set squares, T-squares, and drafting triangles among their collections:

Further Reading 

Adler Planetarium. Webster Signature Database. http://historydb.adlerplanetarium.org/signatures. Provides brief information on the makers of instruments owned by a variety of museums.

Bion, Nicolas. Traité de la construction et des principaux usages des instruments de mathematique. Paris, 1709. Prominent maker's classic treatise on the construction of mathematical drawing and calculating instruments.

Hambly, Maya. Drawing Instruments, 15801980. London: Sotheby's Publications, 1988. Thorough and richly illustrated treatment of a full range of instruments.

———. Drawing Instruments: Their History, Purpose and Use for Architectural Drawings. Applied Research of Cambridge Limited, 1982. Exhibit catalogue for the British Architectural Library inspired by W. F. Stanley's treatise.

Heather, J.F. Mathematical Instruments: Their Construction, Adjustment, Testing, and Use. Rev. ed. 3 vol. London: Crosby Lockwood and Co., 1870. Describes the making and use of various calculating and drawing instruments.

Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Doodles, Drafts, and Designs: Industrial Drawings from the Smithsonian. http://www.sil.si.edu/exhibitions/doodles/introduction.htm. Online exhibition showing the variety of creations prepared with rulers and drawing instruments.

Stanley, William Ford. Mathematical Drawing and Measuring Instruments. 6th ed. London: E. & F. N. Spon, 1888. Treatise on the manufacture and operation of various instruments.