- Tape measure
A tape measure or measuring tape is a flexible form of ruler. It consists of a ribbon of cloth, plastic, fiber glass, or metal strip with linear-measurement markings. It is a common measuring tool. Its flexibility allows for a measure of great length to be easily carried in pocket or toolkit and permits one to measure around curves or corners. Today it is ubiquitous, even appearing in miniature form as a keychain fob, or novelty item. Surveyors use tape measures in lengths of over 100 m (300+ ft).
Tape measures that were intended for use in tailoring or dressmaking were made from flexible cloth or plastic. Today, measuring tapes made for sewing are made of fiberglass, which does not tear or stretch as easily. Measuring tapes designed for carpentry or construction often use a stiff, curved metallic ribbon that can remain stiff and straight when extended, but retracts into a coil for convenient storage. This type of tape measure will have a floating tang on the end to aid measuring. The tang will float a distance equal to its thickness, to provide both inside and outside measurements that are accurate. A tape measure of 25 or even 100 feet can wind into a relatively small container. The self-marking tape measure allows the user an accurate one hand measure and mark without an outside device.
The design on which most modern spring tape measures are built was patented by a New Haven, Connecticut resident named Alvin J. Fellows on 14 July 1868. According to the text of his patent, Fellows' tape measure was an improvement on other versions previously designed.
The spring tape measure has existed since Fellows' patent in 1868, but did not come into wide usage until the early 1900s, when it slowly began to supplant a common folding wooden design of carpenter's ruler.
With the mass production of the integrated circuit (IC) the tape measure has also entered into the digital age with the digital tape measure. Some incorporate a digital screen to give measurement readouts in multiple formats.
There are also other styles of tape measures that have incorporated lasers and ultrasonic technology to measure the distance of an object with fairly reliable accuracy.
Justus Roe & Sons began manufacturing steel tape measures in 1865. Located in Patchogue, Long Island, New York. His original concept was to place metal studs along lengths of wire. Justus Roe, a surveyor and tape-maker by trade, made the longest tape measure in 1956, at 600 feet long. The Northern Virginia Surveyors Association presented the 600' long, gold-plated surveyor's tape measure to Micky Mantle in 1956. It now resides with other such memorabilia, behind glass in the entry area of Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Some tapes sold in the United States have additional marks in the shape of small black diamonds, which appear every 19.2 inches (490 mm). These are known as 'black truss' markings, and are used to mark out equal truss lengths for roofing materials (five trusses per standard 8 feet (2.4 m) length of building material).
Many tapes also have special markings every 16 inches, which is the standard interval for studs in housing.
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Look at other dictionaries:
tape measure — tape measures N COUNT A tape measure is a strip of metal, plastic, or cloth which has numbers marked on it and is used for measuring … English dictionary
tape measure — ► NOUN ▪ a length of tape marked at graded intervals for measuring … English terms dictionary
tape measure — [tāplīn΄] a tape with marks in inches, feet, centimeters, meters, etc. for measuring: also tapeline [tāplīn΄] n … English World dictionary
tape measure — tape .measure n a long narrow band of cloth or steel, marked with centimetres, feet etc, used for measuring something … Dictionary of contemporary English
tape measure — tape ,measure noun count a tool for measuring things that consists of a long narrow piece of cloth, soft plastic, or thin metal with numbers on it … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
tape measure — noun measuring instrument consisting of a narrow strip (cloth or metal) marked in inches or centimeters and used for measuring lengths the carpenter should have used his tape measure • Syn: ↑tape, ↑tapeline • Hypernyms: ↑measuring instrument,… … Useful english dictionary
tape measure — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms tape measure : singular tape measure plural tape measures a tool for measuring things that consists of a long narrow piece of cloth, soft plastic, or thin metal with numbers on it … English dictionary
tape measure — matavimo juosta statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. measuring tape; tape measure vok. Bandmaß, n; Meßband, n rus. мерная лента, f; рулетка, f pranc. mesure à ruban, f; mètre à ruban, m; ruban à mesurer, m … Fizikos terminų žodynas
tape measure — tape′ meas ure n. bui wam a long, flexible strip or ribbon, as of cloth or metal, marked with subdivisions of the foot or meter and used for measuring. Also called tape•line [[t]ˈteɪpˌlaɪn[/t]] • Etymology: 1835–45 … From formal English to slang
tape measure — Synonyms and related words: Mystik tape, Scotch tape, adhesive tape, band, bandage, batten, belt, cellophane tape, cloth tape, fascia, fillet, friction tape, girdle, lath, ligula, ligule, list, masking tape, plank, plastic tape, ribband, ribbon,… … Moby Thesaurus