A tape measure or measuring tape is a flexible ruler. It consists of a ribbon of cloth, plastic, fiber glass, or metal strip with linear-measurement markings. It is a common measuring tool. 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 it is ubiquitous, even appearing in miniature form as a key chain, or novelty item. Surveyors us tape measures in lengths of over 100 m (300+ ft).
Today, July 14th, is National Tape Measure Day.
Most everyone knows what a tape measure does and how to use one, but have you wondered about the history of it?
History of the first recorded use of the tape measure goes back to the Romans, where the utilized marked strips of leather. Previous to this, the tool used to measure a distance was something comparable to a long rope or chain with marks put on to represent varying distances. These were big and bulky and not likely to fit inside your pocket or a toolbox that you could take with you easily. The cost of them back then was around $17 in the United States. This would be equal to about $300 today.
The tape measure that we know and use today comes in a wide array of sizes, colors and materials. You can find some smaller than the palm of your hand or bigger in lengths of 300+ feet. They are used for anything from DIY projects at home to professional building, construction, and at a much cheaper price, are a staple in almost every household and business.
The tape measure first patent was in the early 1800’s, and today it is a daily used tool for most everyone!