Chesterman Tape Measure - No. 34

chesterman 34 tape measure
Our Rating


Chesterman 34 Review By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: Chesterman

Tool Type: Tape Measure

Model No: 34 (Leather)


The Chesterman 34 tape measure has a metallic tape, a brass winder and a solid leather, hand-stitched, lined case with a special waterproof lining.

The number 34 leather tape measures were made in many different lengthed tapes, including:

Length in Feet: 25, 33, 40, 50, 66, 75, 100

The tape typically measured with the measurement commencing from the outside of the ring at the end of the tape, i.e. ring is included in the measurement. It was possible to custom order a different arrangement.

chesterman 34 tape measure

The tapes measures which surface most regularly today are 33ft, 66ft, and 100ft with measurements on both sides. It does seem James Chesterman and Co Ltd were happy to make certain custom changes from their catalogued tapes so it is entirely possible there are variations to these measurements and lengths.

They were made in two different widths. 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch, however Chesterman recommended the 5/8 inch as the most serviceable one.

The tape measure could either be supplied with a 'folding handle', which was the cheaper option, or Chesterman's 'patent flush handle', which was advertised as "takes up less room when carried in the pocket." The handles also had another advantage at the time, they had a 'patent eyelet attachment', which prevents the screw at the back of the case from working loose and falling out.

The Chesterman metallic tape was made with very fine brass wire woven through the tape to create a tape which prevented stretching.

This design eliminated the risk of rust to the tape which the alternative steel tapes were susceptible to and helped in eliminating the risk of stretching which the alternative linen tapes were susceptible to.

Tape Measure Construction

chesterman 34 tape measure




'JC, Chesterman, Sheffield, England' on both sides.
[the size] on the brass winder (usually 33ft, 66ft or 100ft).

Sometimes there are additional marks such as a company name, goverment department or an owners name/mark.

Manufactured Dates

? - ?

Are There Any Problems / Issues With This Tool?

chesterman 34 tape measure

Due to the age of these tape measures, it is quite common to find the first 6-10 inches of the tape heavily worn with fraying or the numbers barely visible.

It is also fairly common to find the brass pull missing or replaced.

Another less desirable fault which can occur is the winder handle no longer holds shut; it flaps about when held upside down.

The case stitching can sometimes be coming apart at the seams.

Your Say..

Terry - This tape is described as though made from woven linen. But this particular tape is marked "Metallic" which distinguishes it from others (e.g. your Chesterman Tape Measure - No. 1527-CFH) which are marked "Non-Metallic". I understand that, rather than woven from linen, the Metallic tapes are woven from metal threads, making them much more wear-resistant. I'm guessing that they stretch less too, so comments about that would be different too.

I have a Chesterman "Treble" tape in front of me. This has a red (rather than green) support on the first six inches which is marked "Metallic". The tape is further marked "Metallic" on the reverse at about the 30-inch point.

James Chesterman invented the first metallic woven tape in the mid-19th century.

FindMyTool - Thank you Terry, much appreciated. I think I must have been half asleep when writing the description especially as the tape measure box clearly shows it is a 'metallic tape'. I have updated the description. Thanks once again.


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(ii) The details here are given in good faith, the details are constantly growing and evolving including corrections, there is scope for error and shouldn't be fully relied upon, please confirm any details for yourself by performing additional research from reliable sources.

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