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220 years ago the “mètre” was born

220 years ago the metric system found it’s way to
our modern life. Everything measured is based upon
the metric system however there are some countries
still using the imperial system (USA, Australia, UK)

On December 10th, 1799 the metric system as we know it in over 90% of the world has been evolved in France. The old measurement system had to replaced by something more modern and easier to handle by having units that are exactly to the power of ten of their successor. With the ancestorial mètre being publicized, the old system, where one mèter is exactly 443,296 parisienne lines.

In 1798 the project to define the exact mètre was to determine the exact distance between the north pole and the equator and take the tenmillionth part of it. It was quite difficult and due to the limited technical level, the mètre that was defined in 1799 was one fifth of a millimetre too short… an impressing effort in that time however!

The original mètre (three replicas in the possession of Germany)

And while most countries have adapted the metric system ever since, the USA, UK and Australia still keep the imperial system as their preferred system.

In 1982 Ronald Reagan has finally cancelled the Metric Conversion Act and said countries kept the imperial system till today.

So when you’re searching for a flat to rent in the USA you’ll see yourself confronted with room sizes in sqft (square feet) instead of the usual m2 used elsewhere.

This can become confusing as much as the speed conversion from kmh (kilometres per hour – as used in Northern Ireland opposing to the miles per hour in Southern Ireland)

Yet there’s no change in sight as the USA are attached to their imperial measurement system although it looks quite complex compared to the metric system with it’s base10 unit conversion.

We guess the metric system will celebrate another hundred years of existence before the USA and UK will finally adapt to the metric system and make the world become one when it comes to measurement.


December 10, 2019 Netspark - 1515 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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