Here is a real classic stick from the 19th Century - the Yankee stick, manufactured by the R. Hoe & Co. of New York City. This stick was the originator of the type of stick that would lie flat on a table because the clamp on the knee did not extend below the bottom surface of the bed of the stick body.
This particular stick is large, being sixteen inches in length and having a depth of 14 picas. The stick can accomodate a line measure of 82 picas or so.
As you can see, the rail is fluted, so that a corresponding slot on the clamp holds the knee firmly in place without the clamp needing to wrap around the bottom of the rail. According to Speckter, this stick was introduced about 1870 - this particular stick has a patent date of February 8, 1878 stamped on it.
This stick is beautifully manufactured, with a brass clamp and thumbscrew, and a knee with an indentation cast into it where the screw fits. It has a great feel in the hand.