This device was made by A.E. Putnam & Sons of Washington, Iowa.
The Wonder Cloth Measure, as its manufacturer states, “accurately measures cloth which is wound on a board without unwinding it.” The device, depicted in the illustration above, and its accompanying “points” (pointer type device with a metal pointed end and wooden handle) were used in tandem. The points were used to count the number of folds in the cloth in a similar manner to counting rings on a tree. As the instructions state: “Scratch down the edge of each fold, holding them apart with the thumb. This will be found to separate the folds quickly and positively.” Then using the reel, the operator would measure the thickness of the bolt, using the numerals on the face of the reel and the fold count to calculate length of the cloth.