June 24, 2008

Remember These?

I'm surprised I didn't become a fabric store clerk. I've always been a nut for cool and unusual tools for the job, and I remember as a little kid watching the woman behind the counter at J.C. Penny sliding the folded edge of a length of fabric through this machine bolted to the cutting table. Clunk the machine would go, out she'd whip the fabric and rrriiippppp... Neato job, and I'm sure the bean counters loved those fabric meters, no giving away the store when they were watch-dogging the yardage sold.

I suspect we quilters are the ones that killed the measuregraph...we abhor that bruised and ruffled inch of fabric left where it was ripped. Somewhere they are probably still being used because my state requires a yearly licensing for them just like for any other commercially used weight and measure machine.

They occasionally turn up on auction sites but you know what, now that I think about it I've never seen one in a quilt shop although I've seen just about every other vintage sewing tool or product. Perhaps because the very idea still give us the shudders.

1 comment:

Darlene said...

I remember those well! I used one when I was the fabric clerk at Zayre's in 1977. We didn't rip, though, we carefully cut across the fabric with a big old pair of shears tied to the counter with a cord. Of course it was hard not to cut cock-eyed without rulers back then, but we didn't get many complaints of shortages.