Author Topic: The History of Metrication  (Read 3799 times)

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Online Homer J Simpson

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The History of Metrication
« on: July 30, 2018, 03:00:06 pm »




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Online rstofer

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2018, 11:44:37 pm »
I'll bet this thread gets locked pretty quick.

The US uses metric units for all scientific work but it will NEVER become the standard in the US because the people (that is, the voters) think of it as a "Europe" kind of thing and we're not really into that.  We bailed out of that a long time back.

What we should have never done is allow cars to be imported with metric fasteners.  Every mechanic in the country had to buy a second set of hand tools.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 11:57:28 pm by rstofer »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2018, 11:48:26 pm »
I'm a big fan of THG
 

Online rstofer

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2018, 11:58:33 pm »
I'm a big fan of THG

The presentation was more balanced than I expected.  We get a lot of heat over the metric thing.
 
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Online tautech

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 12:07:39 am »
I'm a big fan of THG

The presentation was more balanced than I expected.  We get a lot of heat over the metric thing.

Yeah good as it was it could've been in a bit more depth.
Thread from a little while ago:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/lol-us-imperial-weight-standards-are-base-on-the-metric-system-kilogram!/

From that I got the answer to where the US gallon was really derived from:
Most of the conversions become second nature pretty quick but the one I always had trouble with is the US gallon.
Where on earth did that originate from and what's it related to ?  :scared:
Weight ? Volume ?

It is based on one of the gallons used in England in the 1700's - the 1706 Queen Anne Wine gallon. (there were others e.g. Ale gallon, Corn gallon)
The UK 20-ounce gallon was not adopted until 1824 (based on the volume of 10 Avoirdupois pounds of water at 62°F) which was after US Independence.
:-DD
Thanks, so if this is correct it might seem the earliest Yanks only had empty grog measures on which to do their liquid measurements which has remained unchanged to this day.
How many 100's of years is that ?
Time for change one thinks.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 12:18:49 am by tautech »
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Online rstofer

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2018, 12:28:32 am »
The US Gallon derives from "A pint's a pound, the world around!".  A pint of water is 16 fluid ounces which weights 16 ounces - a pound.  Two pints to a quart, 4 quarts (8 pints) to a gallon so a gallon weighs 8 pounds and is 128 ounces of liquid.

Close enough...


 

Offline blueskull

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2018, 02:28:47 am »
Not only US, other "metric countries" also use similar local units.
China uses Chinese inch, which is defined by the "one third rule", as 1/3 of a decimeter. Similarly, one Chinese foot is 1/3 of a meter.
One Chinese pound is defined as 1/2 of a kilogram, which is ~1.1 US pound, and one Chinese mile is defined as 1/2 kilometer.
Those units are basically redefined to be metric derived while still are close enough to old measurement systems used for hundreds of years, so people with less modern education can still live comfortably in a metric world.
Of course, those units are not to be used in formal trades or education/research. Those are just used to provide compatibility between old systems and metric systems.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2018, 05:15:59 am »
I'll bet this thread gets locked pretty quick.

The US uses metric units for all scientific work but it will NEVER become the standard in the US because the people (that is, the voters) think of it as a "Europe" kind of thing and we're not really into that.  We bailed out of that a long time back.

Yes, and that is why the US Empire is doomed.
Bob
"All you said is just a bunch of opinions."
 

Online Zero999

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2018, 09:41:27 am »
Not only US, other "metric countries" also use similar local units.
China uses Chinese inch, which is defined by the "one third rule", as 1/3 of a decimeter. Similarly, one Chinese foot is 1/3 of a meter.
One Chinese pound is defined as 1/2 of a kilogram, which is ~1.1 US pound, and one Chinese mile is defined as 1/2 kilometer.
Those units are basically redefined to be metric derived while still are close enough to old measurement systems used for hundreds of years, so people with less modern education can still live comfortably in a metric world.
Of course, those units are not to be used in formal trades or education/research. Those are just used to provide compatibility between old systems and metric systems.
0.5km is well off a mile. 1 mile is 1609.34m. I can understand people using 1.5km as an approximate conversion factor for a mile, but I normally use 1.6km because it's more accurate and still easy enough to work out in my head.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2018, 11:06:52 am »
0.5km is well off a mile. 1 mile is 1609.34m. I can understand people using 1.5km as an approximate conversion factor for a mile, but I normally use 1.6km because it's more accurate and still easy enough to work out in my head.

