Popular in the early 60s and banned as a food additive by 1969 the advertisement history of the no calorie, sugar free sweetener called Sucaryl (Cyclamate) was short lived. This adds to the scarcity of any collectible but it can also obscure information about it.
This automatic cloth measuring tape will measure up to 40 full inches or as short as 1/16 of an inch at a time. Its leading end is securely fastened to a plated metal stop that also anchors the end from receding into the measure's covering. The entire circular covered measure is 1 5/8 inches wide. Measures are printed on both sides in inches, one side in Red and the other in Black. It is made of an unknown(to me) hard plastic with the bottom in White, the top in Red and the “retract” button on top in White. The retracting action still works nicely. Hold it in to unlock, and pull out the tape to the desired length and release the button, the tape is locked in place. Push the button again to retract. (I suggest holding the tape and letting it rewind gently, rather than the snapping shock it will cause to the stop, the tape edges, and the retracting mechanism itself.)
The top retracting button is marked “Japan” for the country of manufacture, on the bottom you will see the words “Sucaryl ® BRAND Sweetener” which was manufactured in the USA by Abbott Laboratories.(Lettering is raised, not stamped with red lettering) On the measure itself we see the tape measure was made by the Japanese company “COBID” and in front of that, a familiar looking designer's mark...CoCo??
I had to look into that one, and this is where information becomes obscured. What I could find was; yes, there was a manufacturer in Japan, in business in the 60's, by the name of COBID that manufactured Novelties. I could not find any record of the company logo in public records of that country.
As far as for Chanel, yes the logo does look remarkably like hers, and yes she had, and the company still holds, many ties to other companies, but with limited accessible public documents I was not able to track her logo through blind alleys to see where they came out.
It is also possible that this incarnation of the Sucaryl tape measure is from Canada, as Sucaryl was heavily marketed there. (other versions of this measure are stamped Made in the USA with printed lettering) and the Chanel Corporation was partnered to many of Canada's companies. So all I have is supposition to report on this mystery.
Still if this were to be traced to an advertising campaign with the very famous French Designer it would be worth many times what I am asking for it. As it is, it is an extremely hard to find advertising item for a banned product with a short production life.
CONDITION: is Excellent Vintage. There are very minor, very light marks on the top of the plastic casing which can be seen in my closeup / high resolution photo's, but are not easily seen by the unaided eye.
The cloth tape has very little wear to it, and only on the leading edges does it show slight disruption up to about the first half inch mark, this was caused by letting the tape roll back unguided the few times it had been used by my Mother-in-Law Catherine. It mostly sat in her mending box all those years as she preferred using a different measure she had.
The loss to the brass colored plating also shows much as more substantial in these photo's, but it has come off a bit on both sides. The button still retracts nicely, but I suggest not letting it return unaided as I suggested above.
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