John Rabone And Sons Tape Measure - No. 400

john rabone tape measure 400
Our Rating


Review By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: John Rabone And Sons

Tool Type: Tape Measure

Model No: 400


The John Rabone and Sons tape measure number 400 is an old tape measure housed in a stitched seemed leather case.

The internal measuring tape is made from woven fabric with the measurements marked in increments of inches and feet on the front side and in link measurements on the reverse side. Each inch increment is further broken down into half increments.

The John Rabone And Sons 400 tape measure is fitted with a brass ring pull fixed to the start of the tape. The ring pull also allows the user to potentially hook the pull over something to aid in long distant measuring.

The tape is typically measured with the measurement commencing from the outside of the ring at the end of the tape, i.e. the ring is included in the measurement.

The most common measurements on these tape measures were feet and inches on the top side with links to the reverse side.

The Rabone 400 tape measure also has a brass winding mechanism. The winder neatly clips into a central hole when not in use.

The tape photographed was a 33ft long tape. Other sizes of this tape were manufactured by John Rabone and Sons. The tapes measures which surface most regularly today are 33ft, 66ft, and 100ft with measurements on both sides.

Tape Measure Construction

john rabone tape measure



woven linen

'John Rabone & Sons, Birmingham, England'.
[the size] on the brass winder (usually 33ft, 66ft or 100ft).
'Rabone's Metallic Wired Tape'.

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?

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.

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(i) This review/article may give warning(s) / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines given in good faith, any such information should not be solely relied upon and seen as the exhaustive list of warnings / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines. Refer to good safety practices for the safety of you and others. Refer to good practices for the good health of your tool and property.
(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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