Historical information

Rabone & Sons had its origins in Birmingham, as rule and tool makers. The business was continued by John Rabone and his (John's) grandson, Eric Rabone. It worked under the name of John Rabone & Sons c1784-1953, becoming a public company in 1948. Control of the business remained with the Rabone family until 1962. In 1963 the company merged with a toolmaker from Sheffield to become Rabone Chesterman. The name E. M. Lock has been carved into the leather on one side. Edith May Lock was the mother of Arthur Lock who served in the 2/23 RD Australian Infantry Battalion, known as "Albury's Own".


This item is part of a collection of items owned by Arthur Lock, a member of the 2/23rd Battalion, an all-volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force which served as part of the garrison during the Siege of Tobruk, then at El Alamein, New Guinea and Borneo. It has particular local significance as the battalion was know as "Albury's Own" because a large majority of the battalion's initial intake of volunteers came from the Albury–Wodonga region.

Physical description

A retractable wire measuring tape with leather casing and brass centre and winding handle. The tape is 66 feet in length. The manufacture's name, John Rabone & Sons, is inscribed around the centre circle as well as the Number 401 and 66FT

Inscriptions & markings

Around centre circle "JOHN RABONE & SONS/BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND". In the centre "NO401 66FT"
On opposite side around centre circle "RABONE'S METALLIC WIRED TAPE". Engraved into the surface "E.M.Lock"