Who We Are
In its more recent history under the leadership of Peter Rosenquist, US Tape has developed or acquired several brands expanding its presence in the hardware industry, including Spencer Product Company, the manufacturer of the Spencer Logger’s Tape, Durawheel with its industry-leading design of measuring wheels, Stringliner with its patented handle design for mason twine, Kapro a global leader in Levels and Lasers and most recently Occidental Leather a US manufacturer and industry leader in tool belt systems located in Sonoma, CA.
Today we operate two manufacturing facilities one located in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania and one in Sonoma, California. We proudly employ over 150 workers and produce many of our products here in the United States.
Dedication to Customer Service
more than 140 years
U.S. Tape's Rich History
The First Factory
The steel tapes were selling so well that in 1900 a factory was built in Patchogue where orders could be handled from start to finish. The tapes needed to be checked on a flat surface because holding them in suspension would produce a catenary which would make it difficult to check the correctness of the measurement. This was done on a 100-foot board. The factory was built 103 feet long to accommodate the board needed to check 100-foot tapes.
Roe & Sons Moves and Improves
In 1960, the company moved to River Road bordering the Patchogue River. At that time it was apparent that a faster way to print the tapes was needed. The printing press they were using produced only 6,000 feet per man per day. They had been improving the press with creative innovations since the first one was installed, and by 1960 they had a press that could produce 200,000 feet per man per day, which was a benchmark press for the industry.
Under New Ownership
Roe International was purchased by Irwin Tool Company, which renamed it Irwin Measuring Tool Company. It was an interesting merger, for the Irwin Tool Company’s history also went back to the nineteenth century and both had founders who gave up professional careers to manufacture tools. Charles Irwin, a pharmacist in Ohio, bought a blacksmith’s patent rights or a solid center auger bit and formed Irwin Auger Bit Company in 1884. Irwin Measuring Tool Company continued the Roe tradition of producing world-class tape measures under the leadership of its president, Carol Basset.
RAF Industries Buys U.S. Tape and Expands
U.S. Tape was sold again in 1998 to RAF Industries, the present owners. Keeping the name U.S. Tape, they expanded to include a forestry product line, added a private label program which has been successful and continued to make tapes for the United State government. U.S. Tape remains one of the last companies manufacturing tape measures in the United States. By being able to offer more personal service and fill orders faster, they are able to compete with companies that are outsourcing. The company Justus Roe founded in 1876 is still producing steel tape measures. This many years of innovations and creative improvements on the steel tape measure is truly a remarkable achievement.
*Portions of this content has been taken from “Justus Roe & Sons Makers of Steel Tape Measures since 1876” by Louise Muse