Nester’s Patent Marking Gauge - U.S. Patent No. 72,885
John Nester, of Portland, Oregon, patented this marking gauge
on December 31, 1867, with patent No. 72,885. The patent paper states,
“…this invention consists of an improved form of weather-board
hook, in combination with a fluid-level, graduated rule, marker,
and gauge, the whole constituting a carpenter’s combined tool,
of great utility and convenience.” In use, its primary function
seemed to be the scribing of clapboards with a minor use of
a conventional marking gauge.
Like most multi-tools, it does one thing well (scribing), while
the other intended uses suffer from the apparent over-engineering
of a simple marking device.
On December 14, 1869, with patent No. 97,795, Nester attempted
to correct the deficiencies of his first offering by making
the spur and fence more adjustable, allowing the level to be
used as intended in the first patent. There is no evidence that
the second patent was ever manufactured.