In my estimation this Square, the 2204, is the very best ever made as it cannot go out of Square. It was called various things throughout  its' history but ' Shockproof  ' describes it best. When first introduced around 1928 and up until 1938+, it had 5 rivets with 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom. It may have gone out of production because it is not listed in the 1958 Catalogue.  It was re-introduced in 1962 but with a Hardwood stock but with only 4 rivets. The word Shockproof was introduced in 1962 on the stock initially separated from the other wording   (as shown extreme right), but later was moved up so that the wording was all together. [see photo below]

Also at this time a small label was affixed to the blade, as shown on the right.

The 1909 Catalogue lists a different product with the #2204 coding, namely Rosewood Squares with incorporated Spirit Levels in the stock brass face. When these Squares were dropped from the line, the number became available and the ' Shockproof ' square appears in c.1928, although  called ' Solid Blade ' at that time.

These are Rosewood Squares #2200 and issued from 1909 to 1960  [after which 'Hardwood' was used], but to be replaced again by a cheap Rosewood in 1993.

The 1861 catalogue pages are shown here:

2200       1909-1999<    Rosewood.   Hardwood started c1960-64, but replaced again by Rosewood in 1993

2201       1909-1936      Rosewood

2202       1909-1973      Ebony    Hardwood started c1962-64

2203       1909-1920      Ebony [double plated]

2203       1936-1966      Rosewood   Hardwood started 1959

2204        1909-1920     Rosewood   with an included level in the stock.

2204       1928-1980<    Rosewood   Up until 1938 this square had 5 rivets. It is not listed in 1958.    Re-issued with 4 rivets in 1962 and with a Hardwood stock.

2205       1909-1932      Rosewood Try and Mitre Square

2205        1968-1975     Combination metal Square.

2206        1909-1932     Ebony

2207        1909-1920     'HIBERNIA' Iron-stocked Square.

2208        1909-1920     'HIBERNIA' Iron-stocked Rule marked Square.

2208        1938-1999     Rosewood.  Hardwood started in 1959

2209        1909-1920     Iron-stocked Try and Mitre Square.

2210        1909-1999     Rosewood   Hardwood started in 1960-64 but replaced by Rosewood again in 1993

2211        1909-1936     Rosewood  Mitre Square.

2212        1909-1936     Ebony Mitre Square with Shield.

2220        1909-1973<   Rosewood   Hardwood started in 1960-64

2221        1909-1940     Ebony

2222        1909-1920     Ebony    Brass framed Bevel

2226         1938-1999    Rosewood   Hardwood started 1959 but replaced again by Rosewood in 1993

2228         1928-1936    Walnut

2230         1909-1920    Rosewood  Canada Pattern Square

2231         1909-1920    Common Canada Pattern Square   Wood not stipulated

2234         1928-1938    Walnut

2235         1909-1920    Rosewood  Canada Pattern Sliding Bevel

2236          1909-1920   Common Canada Pattern Sliding Bevel    Wood not stipulated

2240          1909-1920   Whitewood  Boat Builders' Bevel

2241         1909-1936    Rosewood  Boat Builders' Bevel

2242         1909-1936    Boxwood    Boat Builders' Bevel

2243         1909-1920    Best Boxwood Strong  Boat Builders' Bevel

M2222      1978<          Metal Multi-Purpose Square

M7200      1990-1993   Rosewood 6" Square

M7226      1990-1993   Rosewood 9" Square

MR6810   1991<          Beech  7.1/2" Bevel 

MR6829   1991<          Beech  6" Square

MR6830   1991<          Beech  9" Square

MR6831   1991<          Beech  10" Mitre Square

MW9        1990-1991   Beech  9" Square

MW10      1990-1991   Beech  7.1/2" Bevel


These photos [left] show the transition from the #2200 earlier Rosewood variety with Diamond Plate rivets and Slot screws having a blade width of 2, to a later Hardwood edition having Phillips screws and circular plate rivets and a blade width of 2.1/4". [6" examples shown]

The image below is from the M2 Catalogue of 1973

These are very early Squares with a PATENT mark of   Reg 3835   The stock was of Ebony with a total Brass plate all around.  In the 1873 Catalogue they are listed as Item# 412 'Best Double Plated Squares', and were available in 3"-30" .

Below [Left] is a very rare London Pattern Bricklayers' Square. #416.  Apparently they were made all in Brass, probably because with all the water involved in Brick Laying, steel squares would not last long!

The next images are from the 1938 catalogue.

