It seems like every day is a holiday these days, but we’re not complaining. Let’s take a look at a day that really measures up.
On July 14, 1868, a gentleman by the name of Albert J. Fellows of Connecticut revolutionized an item we keep in our toolbox with his patent for a spring-click tape measure (Wired).
Rulers have been around since the days of the Romans, so Fellows isn’t the inventor of the tape measure. And he’s not even the originator of the steel spring measure; he improved Englishman James Chesterman’s steel band measuring chain, which was created in 1829 specifically for surveyors. The issues with Chesterman’s creation were its size and bulk, which also made it expensive. Fellows added a clip that kept the tape from retracting as well as a few other construction improvements, and the arrangement qualified him for his patent. So today’s tradesmen and craftsmen can thank Fellows for the modern tape measure.
During Fellows’s time, foldable wooden rulers were the measuring tool of choice. Despite Fellows’s development, foldable rulers remained popular until the 1940s when Stanley Works, the precursor to the Stanley Black & Decker we know these days, introduced a line of steel measuring tapes (Hunker).
But on July 14, we observe National Tape Measure Day as a way to celebrate Fellows’s improvement on this handy tool that is now not just for contractors but for the homeowner, DIYer, and even student.
Let’s hear it for accuracy!
At Pitsco, we use tape measures as a hands-on learning tool – but not in the way you might think.
Have you ever raced a toolbox?
Check out our Toolbox Racer Kit. With this simple and easy-to-assemble vehicle, students can learn many STEM concepts including energy transfer, potential and kinetic energy, and other science principles such as:
- Tension – When a student pulls the tape from the tape measure, they stretch the spring inside, and potential energy is stored.
- Compression – When students press the button and release the tape back into the case, they are creating compression and kinetic energy is released.
It’s definitely hands-on, minds-on with this one. Be sure to watch this video of educators like you who review the toolbox racer.
As you travel through your 365 days of every year, be on the lookout for special days that you can tie back to STEM and your class. You never know what you’ll find! Silly or scientific, either way, days like today rule!
Happy National Tape Measure Day!