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Why are folding meters the wrong way around?

 

My Original question:

Observe the photos below:

A small folding meter in its "folded-up" state. The same with the first element folded out.

 

Now, would you not be better off if the elements had been layered the other way around (the image below is faked, I assembled it from bits and pieces to show what I wanted):

 

At least, it would be easier to measure smaller objects, since the elements folded out would be at the bottom.  Who did it wrong?  And why?

Does anyone know where to buy a "correct" folding meter?

Answer:

Though I still do not know why most meters are the wrong way around, at least Philippe Boets found a company making the correct meters: Hultafors in Sweden.  You can get the pages in English too:  Hultafors.co.uk.  They call it a "contact-meter", not a bad name.

Is the way of making folding meters just a cultural fashion, like the teeth of the saw which cuts on pushing in the west and on pulling in China (or is this story itself apocryphal?)?

(by the way, if you have ever tried sawing through some firewood, you will know that you want the saw to cut on pushing, not on pulling).

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