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history:h_meas1

History of Measurements

Distance:

  • bronze & early iron ages:
    • measurements used:
      • cubit:
        • Egyptian = 20.6 +/- 0.19in = 524 +/- 5mm (divided into palms & digits)
        • Jewish = 17.5in = 447mm
        • Assyrian = 21.5in = 546mm (divided into 2 feet, each being 3 palms long, each palm being 20 susi)
        • Turkey/Persian = 26.6 +/- 0.19in = 676 +/- 5mm (in use until 19thC AD!)
  • ancient Greeks:
    • set standards of measurement:
      • Greek foot (the precursor of the British foot) = 1/2 Egyptian cubit = 12.45in = 316.25mm
  • Roman empire:
    • set standards of measurement:
      • Roman foot = 11.6in = 296mm = 16 digitus (fingers) = 12 uncia (inches) = 4 palmus
      • Roman mile = 1000 paces (mille passus) = 5000 Roman feet = 1480 metric metres
  • 8thC AD - Charlemagne in France:
    • in agreement with Arabian rulers & traders, set a standard of measurement based on Arabian cubit:
      • Arabian cubit = 25.56in = 649mm = 2 Frankish feet = 24 pouces or inches
      • this lasted in France until superceded by the metric system in 1795
  • 1305AD Edward I in England:
    • declared standards for measurements:
      • 1 inch = 3 grains of barley round and dry
      • 12 inch = 1 foot
      • 3 foot = 1 ulna (yard)
      • 5.5 ulna = 1 rod
      • 40 rods x 4 rods = 1 acre
  • 1497AD Henry VII in England:
    • set weight & distance standards
  • 1742AD Royal Society of London commissioned George Graham to produce a brass bar of the standard yard
  • 1760AD royal commissioned yard-long bar which was accepted in British parliament in 1824 but destroyed in 1834 when the parliament building was burnt down.
  • French introduce the metric system which was accepted in French law in 1795
  • British imperial measures legalised in 1855 and remained until superceded by the metric system.
history/h_meas1.txt · Last modified: 2013/01/14 21:23 by gary1