This Rosewood Try and Mitre Square #2205  is listed  1909 to 1932   

On the right is a Ebony Combination Square possibly #554B.  It does not conform to the illustration in the 1897 catalogue but resembles the fittings of a Canada Square[#558]. I estimate this example to be c.1890 since it does not appear in the 1873 Catalogue.

Above as shown in 1928 and 1938 catalogues.

Now compare these images and documentation with the 1873 Catalogue shown here below.  There are subtle differences in structure

I will publish here some photos from my files and personal collection. A picture is worth a thousand words.

The Shockproof Squares were sold in boxes.

The next images are from the 1928 Catalogue

Engineers' Steel Squares #559 were available  [#418 in the 1873 Catalogue] 3"-18", as were the 'Engineers' Steel Squares, Rule-marked  #560.

Item #560 A  Steel T Square was 6"-18".

The photo [Right] shows the 'Shockproof Squares. The TWO lower Squares are 6", but the lower Square shows that the 'Shockproof ' name was imprinted lower than later examples.

This Rosewood Square (right) [Cat. #2208]  was first available in 1938 and was replaced by Hardwood in 1959 and available thus until 1999.

Below is the Marples-Ridgeway version  MR2208  c.1985

Listed under Glaziers', Painters', and Paperhangers' Tools are the following, but again there are no images.

#1685T Squares, Rule Marked  18"- 48".

#1686  Laths, 1.1/2"wide, Rule Marked     24"- 48".


MARPLES Item# 2226 Hardwood Sliding Bevel, Brass Plated, with special Brass Lever Locking Nut for quick action adjustment. Available in 1959 as 7.1/2-12".

Available  1938 -1999 .  The stock was Rosewood up to 1959 when Hardwood was introduced, but  Rosewood reappeared in 1993.

This is a photo [right] of  #427  Brass Framed Sliding T Bevil, although I note that is has a square end to the slide and therfore, perhaps an earlier model?  Most Squares and Bevils of this era would have been infilled with Ebony or Rosewood.

Item #2210  Rosewood Diamond-plated Mitre Squares were available 1909 -c1960 when Rosewood was replaced by Hardwood. But this was changed again back to a cheaper Rosewood in c1963-1969.

This is the most famous bevel in the MARPLES  lineup, ['Joiners' Bevel'] since it endured for so many years. 1909-1973

#2220 in Rosewood and #2221 in Ebony. (1959 Cat. shows only Rosewood)

 7.1/2-15" reduced over time  

 'Hardwood' was started around 1960-4. 

Only 7.1/2" and 9" were offered in 1965.  

#4248  Masons' Galvanized Steel Shiftstocks or Bevels  7.1/2", 9", 12".

#4249  Ditto  Solid Brass

These are still listed and shown as per the 1897 catalogue.

To the right is a 3" Engineers' Steel Square Item # 418

#562 Coachmakers'Iron Stock Squares  6"-10"

#576 Coachmakers'Iron Stock T Bevels 14"

#576S Coachmakers'Iron Stock Spider Mortice Bevels

[There are no images shown for these items]

These Ebony with Shield Squares  #202 are listed as being available from 1902 to 1973 [when hardwood was started] 

BUT I very much doubt that Ebony was really used much after c1930!

On the Right here is an example of a #414  Best Plated Square with Fancy Shield. I see that this example has brass screws attaching the plate to the stock, this is not shown in the c.1873 Catalogue.  Maybe only the larger Squares were re-inforced this way.

This MARPLES Square has an iron stock with HIBERNIA in raised script  Number 2207  [no  measures inscripted on blade] and this existed from 1909  to 1920.  There was also a # 2208 Square which had inch measures on the stock .      

 #1675  Tailors' Boxwood Folding Squares   18"- 30".   No Image

Below is a very rare 3"#202 Square

The first 'Shockproof' Squares were not marked as such, as shown above. The plate was joined to the wooden stock by accurate Dovetail jointing.[No screws]   Later on the brass plate was changed to have a  'Phillips Screw' fastening and a thinner plate. This changed around the point of the word 'Shockproof' being moved from below the middle rivet to join with the words stamped above. [see the 2 lower images on the right.]  Note that the brass plate decreased from 1/4" to 1/8" thick when screws were then used.

The image to the right here is from the New ProductsLeaflet of September 1968. This Combination Try and Mitre Square was only available from 1968 to 1975.

It is highly likely that all the wooden measuring implements carrying the MARPLES name were made for MARPLES by RABONE.