0.5km is a convenient number that resembles the traditional Chinese length unit for long distance, which is defined as 300 compound (double) steps. Each step is around 70cm, and is defined differently dynasty by dynasty.

Overall, the Chinese milage unit was about 0.45km, so when China underwent metrification, it just set the conversion to exactly 0.5km.
 

Offline glarsson

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2018, 12:00:37 pm »
0.5km is well off a mile. 1 mile is 1609.34m.
Your mile might be 1609.34m, but for other people a mile is something different. A Swedish mile (mil) as an example, is 10000m.
 
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Online Zero999

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2018, 03:16:33 pm »
0.5km is well off a mile. 1 mile is 1609.34m. I can understand people using 1.5km as an approximate conversion factor for a mile, but I normally use 1.6km because it's more accurate and still easy enough to work out in my head.

0.5km is a convenient number that resembles the traditional Chinese length unit for long distance, which is defined as 300 compound (double) steps. Each step is around 70cm, and is defined differently dynasty by dynasty.

Overall, the Chinese milage unit was about 0.45km, so when China underwent metrification, it just set the conversion to exactly 0.5km.
Your mile might be 1609.34m, but for other people a mile is something different. A Swedish mile (mil) as an example, is 10000m.

I doubt you called it a mile though, which is an English term.

The fact that a mile, gallon, pint etc. all have different meanings, in different countries, just highlights the fact that there needs to be a standard, hence metrication.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2018, 03:35:13 pm »
The US Gallon derives from "A pint's a pound, the world around!".  A pint of water is 16 fluid ounces which weights 16 ounces - a pound.  Two pints to a quart, 4 quarts (8 pints) to a gallon so a gallon weighs 8 pounds and is 128 ounces of liquid.

Close enough...

I take it this is the same "world" as in "the world series" as an Imperial pint (ale, for the dispensing of) is 20 fluid ounces and an Avoirdupois pound is 16 ounces. So for "world" read "US and dependencies" as any Commonwealth country and the UK all use/used the (heavier) Imperial pint.
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Online Cerebus

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2018, 03:43:17 pm »
I doubt you called it a mile though, which is an English term.

Roman originally as in mille passus, a thousand paces. The Romans got around a lot, so it's not just the English that have had miles (or some phonetically close local word). So Dutch Mijl, German, Austrian and Prussian Meile, Russian миля, Croation milja and others.
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Offline glarsson

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2018, 04:05:01 pm »
I doubt you called it a mile though, which is an English term.
Yes. We have our own "mil" (without the silent e at the end). Even after many metric years it is still very much in use for distances. A mil is exactly 10000m.

No. A mile is not originally an English term. It probably entered the English language when the Roman's invaded Brittain.
 

Online Zero999

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2018, 04:14:14 pm »
I doubt you called it a mile though, which is an English term.
Yes. We have our own "mil" (without the silent e at the end). Even after many metric years it is still very much in use for distances. A mil is exactly 10000m.

No. A mile is not originally an English term. It probably entered the English language when the Roman's invaded Brittain.
That's interesting. I suppose there are many different variants of a mile and a foot too.

When I see the word mil, I think of mils, a US term for thou or 1/1000 inch.
 

Offline Tepe

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2018, 04:50:44 pm »
That's interesting. I suppose there are many different variants of a mile and a foot too.
Of course :)

A Danish mil, for instance is 12,000 alen or, if you like, 24,000 fod. That's 7,532.48 m.

The metric system was introduced in Denmark with a transitional period lasting from 1910-1916.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 04:55:55 pm by Tepe »
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Online rstofer

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2018, 07:00:45 pm »
The fact that a mile, gallon, pint etc. all have different meanings, in different countries, just highlights the fact that there needs to be a standard, hence metrication.

Why do you say this?  What possible difference can it make to me what units are used in South Africa (or anywhere else)?  I buy 10 gallons of gasoline, I know how far that fills my tank and I simply don't care if liters are the unit of measure elsewhere.  Even when I lived in Singapore and bought gasoline in liters, I didn't care.  The pump shut off when the tank was full and I paid the bill.  Units simply didn't matter.  Frankly, I bought in units of 'fill the tank'.

