Author Topic: How tall was Napoleon  (Read 3198 times)

Roran

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Re: How tall was Napoleon
« Reply #15: March 15, 2014, 01:38:38 AM »
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 11:29:19 AM by Roran »

Golradir

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Re: How tall was Napoleon
« Reply #16: March 18, 2014, 03:43:27 PM »
Cool story rory, didn't know about that.


Both the English and French at the time of the Napoleonic War used different standards for an inch, I believe. It was something to do with that.
As far as I know, it was this. Atleast, so I've heard from my brother who studies history.

vonGenf

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Re: How tall was Napoleon
« Reply #17: March 18, 2014, 04:12:39 PM »
I never tire of linking to this practical chart that showcases how rational and useful imperial units are each time they are discussed. Note this is only for english units, of course, with each country (or city) having its own slightly different version, for improved practicality.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/English_length_units_graph.png
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Indirik

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Re: How tall was Napoleon
« Reply #18: March 18, 2014, 04:58:15 PM »
The exact length of any individual unit was also arbitrary, as well. Everyone used their own standard, not just from country to country, but from person to person. Napoleon's time was during the time when the French were experimenting with various units of measure, including things like decimal-based time systems. IIRC, they completely redefined their entire system of measure on a regular basis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_units_of_measurement

"The names of a many pre-metric units were reintroduced, but were redefined in terms of metric units. Thus the toise (fathom) was defined as being two metres with six pied (feet) making up one toise, twelve pouce (inches) making up one pied and twelve lignes making up one pouce. Likewise, the livre (pound) was defined as being 500 g, each livre comprising sixteen once and each once eight gros and the aune as 120 centimetres."

So, two meters was six feet, and one kilogram was two pounds. :P
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vonGenf

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Re: How tall was Napoleon
« Reply #19: March 18, 2014, 05:41:17 PM »
So, two meters was six feet, and one kilogram was two pounds. :P

It still is, informally. In markets I often see things like weighting 480g of fruits only to be told "Should I complete the pound?".
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Buffalkill

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Re: How tall was Napoleon
« Reply #20: March 19, 2014, 07:19:47 AM »
I never tire of linking to this practical chart that showcases how rational and useful imperial units are each time they are discussed. Note this is only for english units, of course, with each country (or city) having its own slightly different version, for improved practicality.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/English_length_units_graph.png


Nice. +1

Indirik

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Re: How tall was Napoleon
« Reply #21: March 19, 2014, 05:13:21 PM »
As odd as they seem, Empirical units are very practical for the purposes which they served. They were quite useful to the people that used them, at the time they were used.  If they weren't useful, they wouldn't have been used.

They were also not all used by the same people, for the same purpose. People who measure in points and picas are not going to use nautical miles for measuring the same things. For those same reasons, the relationship between the two units, although it can be defined, is irrelevant and useless.
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vonGenf

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Re: How tall was Napoleon
« Reply #22: March 19, 2014, 06:34:50 PM »
As odd as they seem, Empirical units are very practical for the purposes which they served. They were quite useful to the people that used them, at the time they were used.  If they weren't useful, they wouldn't have been used.

Actually, I agree with that. The metric system, on the other hand, was designed with universality in mind. It's quite easy to find an application where they are not ideal, but they can easily be translated back and forth between applications, and scales can be grasped more easily.
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Indirik

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Re: How tall was Napoleon
« Reply #23: March 19, 2014, 09:53:57 PM »
Metrics do make math and science easier. No question about it.
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Buffalkill

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Re: How tall was Napoleon
« Reply #24: March 20, 2014, 06:30:43 AM »
I guess one advantage of using feet and thumbs is that you have a built-in measuring stick.

Chenier

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Re: How tall was Napoleon
« Reply #25: March 20, 2014, 12:15:19 PM »