Who has a tape measure in any of their vehicles, raise your hand. (scan)
Who has used a tape measure in the last 24 hours, raise your hand. (scan)
What do you think the results were? I guess it would depend on the group that we were asking but it is rare that a hand doesn’t pop up on the first question! The vehicle question is generally all guys and the last 24 hours are generally beefy contractor looking guys, or ladies that are full time crafters.
The first record of the use of the tape measure was by the Romans using marked strips of leather. Then there was the length of rope and the soft tape measure. In 1868, Alvin J. Fellows of New Haven, Connecticut patented the design on which most modern spring tape measures are built today.
A tape measure or measuring tape is a flexible form of ruler. It consists of a ribbon of cloth, plastic, fiber glass, or metal strip with linear-measurement markings. Its design allows for a measure of great length to be easily carried in pocket or toolkit and permits one to measure around curves or corners. Today they are even made in miniature form as a keychain fob, or novelty item. Surveyors use tape measures in lengths of over 300+ ft, with the longest tape known to date being 600ft!
Tape measures that are intended for use in tailoring or dressmaking are made of fiberglass, which does not tear or stretch as easily. Measuring tapes designed for carpentry or construction often use a stiff, curved metallic ribbon that can remain stiff and straight when extended, but retracts into a coil for convenient storage.
Did you know that the little silver thing at the end of the tape measure that keeps it from retracting all the way into the case is called a TANG?
Check out this How It’s Made Episode… Shows both Metal and Fiberglass Surveyors tapes. I’m very impressed by the multiple ways they test the degrees of accuracy!