A Lost Treasure – Found

The Lufkin Rule Co.
Saginaw, Mich. U.S.A.
50 ft.

My father had some pretty cool tools.  All hand tools of course, no power tools.  I think my understanding of hands-on learning and how I teach young children stemmed from his hand tools.  One of my favorites was this tape measurer.  The case is leather, and the brass knob that lifts out and reels the tape back into the case is something I always loved.  Feeling and using hand tools is wonderful.

Here I am, using the tape measurer:

Honestly, I cannot wait to bring this treasure into my classroom and show children how to use it.  We will measure everything.  I know each child will want to reel in the tape.  When the tool is cool, learning happens.  Math will be #1, but what about history?  Leather tools?  September and the new school year, here I come!


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in history, Inspiration, Math, preschool, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to A Lost Treasure – Found

  1. That is a cool tool!

  2. Your students have probably seen a tape measure – but I’m guessing not a leather one! Not sure I have!!!!

  3. Dan Antion says:

    I love the degree to which you understand children and plan your days around that understanding. Power tools are extensions of hand tools. Knowing how to use hand tools is where it all begins. While not nearly that old, I have my father’s version of that tape.

  4. beth says:

    this is a wonderful find and I have no doubt the children will absolutely love it for many reasons

  5. That’s a very cool tape measure! I have one very similar to it, without the leather case. It was my grandfather’s. I wonder which of the children wiil be first to ask that the tape measure be used to determine how tall they are.

  6. Maggie says:

    As soon as I saw your photo, I was awash of memories of my grandfather. I always had a love for his hand tools and those tape measures were among the most magical.

  7. Darlene says:

    OMG! My father had one just like it. What a find. The kids will love it. I remember when my daughter was a little girl, she spent a lot of time on my parent’s farm. (They were the best babysitters!) One day after I picked her up and we were driving back to the city, she turned to me and said, “Do you know that grandpa doesn’t have anything on his farm that is exactly 1 metre!” I just imagined her spending an entire day measuring everything she could find with a metric tape measure.

    • Jennie says:

      What a great story! And, what a wonderful way for her to spend a day with your dad on the farm. I was beside myself when I found it!

  8. Very cool discovery – for both daughter-soul and teacher-lesson! What impressed me even more is the fact that it looks almost like new…and I know it was used a lot. What that implies to me is that the maker took good care of his tools. That might be a slice of your lesson to teach, too.

  9. I’ve done many years of land surveying Jennie. That is a great find indeed and may be valuable?
    You should get it appraised.

  10. A. L. Kaplan says:

    Very cool tool. I love old stuff.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I grew up with just such a tape measure. When my daughter was in elementary school she got to take Shop every day. They only used hand tools and she had a wonderful time with them. Do you have a hand drill you could show them?(Holes all over the room. LOL)

  12. Ritu says:

    Now, the kids will love that!!

  13. Do most people use their phone now to measure? Not a bad idea. I have several tape measures but none as gorgeous as your dad’s.

    • Jennie says:

      I think the phone is common for measuring, especially for those under the age of 40. I will bring many other tools that measure (yardstick, ruler, and tape measure) and ask “Do all these tools do the same thing?” Yes, my dad’s is gorgeous!

  14. That’s a cool one, Jennie. I remember someone I knew having that round kind (though not as nice). Hugs on the wing!

  15. quiall says:

    Children today need to understand that we can survive without power. A lot of adults don’t understand that.

  16. My grandfather had something similar. I loved “using” it when I was little. He kept it in the garage and used it often when building something out there.

  17. I like that is can be read, too.

  18. petespringerauthor says:

    Hand tools are the best. I have a great appreciation for the ingenuity of tools. The ability to problem solve and invent a device for the purpose is inspiring.

    I used to do this experiment with my students where they’d measure the wingspan of a friend from fingertip to fingertip. Did you know it usually is within one inch of a person’s height?

    • Jennie says:

      They really are the best! Years ago I had a woodworker friend make a portable table top that could transform my classroom table into a woodworking table. I bring in hand tools from time to time. Kids love to saw and nail! I often think of the ingenuity involved, like a phillips head screw.

  19. TanGental says:

    Very neat. There’s something about rulers and measures. Dad had a folding wooden ruler he loved. And mum one like your dad’s. She also has cloth tapes round her neck so often when she was creating. But my fav? The white slide rule on which I learnt to do calculus and logs. Oh my sines and cosines of long ago…!

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, rulers and measures are neat. Does your dad’s folding wooden ruler have brass hinges? Mine does, and I think it was made by the same company as the measuring tape. I know that white slide rule! It was a nightmare for me and a beloved tool for hubby. The cloth measuring tape is a must for sewers, as you know. So many cool tools!

  20. Norah says:

    What a gorgeous tool. Perfect for measuring.

  21. beetleypete says:

    My dad had one the same, but took it with him when he left. I have two modern versions that retract automatically, but they don’t have the stylish look and quality feel.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      Craftsmanship and quality isn’t what it used to be in everyday items, such as tools. That beautiful brass knob that has to be turned by hand to retract the tape is a classic example. I’m glad you remember your dad’s tool. Best to you, Pete.

      On a side note, Boris resigning is the big news today in America.

  22. WOW…. 🙂 Lovely Jennie

  23. Hands on learning is the best!

  24. Hi Jennie, I can remember having fun with a measuring tape, Jennie.

  25. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, this is sooooo cool!

  26. No doubt you will be measuring everything! I love how you’re already collecting ideas for the new year, Jennie. Cheers!

  27. magarisa says:

    Hands-on learning/teaching is particularly important in this digital world. A great find!

  28. bosssybabe says:

    What a treasure, Jennie! Things like this really fascinate me… I imagine that that’s been used by so many people and now it lands in the hands of young curious minds! I hope you hold on to that forever because the story that that comes with is priceless!! 🙂

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