We look ahead to the 400th anniversary of an innovation that simplified the measurement of land area, initially in England and later in the UK, by introducing decimals.
Charles Dickens is enduringly popular for his memorable characters and his portrayal of the social evils of Victorian England. One of our regular readers, Martin Vlietstra, draws attention to an unexpected contribution he made to Britain’s long-running metrication debate.
This is a question that often arises during discussions on the merits of the metric system. Martin Vlietstra, one of our regular readers, provides some thoughts on the matter, coincidentally on 10 October.
Whitworth is famous for the eponymous screw thread, and for his promotion of standard measures and interchangeability that brought about an engineering revolution. Less well known are his enthusiasm for decimal measurement and his opposition to the introduction of the metric system in Britain.
Fifteen years ago, on 1 January 1999, the euro was introduced as an accounting currency. Notes and coins were introduced three years later. Whilst there are arguments for and against the euro, and UKMA takes no position on this issue, no one challenged at the time that the single currency would be decimal.
For many in Britain, the metric system and decimal measures are the same. Sunday’s once-in-a-century date provides an opportunity to consider the link between the two.