Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Measure for Measure

In keeping with the "theme" that I didn't even realize I was building until I really thought about it, I present to you the second in a "series" of sewing-related items - promotional tape measures!

Now here's a relic of days gone by - unless some hipster artisan with an Etsy shop decides to sell letterpressed tape measures, we're never going to see these again.  As much as I enjoy them, I can actually see why, in this case.

Aside from this Fashion Frocks, Inc. tape measure, which is reinforced with a serger, I can't imagine these lasted very long.  They all seem to me made from the same type of paper - a little bit flexible, but not so much that they're going to stand the test of time.  Maybe they weren't supposed to, like the ones you get at Ikea!

This Bromo-Seltzer one is the first one I ever had.  My first husby and I were at a huge auction at the old Oddfellows Home in Green Bay, which was going to be torn down.  EVERYTHING was for sale.  We bought a vintage Singer sewing machine in the old wooden case, the kind with little drawers.  This tape measure was still in one of the drawers!  It had been already not-so-gently-used when it came to us (notice the taped edge), and for 16 years it just sat in a cabinet of mine.  But last year, I finally used it in a collage - it was the perfect final touch.  I'm so happy I was finally able to put it to use!

"Threading the Bobbin" collage - notice the Bromo-Seltzer
tape measure at the bottom?  :D

This next one (top) is obviously incomplete as well, but I believe it's for the Haband Company (because of the "terson, N.J." at the end), makers of men's slacks (I LOVE the word slacks!  Let's bring that one back, too!).  I surmised that it was Haband from this yellow one here (bottom), which is intact and is clearly from Haband, out of Patterson 2, New Jersey, "maker of men's slacks in waist sizes 29-48, inseam sizes 26-34"!  You may recognize the Haband company from those Red Plum and SmartSource inserts in your Sunday paper; they're makers of inexpensive, not-in-fashion clothes for the older set.  Something tells me they sell sizes far larger that a 48" waist these days!

My last one is the one I just purchased at the estate sale a couple of weekends ago.  It's for a company called Fashion Frocks, Inc. out of Cincinnati.  As you can kind of see, they claim to be the "World's largest manufacturers of women's and children's dresses".  I like the serged edge on this measure - and I'm almost positive that it was never used, as there was a large staple in the middle of it when I got it, holding it so it wouldn't "unravel".  According to an article from examiner.com (a Cincinnati news source), Fashion Frocks began as Oesterlein Machine Company, which begat Fashion Frocks in the 1930s.  During WWII, Fashion Frocks also made parachutes!  The building now houses the American Sign Museum and some loft apartments.

I've used tape measures in other collages, too!  I love how they look and they always add great texture.

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