When looking back to history, the earliest recorded systems of weights and measures originate in the 3rd or 4th millennium BC. Interestingly enough, history believes that the foot was given its name from the human body part. The length of the human foot was measured from the heel to the tip of the big toe. This is because of the King. In ancient times, he ruled the body to be an appropriate form of measure. Such as the length of a foot, the width of a finger, and the distance of a step were all accepted measurements. In the 14th century, King Edward II of England ruled that 1 inch equal 3 grains of barley placed end to end lengthwise. At first an inch was the width of a man’s thumb.
A hand was approximately 5 inches or 5 digits (fingers) across. Today, a hand is 4 inches and is used to measure horses (from the ground to the horse’s withers, or shoulder). A span was the length of the hand stretched out, about 9 inches. In ancient times, the foot was 11.42 inches. Today it is 12 inches, the length of the average man’s foot.
Unfortunately, these creative measuring devices allowed for different measurements to be obtained when different people measured the same items. Eventually, a standard was set so that all measurements represented the same amount for everyone. The standard system that was agreed upon by many places outside is the metric system. It has prefix modifiers that are multiples of 10. The metric system consists of meters and grams instead of the familiar yards and pounds.
Examples of length include the inch, the foot, and the yard. Knowing how to measure length is quite useful for measuring area and perimeter. Length represents the distance between two points. Weight isn’t as simple to measure as length. Weights and scales are still essential to finding the accuracy of measuring weight. Some examples of weight are ounces, pounds, and tons. Volume is one of the most difficult to measure. Some units of volume are liters, cups, quarts, and gallons. Volume measures how much liquid is in a space.Measurement is a very important skill to have because without measuring, we wouldn’t be able to make clothes, bake, furnish rooms properly, build stable houses, or accomplish many other daily tasks.