A few years, I started collecting yardsticks.  I love the really old ones that have the four digit phone numbers or the letter/number combinations like TE-2345.  I also like the ones of long ago businesses that aren’t around anymore or have changed names, as in “Sears & Roebuck”.  My favorites are the  political ads, “Vote for Joe Smith, County Commissioner.  He will measure up!”  

I like to think about the time, creativity and money that was spent on these yardsticks.  Some advertising person had to be excited to design the different logos and then the person or company had to be excited to start passing around their new yardsticks. Their mothers were probably the first ones to get their son’s or daughter’s advertising yardstick.  In fact,  I want my own yardstick for our estate sale company!  I want my kids to pass down my leftover yardsticks to their kids, telling them “This was your grandmother’s business in the early part of the century.”  

Whether old or current, all yardsticks will be a sign of another time and another place in history. They are a 36 inch long, very narrow sign.  A billboard in your hands with two purposes, advertising and measuring!   

Now yardsticks have a new use.  Yardstick projects!  You seen them on the DIY shows and in decorating magazines.  My husband and I made a clothes hanger for our laundry room out of yardsticks.  


With some yardsticks I bought today at a customer’s garage sale, I now have enough yardsticks to  make a table top for our check out table at our estate sales.  

So the phone numbers, the addresses, the names, the logos will live on thru these projects.  The yardstick collectors will always appreciate the details.  They are more than a ruler on steriods, they represent the achievements of an individual or a business.  Perhaps we should all have a yardstick.  We should all measure up.  What would your yardstick look like?


  1. I have an old yardstick in great condition that I am trying to research. I collect carpentry tools and picked it with a large collection of antique tools
    It measures 72″ x 1-3/4″ x 1/4″ and has an advertisement on it for a mortgage company
    If you have any leads as to reference material about old rules and/or its estimated value. please let me know
    Todd Jaffe 443-450-3999


    • I’ve never seen a yardstick that is 72 inches. That’s twice the size of normal yardsticks. I would think it was special just due to that fact. Was it used for something, like printing? Sometimes long or different sized rulers were made for specific functions. I don’t know a reference for research. I’m sure you looked on Ebay or Googled it. Those that were used for advertising, which most were, don’t have any special history other than the owner of the particular company, bought in a bundle, had them printed and passed them out to customers. The history is in the phone number, is it an old four digit number? Does it advertise a place that no longer exists? Love the ones with old names and old addresses that have changed over the years. Like for a Sears and Roebuck store. Sears and Roebuck is now just Sears. The address could now be the location of a warehouse or used car lot! Yardsticks tell of a moment in time. I wish I could be more help. Sounds like you found a special yardstick!


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