Tuesday, July 28, 2020

For 21 Years, No-One In Britain Knew How Long An Inch Was

Regarding the title, one could argue that no one in Britain knows what an inch is now, because they use meters and centimeters. But that's not what this is about. Any measurement must have standards. While measurements are now defined by physics and can be accurately recreated, those standards were once physical. So what happens when the standard prototype is destroyed? That happened when the British Parliament building burned down in 1834. Tom Scott tells the story, and a short history of measuring standards. 


WilliamRocket said...

Well, actually, we use METRES and centiMETRES .... a meter is a measuring device, as in speedometer or thermometer, whereas a metre is a measurement itself.
Too pedantic ? ... or just absolutely correct, lol.

When the 4% of the world's population that lives in the USA write, say, 2 meters social distancing, we here in the 194 countries that use the simple, non confusing metric system read that there needs to be 2 electricity meters between each of you.

That's almost as weird as Australia with their one kangaroo distance rule.

In New Zealand, which went metric in 1976, they still measure trailers in feet, but everything else is in kilometres, metres, litres.
And temperature in Celsius, you know, zero is freezing point, 100 is boiling ... so simple !

Miss Cellania said...

(sigh) There's just no pleasing you, is there? Many sources say either spelling is correct.

gwdMaine said...

-chuckle- Actually, since I'm almost done with my half-litre of beer, LOL. When I first read this all I could think of is what a juicy piece of bait it was. Knew there would be a hit and figured it would not take long at all. Well played Miss C - reel him in!