A K&E (Keuffel & Esser) Wyteface 10 foot tape measure. Looks like they
made some high quality stuff. Unfortunately it probably came home by
"mistake" in his coveralls from his boiler welding job. As a kid we
always had a few of these around. I also have the same brand 50' tape
measure, it's in very rough cosmetic condition but it works well.
I remember the K&E logo well from my youth, not so much from slide
rules, but from drafting/surveying work my father did. That logo was on
damn near every precision tool he had, including the long tape, transit
and pole I spent much of my youth lugging for him as he laid out the
houses he designed and built for people. He still has the transit, but
never uses it any more- a laser level and retro-reflective target on the
pole is SO much quicker and easier. Looks like the 'real' K&E went
chapter 11 back in 82, and most of the product lines (the names, really)
got sold off to pay the creditors, like so many 'quality' companies I
remember from my youth. You can still buy drafting supplies labeled K&E,
but who knows who makes them now.
Here is a link to a capsule history timeline:
My father was a mechanical engineer at a steel mill and taught drafting
at a local college. I remember all the K&E stuff he had and I carried a
K&E slide rule when I was in college. It's amazing when you think about
all the magnificent machines and civil engineering projects that were
designed with a drawing board, some big sheets of paper, a pencil and a
slide rule. My father had a mechanical calculator on his desk at the
steel mill engineering department and I remember watching the marvelous
contraption shift the button laden carriage shift back and forth while
making happy clicking and clunking sounds. 30 years later, I picked one
up out of a junk pile and adopted it, promising I would protect it from
harm. I couldn't keep my promise, I lost it in a move 10 years ago. Poor
thing, probably thinks I abandoned it,.......sniff.
You make feel old. I still have one in leather case. My son civil
engineer often look at it with awe. In his HS math course he used to
look at it and played with it. I also have a Japanese pocket slide rule
made from bamboo.
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