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Weights and Measures

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11 minutes ago, Athy said:

Surely it's commonly used to express the size of plots of land on which houses are built (or, to put it another way, the area of a garden + the house). I remember that, when my parents bought a plot on which to have a house built, it was a third of an acre. Our current house stands in a quarter of an acre.

 

I think it is based on the somewhat inexact measure of how much land could be ploughed in a day - which surely depended on the skill of the ploughman, and the strength and disposition of his horses or beasts.

A selion

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selion

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2 hours ago, Stilllearning said:

6x6x3 in Hampshire where I grew up, we got a free cord every year from the estate where we lived.

 

An acre is about 65x65. Yards

An acre is exactly 220 x 22. Yards. 4840 square ones, not 4225... 😉

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3 minutes ago, IanD said:

An acre is exactly 220 x 22. Yards. 4840 square ones, not 4225... 😉

That’s why I said about, I couldn’t remember.

A chain times a furlong equals a selion.  

Can anyone explain why metric is simpler? ;)

 

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In old wine and spirit measure, 31.5 gallons equals a barrel, while in old ale and beer measure, 36 gallons equals a barrel, with the imperial gallon being one fifth larger than the old wine gallon, and one sixth smaller than the old beer gallon.

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Just now, Stilllearning said:

That’s why I said about, I couldn’t remember.

A chain times a furlong equals a selion.  

Can anyone explain why metric is simpler? ;)

 

It isn't, nobody would want to play on a 20.17m cricket pitch...

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1 hour ago, Athy said:

I think it is based on the somewhat inexact measure of how much land could be ploughed in a day - which surely depended on the skill of the ploughman, and the strength and disposition of his horses or beasts.

When I had a contract in China (about 20 years ago) I was faced with documents and verbal descriptions that measured area in moo, asking for clarification it was the area enough to grow rice to feed one man for one year.... 

 

I had to ask for further clarification!

18 minutes ago, Pluto said:

In old wine and spirit measure, 31.5 gallons equals a barrel, while in old ale and beer measure, 36 gallons equals a barrel, with the imperial gallon being one fifth larger than the old wine gallon, and one sixth smaller than the old beer gallon.

Is this why the gallon at a filling station in the USA is smaller than ours? 

Edited by magpie patrick

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2 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

When I had a contract in China (about 20 years ago) I was faced with documents and verbal descriptions that measured area in moo, asking for clarification it was the area enough to grow rice to feed one man for one year.... 

 

I had to ask for further clarification!

Is this why the gallon at a filling station in the USA is smaller than ours? When I first went to the USA we still did gallons here, and unaware of the difference I thought the hire car was very thirsty - it was, but not THAT thirsty

Not only are gallons in the USA smaller but so are pints (16fl.oz. not 20), which is *much* more important...

  • Greenie 1

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Partially compensated for by the US fluid ounce being slightly bigger than the Imperial fluid ounce (1 US Fl. oz = 1.04 UK Fl. oz),  I believe as a consequence of the respective fluid ounces being determined in terms of the same respective masses of water measured at different temperatures. 

Edited by Ronaldo47
  • Greenie 1

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Reading of all these confusing variations makes me almost like the metric system.

 

 

Almost.

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14 minutes ago, Athy said:

Reading of all these confusing variations makes me almost like the metric system.

Which is why the exercise books of my youth had tables of conversion factors between rods, poles and perches on the back.

Edited by David Mack

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The Chinese unit "Moo" , spelled "Mou", is included in the list of foreign units in the 1911 E.B. article. Interesting that it was still in use nearly a century later. Defined as: 

 

" Commonly 806.65 sq. yds. Varies locally. Shanghai = 6600 sq. ft. (Municipal Council). By Customs Treaty, = 920.417 sq. yds., based on ch'ih of 14.1 inches. "

 

 

The rather lengthy entry for the ch'ih iteslf says it can be anywhere between 11" and 15.8". 6 different definitions were used in Pekin alone,  two different ones for public works, others for statistics, architects, "common", and mathematics. 

 

 

Yes, metric does have its place! 

Edited by Ronaldo47
Typos

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2 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Which is why the exercise books of my youth had tables of conversion factors between rods, poles and perches on the back.

I had similar as a junior school boy in Sheffield, though the tables were on the front. Pecks and bushels came into it too. At the top it said "The metric system is used throughout Europe" but then made no further mention of it!

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The Elizabethan Wine gallon was exported with the Pilgrim Fathers, and which they still keep in terms of fuel sold by the 'gallon'. We, on the other hand, changed to the Beer, or Imperial gallon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallon

 

One acre was indeed the amount of land that could be ploughed by one man with Oxen in one day.

Its size in width is that of a cricket pitch 1 chain (which is 22 yards) and the length of one furlong (10 chains or 220 yards). 8 furlongs to the mile.

Usually measured in such long lengths, by short widths because Oxen were not good at turning, hence the development of strip farming prior to 'The Enclosures Act'.

 

Thereby I can 'picture' an acre far easier than I can picture a hectare. Farmers still refer to acres in these parts (Salop), though those I know are around my age.

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My London house is unusual as in the back garden is 4.57 full length narrowboats long.

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