One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plain-edged scale used in conjunction with a triangle for drawing equidistant parallel lines. Also more fully "Marquois parallel scales", "Marquois scale and triangle", and "a pair of Marquois scales".
Late 18th century; earliest use found in The Morning Herald. From a first element of uncertain origin + scale. The first element is probably from a personal name Marquoi or Marquois: Thomas Marquois, who ran a military and naval academy at Norlands in London in the late 18th cent., has been suggested as the inventor of the instrument.
Marquois scale/ˈmɑːkwɔɪz ˌskeɪl/
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