So, the other day I cleaned up behind my desk at work (I know, right!!!) and while I sorted through things I started tossing my tape measures into a jar to keep them all together. Then I stopped, and repeated that thought… ‘all my tape measures’. Then I looked at the jar (see jar).
Holy snakes, when did I develop this problem? I have a similar jar at home, though that jar is larger. I think all told I probably have about 40 vintage metal tape measures. So, I decided it’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity to always be able to measure anything I want, whenever I want. Yep!
Patented in the form we know them today in 1868, by Alvin Fellows, measuring tapes have long been a staple of every handy man (and ladies) tool chest. In the first half of the 20C, these retractable tape measures became fantastic advertising opportunities for everyone from hardware manufacturers to Kodak Cameras (I have an unphotographed Brownie camera bakelite tape measure that I rub for good luck every day! maybe not every day, but still…).
I find these guys at garage sales and estate sales all the time, thrown in corners of basements & tool boxes, and it didn’t occur to me until staring at my jars of tape measures that I apparently buy them. every.damned.time.
Now that I realize it, I don’t think I’m going to stop, so I’m going to offer out a challenge / request to help me measure everything ever!
If you have any of these old beauties laying around unloved, feel free to bring them by the shop – I’ll happily trade or give store credit for piles of them. I prefer ones made prior to 1980, and definitely metal over plastic, but it all just depends.
Help me help the world be measured! <3