A 1905 Starrett gauge, but what is it?

Admittedly, I own a select few inherited tools that I have no experience with. Here’s an antique Starrett tool that has me wondering: What is it?

While cleaning my shop this week after using the destructive, chip throwing “Lancelot“, I found this tool on my top shelf (yes, unfortunately, wood chips covered everything, reinforcing the notion of using my “assembly table” for assembly only.)

Can I assume since it’s Starrett that it’s for measuring? Sure, it’s got a rubber wheel that when rolled, turns a dial that is labelled from 0-100 with inexplicably odd numbers at each mark around the dial: 19,28,37,46, 55… – I see a pattern here.

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This gauge, shaped something like a large key with a rotating rubber disc on the end is labelled on the back of the numbered dial; The LS. Starrett Co., Athol, Mass. U.S.A. – Pat. Mar. 28. 1905.

For a first on ToolboxBlog – You tell me – what is this Starrett Tool?

This old Starrett original came to me in an toolbox filled with turn-of-the-century upholstery tools. Did upholsterers measure by 9’s in 1900?

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7 thoughts on “A 1905 Starrett gauge, but what is it?”

  1. What a coincidence, I am looking to identify almost the exact same item. I started my internet search about 10 minutes ago and stumbled on your inquiry. I found this tool/gauge while cleaning out my Dad’s belongings. It was stashed away with his WWII items. He was a bomber command navigator for both RCAF/RAF, and I thought it might have something to do with navigating, but really not sure.
    This one says The L.S. Starrett Co., Athol Mass. U.S.A., but does not show a Pat. number. The only difference to yours that I can see is that it has a small black pointer that fits into a second grooved dial (which also turns), inside the numbered dial
    If anyone has any idea what this is, I would also be interested.
    Thanks for the help.

    1. Well, If I’d checked my email this morning, you would have had your answer. Seems John answered this for us a few hours before your comment.
      Thanks John.

      …and Thanks to all Servicemen.

  2. Wow John, you’re good. I guess I should of checked out the blog a little more closely the first time. Anyway, its great to finally know what it is.

    Thanks for the information guys, it is much appreciated.

  3. This item is a revolution counter. Used in conjunction with a stop watch, the rubber cone is centred on the end of a rotating shaft or in the centre of a rotating pulley, with the numbers zeroed. The numbers are then noted when the stopwatch is stopped at one minute, giving the number of revolutuons per minute.

  4. finally found is on yor web site i didnt have a clue what it was are hey worth anythin and is anyone wanting to buy mine

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