Presently I can find no listing on this double Brass plated Ebony infilled Bevil, it is not even shown in the 1861  catalogue.  I have a similar item [below]in my collection now.

It seems to be marked: W.MARPLES  SHEFFIELD and on the under arc is marked: REGD EF  and then under that 3335?  which equates to 1884.

The following are from the 1965 Catalogue No. 15

The image to the left here is from the  'Coachmakers' and Wheelwrights' Tools' section

The photo above shows a very early 14.1/2" Square by William Marples Junr.

This was the very first mark that Marples adopted, despite all other sites which state otherwise.  The 'R' in Junior may have been in raised script with a line underneath.

At this time, there were no numbers ascribed to the various tools, but later catalogues would list this Square as #407  [Available in 1873 from 3"to 30".]

Next are the 1909 Catalogue listings:

You will see that there is now a re-numbered system since the 1897 numbers, perhaps to absorb the vast increase in the number of products available.  There are too many differences between these years to list them all here, so I urge you to explore those newly listed items and discover those that were de-listed.

A late addition here but I have just found 2 good photos to show the MARPLES RIDGWAY Square MR2208

This is the 9" version and the drilled hole in the stock is original.

Best Ebony Mitre Square with Shield #2212.  Available 1909-1936

Soon after William Marples Jnr. started his own business in 1830, Squares and 'Bevils' (as they were then known) must have been among the first tools that he started producing.

Although the c.1846 Broadsheet [see Catalogues section] may not have been the first literature advertising his wares, these two products are listed on it.  Of note is that at this time no Product Identification Number was in use.

Shown listed from c.1846 [but with no illustrations] are:

Plated Squares from 3"-30"     [These were affixed with 3 Diamond shaped 'rivets']

Best "     "          "      "-"           [These were affixed with a large almost triangular shaped brass insert and 3 steel rivets]

                                                 'Plated' means that the inside edge of the handle had a brass plate.

Best Plated Squares with Levels  9"-30"

Best T Drawing Squares   9"-30"  [Probably the kind of square used in a Draughtsmans' Office on a Drawing Board]

London Pattern Bricklayers' Squares

Brass Stocked Sash Squares   2.1/2" [ A small brass 'handled' square presumably used in the layout of sash joints?]

Plated T Bevils   7.1/2"- 15"  [These were the forerunner of the Sliding Bevil/Sliding T Bevil, in that there was no slot in the steel arm]

Best Plated T Bevils  7.1/2-15"

Best Improved Sliding Bevils  7.1/2"-15"

Plated Angle Bevils   7.1/2-15"

Best Plated Angle Bevils   7.1/2"-15"

Those above were available with either Thumb Screws or Wing Screws at extra cost, as opposed to the regular flat slot headed bolt. 

Best London Pattern Bricklayers' Bevils  {I can find no image of this tool even in later catalogues}

Shown here is a small all steel 4" square that may be a #5131 from the 1909 Catalogue.   But it does not fit the picture exactly, because it has a concave aspect to the underside of the handle.   It is marked, [as shown,]  1915 with the War Dept. arrow emblem. It may be a 'SPECIAL' produced just for the British War Dept in the First World War. 

What follows is a synopsis of all the Bevels and Squares issued by MARPLES since 1909 trying to link in the Item number with the dates of product availability. The catalogues above will tell you of tools issued before 1909.  This research may be altered with new evidence, but I have scoured all the catalogues and bracketed the dates for you.  All you have to do is identify your tool from the above catalogue information and look it up in the list below. This will tell you the dates of availability so that you may know roughly how old is your Square or Bevel.  The list will be in numerical order, however I have noted that early on [c1900 to 1938?] MARPLES produced the same tools but were noted as 'SPECIALS', with a suffix of 'A'.   For e.g.   2200A .  I do not really know what these items were, but presumably they may have been special orders for specific Companies and were impressed with that Companys' name.

The dates given below are accurate plus or minus a couple of years generally. Where no end date is stated [e.g. 1993<] it must be assumed that the tool existed in production until take over by IRWIN in  c.2001

The next images are from the 1959 catalogue.

Here you will see a drastic reduction in items available since 1938

The next section is from the 1897 catalogue

The photo [left] shows an original 'Shockproof' Square, but not labelled as such.  NOTE: the thick 1/4" dovetailed brass plate.


This 'Bevil' is listed as Item# 427 in the 1873 Catalogue . 'Best Improved Brass Frame Sliding T Bevil'.    Available from 7.1/2"- 15".