Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

Imperial Measures

Comment on Imperial Measures

I think we should try to hang on to Imperial Measures. Six foot sounds much better as a man's height than 1-point- whatever metres. Also, the historical connections are so interesting - the fathom (a six foot sea measure) happened because a seaman could measure the space to put between knots in a sounding line by stretching it between the extremities of his finger-tips and tie it at that length - which on average was 6 foot. The mile is 'worth' more than the kilometre - I get used to KPH on the continent but like miles when I get back! In George Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' an old boy complains that a half-litre of beer is not enough and a litre is too much: quite right - the Pint is an ideal measure. So by and large, Imperial Measures came about through common sense rather than a drive for uniformity, and hence are English by nature.

Comment on Imperial Measures posted 2006-11-24 by John Rivers-Vaughan from Sussex

Comment on Imperial Measures

"How much does the baby weigh?" - "5lb 11 oz" "How tall is your son now?" - "6 foot 2" "Fancy a pint?" Imperial weights and measures form a part of our life in spite of the misguided efforts to eradicate them. The numbers that relate one to another provide a far wider range that just powers of ten - the same powers of ten that confuse people. It is claimed people don't know how many inches are in a foot. If so, this is the fault of those schools that, disregarding their pupils' heritage, teach only metric measures. Yet ask such children how many decimetres are in a centimetre and, in spite of their education, they won't know. Imperial weights and measures are part of English life.

Comment on Imperial Measures posted 2006-02-09 by Dr J.C. Horton from Nottinghamshire

Comment on Imperial Measures

Pounds and ounces, Feet and inches, Pints and gallons. They've been with us for over a thousand years, and everyone loves them. The country's measured in them, and most (if not all) of the objects nominated as icons were designed and built using them.

Comment on Imperial Measures posted 2006-02-06 by Brian Parkin from Oldham, Lancs