Have you ever wondered just why your tape measure looks the way it does? Well, it turns out all those little quirks are actually FEATURES designed to make your at-home measuring easier and more accurate!

So, why are we so focused on telling you all about why and how you haven’t been making use of your tape measure’s most amazing features? To answer your question, we’re just being festive!

You see, believe it or not, July 14th is National Tape Measure Day, a holiday that aims to pay homage to the crafty Alvin J. Fellows, the Connecticut carpenter who transformed the tape measurer into what it is today with his patent “Improvements in Tape Measures.”

Fellows’ revolutionary design was the first to make use of retractable technology, an addition that has served as a benchmark for all tape measure designs following it.

Though Fellows’ patent was granted all the way back in 1868, there’s no doubt that the improvements the inventor implemented have made the work of carpenters, electricians, seamstresses, and many other tradespeople much, much simpler.

Learning about this forefather of tape measures got us thinking about the device itself and we began to wonder: are there any other things about tape measures that we didn’t know?

As it turns out, there are actually quite a few hidden tools that we had never used before. In fact, we’re embarrassed to admit that we had mistaken these details for simple design features for our entire lives without knowing that they were there to help us manage our measuring task better.

Confused yet? Let’s take a look at this unexpected example:

Ever notice how there’s an arch-shaped slot on the metal-end of your tape measure? Us, too, but we never really knew what it was there for! Surprisingly, the tiny slot isn’t a design feature; it is actually included to help you more easily secure the tape into place if you are working solo.

It’s called a nail and screw grab, and to use it, all you need to do is slip the slot over a screw or nail that is protruding slightly. From there, the curved top of the slot will safely hold the tape into place while you take your measurements.

Shocking stuff, right? And what’s even more shocking is that ALL standard tape measures are equipped with the same “hidden” design features, meaning it doesn’t matter what the size of your tape measure is, or what material it is made from, each and every professional version should include all of the same tools. Who knew?!

Now that you’re seeing your tape measure in a whole new light, it’s time for you to get a more in-depth scoop on the hidden features. As we said, we can’t believe we didn’t know these tips before, and we’re betting you’ll feel the same way. Watch and learn via See Jane Drill!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on all things tape measurers! Were you aware of these hidden design details? Do you know of any others that weren’t mentioned in the video? What is your all-time favorite obscure holiday?