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Retractable Steel Measure by John Rabone


An antique Rabone extending steel and brass measure, engraved "John Rabone & Sons, Birmingham, England - 33ft No 4351". It extends to 33 feet and measures in imperial inches. To operate, the hinged brass winder handle is first lifted and the rule can then be extended - to retract the measure, it is a simple matter of turning the winder clockwise. A beautiful object and a beautiful precision piece of engineering - built to last. And it has, for at least 100 years.


Founded in 1784, the John Rabone & Sons works had its origins in Birmingham's jewellery quarter, and was a rule, instrument and tool makers, continuing as a family business until 1963. The company then merged with James Chesterman & Co, toolmakers of Sheffield, and the name was changed to Rabone Chesterman.

Case Width 7cm  Case Thickness 1.5cm Length of measure 33ft

Country of origin: UK

Date of manufacture: c.1900

Manufactured b: John Rabone & Sons, Birmingham, England

Material: steel and brass

Condition: excellent, considering its 120 years of use, and it is in full working order. 

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