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Sedalia Dave

Why Are There 5,280 Feet in a Mile?

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Why Are There 5,280 Feet in a Mile?

Exploring the history behind some of the most common units of measurement.

 

Why are there 5,280 feet in a mile, and why are nautical miles different from the statute miles we use on land? Why do we buy milk and gasoline by the gallon? Where does the abbreviation "lb" come from? Let's take a look at the origins of a few units of measure we use every day.

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Interesting, I never thought about the origin of our normal, everyday measurements.

 

Now I wonder how the intelligence standard was formulated and who was smart enough to come up with it.

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Since these measurements originated in Europe I wonder why they adopted the metric system?

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There are 5,280 feet in a mile because any more would be too long.

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Since these measurements originated in Europe I wonder why they adopted the metric system?

They got smart?

 

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They got smart?

 

 

No, they got simple.  :)

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No, they got simple.  :)

Simple is smart. Sometimes. ;)

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America is one of the few countries either to arrogant or to stubborn to join the rest of the world and go metric

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Goes back to my question, why go metric if the other system is already in place in Europe way back when?

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Why 5280?

 

Because a 1/4 of a mile is only 1320 feet.  And when you put FOUR of those together,

it becomes 5280 feet.    Quite simple if you think about it..... :D

 

..........Widder

 

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There are two types of countries in this world: those with the metric system and those that have landed on the moon.

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There are two types of countries in this world: those with the metric system and those that have landed on the moon.

 

Actually, the Russians landed on the moon first (unmanned). I believe that the mission was called Luna II. The "landing" was an uncontrolled crash and was in 1959 or 1960. Now I have to look on the internet, darn it.

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Dave,

 

  You are a fount of information, and it is accurate information.

My hat is off to you.

 

Duffield

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People been smoking dope for a long time. Esp. those who dreamed up English measurements. You should see the crap we had to learn in pharmacy school. Drams (vol or wt?) vs drachms. Gallons vs. winegallons. Short tons vs long tons vs metric tons. Apothecary ounces vs avoidupois ounces (those are of wt). Shall we mention drams of volume divided into minims and scruples.

Somebody buy me a drink.

JHC

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Since these measurements originated in Europe I wonder why they adopted the metric system?

They pulled their head out.

JHC

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Now if a team of oxen could plow 660 feet in a day but a single ox could plow 660 by 16 feet, some farmer should have been bright enough to realize that one ox was better than two or more.

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An old surveying unit of measure is a chain.

1 chain = 66 feet

80 chains = 1 mile

10 sq chains = 1 acre

I believe that I heard that there actually was a "chain" that was used sometime in English history to set these standards.

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As a Sea Scout, a racing sailor and an ancient Marine, the nautical mile has a distinct purpose. It is 1 minute of longitude.  :) It is 6,076.15 feet.

 

The statute mile was derived from the Roman 1,000 mil. Each mil is 2 paces.  ;) The mile is 5,280 feet or 1,760 yards. ^_^  As a high school miler, the mile trivia was beaten into my body by 5,278 feet.  :D

 

I know you all were jumping up and down in frustration because of your overweening curiosity.  :rolleyes:

 

 

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As a Sea Scout, a racing sailor and an ancient Marine, the nautical mile has a distinct purpose. It is 1 minute of longitude.  :) It is 6,076.15 feet.

 

The statute mile was derived from the Roman 1,000 mil. Each mil is 2 paces.  ;) The mile is 5,280 feet or 1,760 yards. ^_^  As a high school miler, the mile trivia was beaten into my body by 5,278 feet.  :D

 

I know you all were jumping up and down in frustration because of your overweening curiosity.  :rolleyes:

 

 

Was the guy pacing it off 5'2" or 6'5". ???????

JHC :lol:

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As a Sea Scout, a racing sailor and an ancient Marine, the nautical mile has a distinct purpose. It is 1 minute of longitude Latitude along any line of longitude.  :) It is 6,076.15 feet 

 

There Fixed it for you. ;)

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THANKS!!!   :)  Gee, which one of us is a Grand Patron!!!  :(

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An old surveying unit of measure is a chain.

1 chain = 66 feet

80 chains = 1 mile

10 sq chains = 1 acre

I believe that I heard that there actually was a "chain" that was used sometime in English history to set these standards.

 

A few others:

1 lineal perch or rod = 16.5 feet

1 chain = 4 perches or rods

1 acre = 43,560 square feet or 160 square perches

1 Rood = 40 square perches or 1/4 acre

 

It probably was a surveyor's chain, which was 4 perches long and contained 100 links.  Each link was 8 inches or .67 feet.  Deed descriptions were made at one time in links and chains.

 

When I was examining land titles I came across the old land measurements all the time, and would convert them to feet in order to make them understandable for present day.  I could take the measurements in bearings and distances and draw a picture of what the land parcel looked like.

 

It was insinuated that I was George Washington's rod man.

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THANKS!!!   :)  Gee, which one of us is a Grand Patron!!!  :(

 

I am betting that Sea Scouts was a long long long time ago. Besides I had to look it up to know for sure.

 

BTW If you research the nautical mile its exact length has changed a lot over the years. Especially once people discovered that the earth was not a perfect sphere.

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A few others:

1 lineal perch or rod = 16.5 feet

1 chain = 4 perches or rods

1 acre = 43,560 square feet or 160 square perches

1 Rood = 40 square perches or 1/4 acre

 

It probably was a surveyor's chain, which was 4 perches long and contained 100 links.  Each link was 8 inches or .67 feet.  Deed descriptions were made at one time in links and chains.

 

When I was examining land titles I came across the old land measurements all the time, and would convert them to feet in order to make them understandable for present day.  I could take the measurements in bearings and distances and draw a picture of what the land parcel looked like.

 

It was insinuated that I was George Washington's rod man.

I was taught to use and roll a chain in the 1980s in forestry school at NC State Univ.  All of the leading forestry colleges used the same tech: Va Tech, Ga Tech Arkansas, Oklahoma and Syracuse.

The chain was a 1/16" x 1/2" strand of spring-grade steel marked in tenths and had hundredths (aka links) marked in the final tenth.

The process was to measure horizontal length.  A significant slope was measured by a person holding high on one end and another person holding low, to keep the chain horizontal, on the other end.

Rolling the chain for storage was a study in choreography with athe chain rolled into a figure 8 and then flipped.  Had as many steps as reassembling a Ruger Mark ii.

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And just how many horsepower does a horse actually have?

 

 

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