Rabone Steel Band
This steel band is unusual as it has the handle of a Gunter's Chain.
The band is wound around an inner drum with an outer casing. A leather strap allows the casing to be held while allowing a button with a leather pad to be pressed to control the speed of the band as it is unwound. Estimated circa 1900
John Rabone and Sons History
c1780 Michael Rabone carried on a business as rule maker at 8 Snow Hill, Sheffield.
1784 Company has its origins in Birmingham, as rule and tool makers. The business was continued by John Rabone and his (John's) grandson, Eric Rabone. It worked under the name of John Rabone and Sons c1784-1953, becoming a public company in 1948. 
1803 John Rabone was born.
1817 Rabone took over the business.
1845 John Rabone Junior joined the firm.
1871 The company moved to Hockley Abbey in Birmingham.
1872 The company's newly patented spirit levels and rules were exhibited in Moscow, Vienna, Sydney and Melbourne.
1873 Harry Rabone, John Junior's, son joined the firm.
1877 Arthur Rabone, another of John Junior's sons joined the business, after which the company became John Rabone and Sons.
- Reprinted from Grace's Guide to British Industrial History