The measuring poles that we used were made from 1" square oak of varying lengths some of them were especially made for the different runs of the braces that usually varied even within the same framework.
The use of measuring poles ensured that repetitive measurements would be of a standard length and not vary, and minimized measuring mistakes that might be the case using a modern tape measure.
One of the neat pluses for using measuring poles was the ability to tick off say the mortise placement positions of joist/stud housings along the flat surface of the measuring poles, these little ticks would always be referred to as the work progressed and transferred to the timber surface for the work to begin. We would even make notations by the ticks as a reference to what they stood for
Three of the measuring poles would be of 6', 8' and 10' lengths that were quite handy for squaring up frameworks when the trial fitting began.
The use of measuring poles could be used by those that could not read, but could produce good frameworks, one of these old time framers just happened to be my grandfather who could not read or write but could hew and frame up buildings, (he could also figure money and what things were worth).
These measuring poles were metal tipped to take wear, they were square ended and fitted nice and neat on the pole ends and were drew out to a sharp edge.