Historical information

This item predates the change of Imperial measure (England -1824) to decimal measure (Europe) in Australia (1970 to 1988). This item was manufactured in England as, was the majority of measuring tool and equipment. It was not until the late 1950s that other countries e.g. United States and Europe provided the same type of manufactured tools for the Australian market. World War II, when Australia had to defend its own boarders that the political push for self sufficiency of manufactured goods started local production. Workers in the Kiewa Valley had always relied on the high quality of tools and manufactured goods coming from England. From the middle to late 1950s migration by skilled workers from a war torn Europe provided the source of manpower for the expansion of the manufacturing industries in Australia.


The requirement of an accurate measuring tool has always been critical. This item was used at the time when Australia was using the British Imperial measurements. Accurate measurements by carpenters and other trades people for both town and rural needs was just as critical as for the larger cities. The transition period from Imperial to metric was a period of over four years but it still presented those who had used the Imperial measurements for a longer period in their trades with a dual system of measurement for a longer time(usually up to their retirement) Other nations still using Imperial measurements kept the transition from Imperial to metric alive (the UK and USA still uses Imperial measurements in 2012)

Physical description

Retractable metallic wired tape measure within a leather casing. Length of tape is 66 feet. Brass fittings on casing(winder and back plate)

Inscriptions & markings

Tape on one side marked in inches and feet and on the other in links. Winder lever marked "66ft No 401" on front and arrow with"wind this way". Leather cover marked "John R A Bone & Sons Birmingham England" on reverse side "Metallic wired tape R A Bone & Sons"