top of page

National Tape Measure Day

No one measures up to Southern's team members!!!

Fun Facts:

Why July 14th…

The patent for the locking mechanism that stops the measuring tape from retracing was issued to Alvin Fellows on July 14, 1868.

The longest tape measure in the world is gold plated and was made in

1956 by a surveyor and tape-maker, Justus Roe, and it measures 180 meters (600 feet)

Some of the earliest representations of rulers or tape measures date back to 2650 B.C. of which there is evidence of rulers that were used in workshops during that time.

Though we humans have been measuring for centuries, the more modern form of the ruler came in the 1800s, starting with the rudimentary steel tape measure created in 1821 by James Chesterman. Chesterman, a craftsman from Sheffield, England, worked in the fashion business and created long steel tape measures as an accidental byproduct of the metal hoops he made that were inside popular dress skirts. Hoping to make a bit more money by selling them off to surveyors, Chesterman lined the tapes with graduated markers and sold them as the lightweight, compact ‘Steel Band Measuring Chains.’

Other measuring tapes followed. Notably, Anton Ulrich created the folding ruler in 1851, which consisted of six stacked rulers united by pivoting hinges. The tape measure created by Chesterman was later improved upon by Alvin J. Fellows, an inventor from the United States who patented the first spring measuring tape — quite like the one we see today. His measuring tape was also encased in the small circular container, and he added a locking element when extended that we are now familiar with.

Justus Roe & Sons began to manufacture and sell tape measures in the United States in the 1870s, and they gradually grew in popularity — especially for those whose jobs require measurement. However, the tape measure’s path to prevalence in the population was a long one, as it wasn’t until the 1940s that it was in widespread use.


bottom of page