I was in second grade when a kid challenged me to roll a quarter down the center of my face. He said, “You can’t do it, it’s impossible!” I took the quarter and proved him wrong, to which he replied, “Oh, I guess I was wrong.” He then walked away laughing. Unbeknownst to me, he had rubbed pencil graphite on the edge of the quarter, so I was walking around with a black line right down the center of my face.
Flash forward: I’m a grown man, with a family, building my house in Sun Valley, Idaho. It’s snowing, my ears are cold, my skin is dry, and countless pencils have already fallen from the perch on my ear into snowdrifts, lost until spring for sure. I’m using a Stanley Power-lock tape measure to frame the second floor and I’ve just lost my last pencil. SOB#%^@#! So, I start using the edge of the tape case to indent the wood. This was the beginning of the idea that would eventually become the QuickDraw Pro marking tape measure.
Already having had success as an inventor (The Levelution System Level was performing increasingly well), I knew I was onto something. I did patent searches, and discovered there were over sixty patents on the idea of a marking tape measure, yet nothing was on the market? This was strange, because I knew firsthand that it was a great idea. I analyzed all the existing patents and discovered that they all had the same flaws. Simply put, if you have to engage a marking mechanism (that would be a pencil), then lock the blade, then make your mark, then dis-engage the marker, then dis-engage the lock, well, forget it, it’s going to be easier to use a pencil.