A rug wool gauge

In amongst things in an an old suitcase, containing photos which once belonged to my grandparents there is a stick, a bit like a ruler. It has a caption which explains its purpose.

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So, it is a gauge for rug wool and presumably it was marketed by J and J Baldwin who produced Turkey rug wool.

Using the gauge sounds simple. To get pieces of wool that were all the same, correct length, you wrapped wool around the gauge and then, with knife or scissors you cut along the length of the gauge, where a handy slot was left for the blade to push into.

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I know nothing about this guide and I have no knowledge of my grandmother ever making rugs. Her sister, my Great Aunt Nellie did – but they were rag rugs. I’d like to know the rough age of this item which could shed light on a facet of my gran’s life that I never knew about. I believe the gauge dates to before 1920 for that is when the firm of J and J Baldwin which was formed in the early 19th century merged with Patons. I have seen auction sites with similar gauges but under the name of ‘Patons and Baldwins’.

One thing I feel certain of is that if Gran ever did make rugs she would not have bought special wool for it. There was never spare money for luxuries in the grandparents’ house.

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