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Date: 03/28/2002 at 01:09:25
From: Marybeth Johnson

I need to know how many rods and links there are in a foot.
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Date: 03/28/2002 at 07:57:36
From: Doctor Sarah

Hi Marybeth - thanks for writing to Dr. Math.

From Russ Rowlett's _How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement_:

http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/

rod (rd)
a traditional unit of distance equal to 5.5 yards (16 feet 6 inches or
exactly 5.0292 meters). The rod and the furlong were the basic
distance units used by the Anglo-Saxon residents of England before the
Norman conquest of 1066. The Saxons generally called this unit the
gyrd, a word which comes down to us as the name of a different unit,
the yard. "Rod" is another Saxon word which meant just what it means
today: a straight stick. The Normans preferred to call the gyrd a pole
or a perch (a word of French origin, meaning a pole; see perche). The
length of the rod was well established at about 5 meters at least as
early as the eighth century. Scholars are not sure how it was related
to shorter units. It may have been considered equal to 20 "natural"
feet (actual foot lengths; see foot), or it may have been measured "by
hand" as 30 shaftments. In any case, when the modern foot became
established in the twelfth century, the royal government did not want
to change the length of the rod, since that length was the basis of
land measurement, land records, and taxes. Therefore the rod was
redefined to equal 16.5 of the new feet. This length was called the
"king's perch" at least as early as the time of King Richard the
Lionheart (1198). Although rods and perches of other lengths were used
locally in Britain, the king's perch eventually prevailed. The
relationship between the rod and the other English distance units was
confirmed again by the Parliamentary statute of 1592, which defined
the statute mile to be either 320 rods or 1760 yards, thus forcing the
rod to equal exactly 5.5 yards or 16.5 feet.

a traditional unit of distance used by surveyors, equal to 0.01 chain.
In Britain, one link is exactly 0.66 feet, or 7.92 inches, or
approximately 20.12 centimeters. In the U.S., both 66-foot and
100-foot chains have been used; for a 100-foot chain the link is the
same as the foot.

- Doctor Sarah, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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Associated Topics:
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Terms/Units of Measurement

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