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Thread: My Vintage Tape Measure (circa 1975)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Humid Gulf Coast

    My Vintage Tape Measure (circa 1975)

    Here is my old friend, a Sears Craftsman tape measure from way back in 1975. When the world was a different place. Made in America, when everything still was.

    It was 1975, I had been tasked with the job of constructing a garage for the family. So I set out (on foot) heading for Sears (where decent tools could be found in the pre-internet era).

    It was Early June 1975, and the weather was nice as I passed a Pontiac (an old type of American car they no longer make) dealer.

    Noticing the New Trans Am's, brown ones, gold ones, white ones, and the classic black ones, I noted that they cost about $300 more this year than last. Quite a big price jump, to now about $4,800.

    Stopping in to talk the salesman he mentioned financing the car. I laughed, and said who would ever "NEED TO FINANCE A CAR?".

    After grabbing a few car pamphlets, I continued my journey down to Sears.

    Once inside the store I noticed all of the tape measures were marked in both Metric and Regular measurements.

    Since I never intended to build anything in Europe I asked the salesman for a "regular tape measure". You know, one without all of the extra markings.

    He replied, no luck. It's the wave of the future. Soon, he said, everything in the US will be in metric. Everything! It's almost the Bicentennial, and America will be 200 years old soon. Things are changing.

    (at that time I knew people who were in their 90's, half as old as George Washington times!)

    Well, I bought a 12 foot tape measure, and despite all of the Euro measurements, (which to this day) I have not used, this old tape measure works perfectly to this day. Made in the USA.

    Old Mr. Tape Measure has served me well over all of these years. Building structures and projects. Measuring everything from plumbing to electrical.

    He as accompanied me all across the USA through thick and thin:

    Alabama, Arizona,
    California, Colorado,
    Indiana, Illinois, Iowa , Idaho,
    Kansas, Kentucky,
    Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico,
    Old Mexico, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio,
    Michigan, Missouri,
    New York,
    Tennessee, Texas,

    He has built many a thing, and also repelled a burglar in the middle of the night. Kapow--right in the Kisser!

    Often times over the years, I have wondered what happened to all of those American Tape Measure makers and their families when tape measure manufacturing had been sent East.

    They sure as heck did build a GREAT PRODUCT!

    My little friend. My Tape measure (circa 1975).

    (No I didn't buy the Trans Am--Darn!)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Scott R Smith; 03-24-2014 at 11:09 PM.
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Great story Scott I've got a pair of shoes I bought in the 70's for about $40.00. They have been resoled a few times and have eaten up about 20 cans of Kiwi polish but they are still the most comfortable shoes I own. Made in the USA.

    That song is great. Change a name or 2 and you'll have the USA in 2014.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Interesting story. I have tools from my father that are plenty old. Including a couple tape measures. No idea their year of vintage.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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