One of the often overlooked items among intrenching tools of the Pre-WWI era is the 2 Foot Folding Ruler. These are very little talked about in Army documentation.
While doing research on line and at the National Archive, I came across this documentation.
A US Army document on Intrenching Tools tests, dated 5-6-1905 describes these rules in one line.
"The 2-foot Rule recommended is the ordinary 2-foot rule of commerce"
On Drawing # 20-2-51, Intrenching Tools, dated 6-30-1905, there is a description of a two foot folding ruler as;
2 ft. 4 fold, square joint,half bound, 1 inch wide,
Graduated to 8ths, 10ths, 12ths and 16ths of an inch and
without Caliper. "Stanley No. 84" made by
Stanley Rule and Level Co., New Britain, Conn.
on the same drawing dated 1/5/1909 identified as Revision # 7, the No. 84 is crossed out and a new Ruler is described as;
2 Ft., 4 Fold, Full Brass Bound, 1 inch wide
when folded (STANLEY, No. 62)
This is change is described in the cover letter as necessary to standardize the rules in the Army.
Both of these rulers are available online from various sources. Almost all are unmarked commercial models. I have seen one or two over the last year that were marked as US Army Property.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE
These commercial rulers are not worth more than $20 to $25 dollars. There are lots of them out there. Don't everyone rush to Ebay and pay some crazy price for one or get into a pissing match over one and make it go to $75 or more. Wait, one will be out there for $20.
If you find a US Army marked one, go crazy.