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Many devices have been used by orthopedists for recording graphically the contours of spinal curvatures. The majority of these instruments are unwieldy and cumbersome; all are more or less unsatisfactory.
For many years draftsmen have used for drawing compound curves an instrument known as a "curve ruler." I have found such an instrument to be ideal in making tracings of spinal curvatures. It is flexible and sturdy, retains the shape into which it is molded, and does not bend except in the plane desired.
The rulers are made in three types and vary in length from 7 to 31 inches. A ruler 14½ inches in length is satisfactory for children, and one 30 inches long is adequate for adults.
Such rulers are sold, at a reasonable price, by dealers in drawing instruments, under the name of the "Davenport patent adjustable curve rulers."
Wagoner GW. USE OF THE DRAFTSMAN'S CURVE RULER IN MAKING TRACINGS OF SPINAL CURVATURES. JAMA. 1927;88(14):1077. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.92680400033012a