And then there is the French thing...  Don't overlook the politics of metrication.  The first legislator to pop his head up and insist on metrication will be unemployed at the next election.  It's not the highest voltage 3rd rail in politics but it would be pretty far up the list I bet.  The people (the voters) just don't see a compelling need to change.  If we did, we would have done it decades ago.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2018, 07:01:33 pm »
I doubt you called it a mile though, which is an English term.

Yes.

The fact that a mile, gallon, pint etc. all have different meanings, in different countries, just highlights the fact that there needs to be a standard, hence metrication.

I know.
 

Online rstofer

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2018, 07:26:05 pm »
The US Gallon derives from "A pint's a pound, the world around!".  A pint of water is 16 fluid ounces which weights 16 ounces - a pound.  Two pints to a quart, 4 quarts (8 pints) to a gallon so a gallon weighs 8 pounds and is 128 ounces of liquid.

Close enough...

I take it this is the same "world" as in "the world series" as an Imperial pint (ale, for the dispensing of) is 20 fluid ounces and an Avoirdupois pound is 16 ounces. So for "world" read "US and dependencies" as any Commonwealth country and the UK all use/used the (heavier) Imperial pint.

Yup!  Our world...  It was just a school rhyme to help remember how many ounces in a pound.  It's pretty meaningless.  I'm not sure it even worked but I do remember learning it.

There's one important date to keep in mind when chastising the US over its units:  July 20, 1969.  We walked on the Moon...

 

Offline glarsson

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2018, 07:43:23 pm »
What possible difference can it make to me what units are used in South Africa (or anywhere else)?
It matters very much if you are trading with the rest of the world.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2018, 07:56:40 pm »
The fact that a mile, gallon, pint etc. all have different meanings, in different countries, just highlights the fact that there needs to be a standard, hence metrication.

Why do you say this?  What possible difference can it make to me what units are used in South Africa (or anywhere else)?  I buy 10 gallons of gasoline, I know how far that fills my tank and I simply don't care if liters are the unit of measure elsewhere. [snip]

The thing is, other people sometimes need to decipher US units.

Trying to decipher US cook books is horrible. Cups of this, sticks of butter, pints (that are a different size) of that... At least in UK cook books they tend to have dual units, Imperial and metric — this is one of the odd arbitrary places that Imperial units are still commonplace here — but US cook books almost never have anything other than US customary units and make the parochial assumption that everybody will understand them, even in books intended for distribution in non-US markets.

I wouldn't be too surprised to find that a part of the US's trade deficit is down to using archaic units that are at variance with the rest of the world. There's, for instance, a huge international market for M6 bolts, 1/4" not so much.

I'm of just the right age to have had formal education in both Imperial and metric units. Junior school was all in pounds, shillings, feet, miles, chains, acres, pints, gallons and senior school was all metric. At the time many folks, like yourself, were quite reactionary about metrication but most people just got on with it. We took a pragmatic approach to metrication, in everyday life we still use pints and miles, and many pack sizes of things although formally specified in metric are still the same as they ever were. One gets supplied 568ml of beer and 227g of coffee, but you ask for a pint and grab a 1/2lb bag from the supermarket shelf. As time goes on the older units get used for less and less and old units gradually fall by the wayside (for instance, petrol was dual priced in both gallons [proper ones, not the US mini-gallon  :)] and litres for perhaps 25 years, for the last 20 years or so we've only used litres).
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Offline PA4TIM

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2018, 08:05:31 pm »
I'm glad we do not need this special meter anymore:


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Online Cerebus

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2018, 08:08:37 pm »
There's one important date to keep in mind when chastising the US over its units:  July 20, 1969.  We walked on the Moon...

Well, Werner von Braun's German technology (originally designed in metric units) got you to the Moon.  :)

I always cringe a bit when an American brings up the Moon landings as evidence of American superiority, just as I do when an Englishman brings up our 1966 World Cup victory as evidence of Britain's greatness. Both events were in the middle of the last century...
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Online rstofer

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Re: The History of Metrication
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2018, 08:10:47 pm »
What possible difference can it make to me what units are used in South Africa (or anywhere else)?
It matters very much if you are trading with the rest of the world.

Well, shoot, we are the largest economy in the world.  We don't care how other countries do things.
http://statisticstimes.com/economy/projected-world-gdp-ranking.php

We don't exclude importation of metric products and the rest of the world needs us as a customer more than we need them.  As long as they don't exclude our non-metric products, we'll get along fine.
 


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