National Tape Measure Day

National Tape Measure Day is a holiday dedicated to one of the most fundamental pieces of equipment that a handyman or carpenter can have in their toolbox. This important piece of equipment is a tape measure—a tool that allows people to measure materials for construction, maintenance, and DIY projects. It’s a holiday observed annually on July 14th and is one in which participants can not only celebrate this handy tool but maybe even buy themselves a new one.

The History Of The Tape Measure

Tape measures surprisingly owe their existence to a 19th-century fad in Britain. During the early 1800s, some women in Britain wore hoop skirts that were made with flat metal fashioned into a circle. These hoop skirts increased the silhouettes of the women and gave them a bell shape that was cooler and allowed them to move more freely than conventional skirts. However, as is the case with just about any fad, they left the scene almost as soon as they had entered it.

The flat pieces of metal used for the skirts were then fashioned into a spring tape measure by British metalworker James Chesterman. In 1829, he patented a spring tape measure that had marked measurements on its flat metal blade. He sold them for $17 in the U.S. at the time, which, when adjusted for inflation, would be $300 today! Fortunately, a new tape measure, or at least the first patent for a new tape measure, was issued in 1868 to Alvin J. Fellows of New Haven, Connecticut. This tape measure was significantly cheaper.

However, wooden rulers used by carpenters still remained a more popular product than the tape measure because they were cheaper. This changed after World War II, however, and soon carpenters and workmen of all sorts began to use them.

Facts About Tape Measures

Since we all know how exciting tape measures are to the general public, we decided to look up some facts about these tools that people might want to know about. Facts that are interesting and sure to entertain anyone willing to listen to them.

  • Steel tape measures were first manufactured in the U.S. by Justus Roe & Sons in 1876.
  • Some tape measures have special marks every 16 inches for measuring between house studs.
  • Some tape measures have a black diamond mark every 19.2 inches for floor trusses.

How To Observe National Tape Measure Day

Although it’s not entirely clear how a person could celebrate a tape measure, it’s certainly a good day for people to buy themselves a new one. And while you’re at it, you can also use the hashtag #NationalTapeMeasureDay on social media to let everyone know about this holiday.

When is it?
This year (2024)
July 14 Sunday
Next year (2025)
July 14 Monday
Last year (2023)
July 14 Friday
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