Have you ever thought about the difficulties of manufacturing and marketing a product that doesn't have a name? I don't mean a totally new product for which you can invent a name and market the product from day 1. I mean a product that has been around for over 600 years but it still doesn't seem to have an universal,
generic name. What can the product is? You will have seen them - two or more circular pieces of card, joined at the centre with a metal eyelet and which turn to reveal printed information a good aperture. The Oxford English Dictionary calls them 'volvelles' but unfortunately, it entirely possible that they didn't tell anyone else!
You can imagine this conversation going on in the pub:
'So, what business are you in?'
'Well, we make volvelles.'
'Oh really, and what exactly is a volvelle?'
'Well, it's a wheel digitize.'
'And what is a wheel digitize?'
'Well, some might it is known as a ready reckoner.'
And the item goes over!
So, large problem with volvelles will be the absolutely no-one calls the product a volvelle. 'Wheel charts' is a condition which in all fairness common in the usa but again, not everybody in the USA calls them wheel charts and it's not a term that is used much within the uk. So what would you search for in order to find them to be?
One UK manufacturer, Whitney Woods, has been making solution since 92. The company originally referred to the products in its publicity material as 'eyeletted discs' but others were calling them calculators, ready reckoners and spinners. Group went on the web in search of enlightenment and as 'Wheel Charts' seemed as being a popular generic term upon us websites Whitney Woods adopted 'Wheel Charts' as the product's appoint.
However, it transpired how the UK company's counterparts in the usa have just as problem. Understand this snippet of a website for Datalizer Slide Charts:
How Did you Search For people?
Everybody knows our products by a distinct name. What names have you use discover us?
Circular Calculators, Circle Charts, Color Wheels, Conversion Charts, Data Dials, Data Disks, Datalizers, Data-lizers, Dial Charts, Dosing Guide Charts, Graphic Calculators, Information Dials, Nomographs, Medical Calculators, Metric Conversion Slide Chart, Plastic Graphic Calculators, Promotional Slide Guides, Slide Calculators, Slide Charts, Slide Guides, Slide Rules, Slide Wheels, Sliders, Slip Charts, Wheel Charts, Technical Calculators, Wheel Charts, Wheel Calculators.
The problem is far from cut and dried! Further investigation was called for and the following port of call was an nicely researched book - 'Reinventing the Wheel' by Jessica Helfand.
'Reinventing the Wheel' is a book regarding paper wheel charts or circular ephemera of the twentieth century. It's fascinating book if you are into paper and cardboard engineering it would be an interesting addition to your own stockpile. However, whilst the author often refers into the product being a wheel chart, her research tells her that originally term is probably a 'Volvelle'.
In her book (p18) she says, 'The Oxford English Dictionary traces the etymology of the word volvelle to the medieval Latin, 'volvellum' or 'volere' - to turn - describing it as 'an old device comprising of one additional movable circles surrounded by other graduated or figured circles, serving to ascertain the rising and setting of the sun and moon, the regarding tides and also so on.'
However, Ms Helfand proceeds to list over thirty other names by way of the product has been known including: fact finders, trouble shooters, locators, calculators, slide rulers, convertisors, circular interfaces, calendials and dynameters.
So, using my original question, things you call these features?