Edward Taylor Lufkin establishes the E.T. Lufkin Board and Log Rule Manufacturing Company in Cleveland, Ohio - 1869. In 1877 alone, one billion board feet of lumber were cut and floated along the nearby 26-mile Saginaw River. E.T. Lufkin proclaimed that Lufkin® products are not the lowest in price, but are "the most durable and therefore the cheapest."

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These 1880 patent drawings show the first self-storing rewind crank for one of Lufkin's earliest long tapes.

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In 1855 under new ownership from four members of the Morley Brothers company and the management of Fred Buck, the E.T. Lufkin Board and Log Rule Manufacturing Company is renamed The Lufkin Rule Company.

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In 1890, Lufkin introduces its first steel measuring tape. From there, Lufkin develops various iterations of the retractable steel measuring tape to provide durable and precise measuring solutions for end users. One of these first steel measuring tapes is available to the public at The National Museum of American History.

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In 1892, Lufkin® moves operations from Cleveland to Saginaw, Michigan

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