All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Saturday, March 04, 2006

How Mainers Measure

Two Mainers are pitted against each other in the contest of metric vs. English measuring systems.

Part-time York resident Brent Maynard—who had a kilometer speedometer installed in his truck—founded the York Metric Association (now with "about six members") in 1993, though he says the other members are not as ardent as he.
"They're not as passionate about it as I am," the 52-year-old said. "They kind of just go along with it."
Seaver Leslie is president of Americans for Customary Weight and Measure in Wiscasset, and says that standard English measures are superior because "human-based."
The furlong -- an eighth of a mile -- is the distance a farmer could plow in a field and still be earshot of his house if there was danger, Leslie said. Derived from Old English, another definition includes the distance a team of oxen could plow without rest.

"They're very practical and very poetic," Leslie said. "They have worked for the farmer in the field, the carpenter in the shop and large contractors in industry and for our aerospace industry." [Link]
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