Monday, August 25, 2008

How long is a piece of string?

The above question has been jokingly
asked by us for many years. To think
that this MIGHT have been the case
for many other "sizeable" questions
is quite mind boggling to say the
The role of the tape measure is one
of extreme importance in the
sewing field as you all know.
I am not going into the history
of units of measurements, but
I do intend to show
you some examples of
tape measures in my collection.
There are tape measures
to be found with more than
one purpose - that is, they
also include a pincushion,
thimble holder, scissor holder....
many multi-functions and which are
extremely novel.
The tape measures I have chosen
for this post are of one
purpose only - as a
tape measure.
Celluloid, bakelite, vegetable ivory,
bronze, pewter, wood, nickel, plaster
white metal, shell are materials
used for the casings of tape measures
throughout the years with plastic
being the most common material found.

Above and Below -
Tape measures in various shapes and forms. The porcelain
crinoline ladies are particularly desirable as well as
celluloid flowers and animals, and other figural shapes.
There are many varieties to be found and will
make a fabulous collection on their

Another field in collecting tape measures
is that of advertising which also makes a
very interesting collection.

Two books you might like to look for are -
Collecting Figural Tape Measures
by Elizabeth & Douglas Arbittier
Janet & John Morphy

and Collector's Digest
Advertising & Figural Tape Measures


Gigi said...

I was trolling around blog world yesterday and found some vintage tea cosy patterns (a very sweet Koala and cottage) posted on someone's blog. Now I can't find them again -- hate that! Was it you possibly? Sorry to be a bother.

crazyhaberdasher said...

Hi gigi! I posted a link to some tea cosies in a post last year but there weren't any koalas or cottages....try googling.
(But I do have some in my vintage tea cosy pattern book!)

Gina E. said...

Hi Marian,
You have a fantastic collection of tape measures! I would never have dreamt there are so many. I have just two in my sewing basket - both plain old printed plastic or whatever it is. One metric and one imperial measurements.

crazyhaberdasher said...

Hi Gina! and thankyou! You know you can turn your plain tape measures into works of art by making them simple slip-on covers from felt and I am sure you will have no trouble sewing a little embroidery design on them.....they will look so sweet!
(By the way, we finally have bought a house!!!)

MOLLY said...

What wonderful collections you have. I am very envious. I have a collection also, but nothing like yours. Thanks for sharing.

crazyhaberdasher said...

Thanks Molly! It is not easy to collect these measures when you live in Australia. Makes the hunt twice as hard and costly!