One of the oldest units of length measurement used in the ancient world was the ‘cubit’ which was the length of the arm from the tip of the finger to the elbow.
This could then be subdivided into shorter units like the foot, hand or finger, or added together to make longer units like the stride.
A tape measure is a flexible ruler consisting of a ribbon of cloth, plastic, fibre glass or a metal strip with linear-measurement markings.
Its design allows for a measure of great length to be easily carried in a pocket or toolkit and can be used to measure around curves.
In 1922 Hiram Farrand received the patent for his spring tape measure. In the following years he and William Wentworth Brown began mass-producing the tape measure.
Their product was later sold to Stanley Works which is today known as Stanley Black & Decker. An example of the Stanley tape measure is shown here.