ITEM: Vintage Retractable Sewing Tape, Wolff, Fording & Co, Theatrical Tape Measure.
COMPOSITION: Base Metal.
CONDITION: Estate Item, Excellent.
WEIGHT: 17.6 Grams.
SIZE: 1 1/4".
COMMENTS: This vintage floral tape measure is advertising for Wolff, fording & Co, Theatrical costume materials, & supplies. It features a panel of floral decorated protected under celluloid. It would be from the 1930s and measures 1 1/4" across, The case is marked Germany and shows some rust and normal wear but still works. William Wolff and Ann Fording were opera singers. The two singers were scheduled for a performance in Boston at the Castle Square Theatre. Their costumes never arrived and Ann spent a long weekend sewing costumes for the performance. Presumably, William and Ann Fording in opera costumes at the turn of the century. Made some contribution to the effort; exactly what is unknown. Both of them appeared on time in costume the night of the performance. When the next troupe came into town and their costumes also did not arrive, Fording and Wolff made costumes for the new company. Having no other pressing engagements elsewhere, the pair decided to stay in Boston and make costuming their full-time business. In true fairy-tale fashion, William and Ann eventually married and continued to operate the business until the late 1920's. Until the Feldsteins acquired the company in late 1959, Wolff-Fording had dealt mostly with custom-made costumes, theatrical fabrics, trims, and accessories. There was also a rental business. At the time Bill Feldstein operated a fabric company, General Textiles. Wolff-Fording became a true family business with many relatives and loyal employees. Bill brought the business into the ready-made costumes and the mail order business it is today. Stuart and Jeffrey Feldstein, sons of Bill, now run the company and are bringing Wolff-Fording to the Internet.
The pictures are not shown at actual size. Please refer to the description for actual measurements.
Item ID: 741 tape measure
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