The Origin Of The Steel Tape Measure

- Aug 10, 2018-

In the Annals of the World's scientific and technological inventions, China also invented the world's first tape measure, the invention of the ancient Huizhou in Anhui Province (today Huangshan).

This is a very exciting and little-known information, we are visiting the Ming Dynasty, the famous mathematician, Abacus, inventor Big of the former House Memorial Hall learned. The memorial Hall is located in the Huangshan Center, is established on the basis of Cheng Da (1533-1606) residence and Chengshi ancestral temple.

The world's first tape measure was invented by him around 1578, and he called it the "measuring trolley", which was hailed as "the father of the tape". "Measuring the car" compared to today's steel tape, leather tape is much larger, but from its principle, structure, use and usage, it is also necessary to admit that it is the embryonic form of tape. It consists of wooden coats, crosses, bamboo-like rulers, iron-turned hearts, drill feet and rings. Bamboo ruler and retractable from the coat plaque eye in and out, drilling feet to accurately insert the field measurement points, ring easy to carry.

I am curious to take out the trial, sure enough, the bamboo ruler is easy to take, measuring, reading, carrying are very convenient. The curator told us: What's more exotic is that the tape measure, invented by Cheng Da, is not only physical, moreover, in the third volume of "directed algorithm" in the Cheng Da's book, there is a complete set of parts drawings, assembly drawings, design instructions and modification instructions and other written materials, which is quite rare in the history of world inventions.

According to the curator, carpentry in any country in the world can be easily imitated by this set of data. According to "Ming History" records, Minshenzong Wanli six years (1578), the cabinet of the first auxiliary Juzheng is ordered to clear the national land, and "land measurement" and "a whip" as its implementation of the reform of the important measures. From the "Straight to the algorithm" in the learned that the big bit personally participated in the large-scale work of the Qing Zhang land. Prior to this, "the ancient people in the field more wide, all by the rope ruler to the amount of", not only the labor intensity, and the error rate is too high. So he put forward a subject for the inventor and forced him to try to create a new measuring tool. He said in the design note that his ideas come from the use of carpentry ink. I think: if ink gave him through the rotation to achieve the smart structure of the body, then the big bit of the valuable place is the use of flat "bamboo ruler" instead of "rope" inspiration. 

This revolutionary achievement is now being enjoyed by the tape.