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Title: Tape Measure
Identifier: 2001.1.33
Donor: Barbara Larson
Item Date: 1840-1855
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2006
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A tape measure (a) with a brown leather casing and a raised inscription on the front and back that reads 'Chesterman Sheffield England'. The logo is also raised on the back with 'J' and 'C' on the inside of the insignia. The casing is sewn shut along the side. The metal opening is on the side where the tape is supposed to come out. The metal in the middle, front, and back has a knob with finger indents to the turn the tape. It also has '33 Ft' imprinted into the handle. The end piece (b) of the tape has ripped off and separated. There is paint on the back and '4' written very clearly. History: The measuring tape was made by Chesterman in Sheffield, England. James Chesterman (1795-1867) was a metal worker in Sheffield, England, and in 1821, he received a British patent for a method of using a spring to rewind measuring tapes automatically. With James Bottom, Chesterman patented a woven cloth tape that incorporated strands of wire in 1842. His patented process in 1853 for heat treating long strips of steel revolutionized the manufacture of steel tapes, which remained mostly unchanged for over fifty years. See the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center, Physical Sciences Collection - Surveying and Geodesy, for more information. Other sources include W.Gurley and L E Gurley "Manual of the Principal Instruments Used in American Engineering and Surveying" (Troy, New York: 1871), 132; James Chesterman and Company "Chesterman's Patent Measures Engineers' Tools" (Cheffield, n.d.), 16-17; and Douglas J Hallam "The First 200 Years: A Short History of Rabone" Chesterman Limited (1984). The tape can also be seen in the 1901 Eaton's Spring and Summer Catalogue, no 48, item no 77. Items donated by Barbara Sayers Larson. Barbara Larson is the daughter of Annie Harris (1882-1986) and Beverly Sayers (1882-1976) and granddaughter of Arthur (1843-1932) and Mary (1859-1954) Harris. Barbara was born January 27, 1920 and was the youngest of three children. Barbara and her siblings, Geoffrey Sayers (1907-1997) and Dora Sayers Caro (1915-) donated Benares to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1969 after inheriting it from their aunt, Naomi Harris (1883-1968). Many of the items donated by Barbara originally belonged to her mother or Aunt Naomi and came from Benares. Barbara lived in the log cabin originally given to her parents by her grandparents at 1723 Birchwood Drive. Barbara still maintains a close tie with Benares and is now living in Kelowna, British Columbia with her daughter.
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