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Cropping Tool: Scaleograph

Randomly wondered what the icon of the Crop Tool crop_icon is based on, and did a little sleuthing. The physical, analog tool is called a “scaleograph” and is a slightly cooler version of the “L”s that you use in photography to crop. the metal rod running across the two Ls help keep the aspect ratio.

Now I must buy one.

$(KGrHqF,!p8FIMs!+y+lBSDhhpm,Y!~~60_35 crop_scale

  1. Francine Masterson
    2015/01/21 at 11:05 pm

    where can I buy this scaleograph?

  2. Glenn Helton
    2015/09/02 at 12:22 am

    Anyone who endured the tedium of calculating aspect ratios and converting measurements of photo croppings instantly appreciated the Scaleograph. (How it was done back in the day: Start with a “full-frame” photo print of a given size, decide how to crop it, mark with grease pencil, convert the sizing dimensions for the printer. Do that five or ten times in an hour under deadline pressure.) The Scaleograph was invented by Robert C. Brandt, a airline pilot who gave up the left seat of DC-3’s for a chair behind a drawing board at Bauerlein Advertising in New Orleans. Bob manufactured and sold Scaleographs via stores and dealers. Bob’s company kept a low profile so as not to attract knockoffs after his patent quietly expired in the 1960s. The device was easy-to-use, foolproof and reasonably priced, so it became ubiquitous until PC-based layout tools obsoleted every mechanical layout tool in the 1980s.

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