I had to look up acme to even know it WAS a noun. I’ve never seen it used in language, outside of a company name.
Side note: The Acme Packing Company is often referred to the first major sponsor of the now Green Bay Packers, and I always thought that. Google/wiki-fu just informed me that was wrong. When the team was founded, it was the Indian Packing Company; it was absorbed by the Acme Packing Company two years later.
The ngram chart seems more consistent with the latter. The rise in usage of “acme” in the 19th century predates the sharp rise in the use of “Acme”. And “acme” peaks and starts to decline just as “Acme” is really starting to take off in the early 20th century.
Acme anvils always seem to have one fatal flaw. No matter where you stand, one will fall directly on top of you and crush you flatter than a pancake, so you resemble an accordion when you stagger out from under it.
I can remember seeing telephone directory listings for things lke Aaaaa’s Locksmith, or AAAA Bail Bonds. You had to search pretty far down the page to find Acme Shoe Repair, which seems like an oxymoron (no political jab intended).
Yes, the OP is not a machinist. Almost every leadscrew on a machine tool is an acme thread and they are discussed quite a bit on forums. A search on the general forum on Homeshopmachinist.net turned up 500 references. I’ve got acme taps and various lengths of acme threaded rod in the shop. It’s pretty much all I think of if I hear the word “acme”.
For a time, things got even sillier. It was discovered that Yellow Pages sorted punctuation marks ahead of alphabetical characters, so suddenly “AAA Armatures” lost their top spot to “.ABC Windings”. The next year they won it back with “…AAA Armatures”, and the war entered a new phase.
By the time I started setting ads in the mid-90s (just before Yellow Pages closed that particular loophole), there were some where the entire frame of the ad was composed of leader dots, eventually curling in to connect with the name of the company. Others went in different directions, in the hope that “,” or “/” might come before “.” – the top of some ads looked like the company cat had sat on the keyboard.