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.