Friday, September 2, 2016

The Early Workbasket ~ Figural Tape Measures ~

Welcome dear needlefolk friends!

Hope you're enjoying the fresh beginnings 
of the beautiful month of September!

Today, the first Friday of the month,
 means it is time for my special
monthly feature, please meet
three lovely girls who are
excited to give the 

The Early Workbasket ~
This months topic is...Figural Tape Measures

Far from being a simple means of measurement, 
tape measures were often an expression of creativity,
artistry and or humor.  

These three lovely ladies are made of Celluloid.
Their origin is typically either Germany or Japan,
and have a spring mechanism.

Next up...

Barrel style tape measures are generally made
of vegetable ivory and bone.  

These will usually have a Wind~Up mechanism on top, 
which winds the tape back into the barrel.

The first one is extra special because the wind~up nob
mechanism also has a Stanhope!

Metal Tapes...

Metal tapes are very desirable to the collector!
Anywhere from sterling silver, white metal, lead, 
brass, to Vienna bronze/brass.

Metal tapes generally have a crank wind up 
handle mechanism.

My little brass bear is extremely rare...

Made of brass with lots of detail, 
cloth tape with a wonderful crank wind up!

Look closely...

For small maker's mark or markings
designating that it's Sterling Silver...sometimes
very small, hidden and requires a good loop
style magnifying glass! 

Next, Relief Style tapes...

Many times a Relief Style animal will
be brass and have glass eyes...such as the Owl.

Relief Style tapes will generally be of German origin,
and have a spring mechanism.

Sterling Silver Turtles...

An original sterling turtle is rare and
very desirable...beware lots of reproductions in 

What to look for...

An original will be made of Sterling Silver or Brass,
 and should say either:

"Pull My Head But Not My Leg"
"Other Turles Have Four Feet I Have Seven"

The sterling/brass should have a wonderful old patina,

and the tape should be cloth not metal!

A metal tape is a sure sign of a reproduction...beware!

Rare Bird to look for...

This is a porcelain Enesco Bird from Japan,
with real feathers, pincushion and...

From its mouth springs forth a wonderful
tape measure!

And for a more humble little critter...

These fellows are many times passed by
not knowing that they are a pinkeep
and tape measure all in one!

The end of the tail is so camouflaged with 
matching fabric that it can be easily 
overlooked, unless you know what
to look for!

This style of animal is generally packed 
with traditional saw dust.

 Collecting tape measures can be a fascinating
 adventure with endless critters to be discovered! 

These are my two favorite tape collector, you would be amazed at the wonderful
gorgeous tapes that where made!

Figural type tape measures were popular 
from about 1820 through the 1950's.

Hope you enjoyed September's topic! 

The next scheduled Early Workbasket will be
Friday, October 7th...mark your calendar!


Schoolgirl Samplar Club Update...

With the help from my dear friend Ona,
the assemble line is officially ready
to start bagging the kits!

Due to Labor Day on Monday, the 
 scheduled ship date is Tuesday, September 6th.


Weekend Soul Food...

As a bird that wandereth
from her nest, so is a man that
wandereth from his place.

Proverbs 27:8...KJV


Here in my neighborhood, 
the weatherman is forecasting a 
gorgeous weekend ahead!

My feet are anxious to hit the pavement
and enjoy a nice long walk...after I 
finish working on kitting!

Hope YOU too will have time to enjoy
the cooler Autumn air!

Blessings, Tammy  


  1. What a fantastic collection of tape measures.
    Thanks for sharing the pics and info.

  2. Beautiful collection! Thanks, Tammy.

  3. So love seeing your collections....makes me want to rush out and start looking for some.

  4. I love each and every one! How special, I love how every item was so decorative back then. Thanks for sharing

  5. Wow! What an extensive collection you have. You are most certainly blessed. Gorgeous.

  6. What a beautiful collection Tammy! They are just beautiful. I so enjoy your blog! Thanks as always for the time you take to do this. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  7. What a marvelous collection, Tammy! I so appreciate your educating your readers of these fascinating tools of the past!!

  8. Such spectacular tape measures. Thank you for sharing

  9. Such spectacular tape measures. Thank you for sharing

  10. Tammy: Thank-you for sharing your wonderful collection of tape measures, they are amazing.
    I love seeing collections from other people.
    Love the new Sampler so sweet, I just need to finish my stash stitching before I move on to another club.


  11. And yet another amazing collection!!! Just wonderful.
    Happy Labor Day.
    Hugs :)