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Re: [Z_Scale] The Metric System

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  • Alan Cox
    ... Mostly urban legend I m afraid. You can start with the fact the Britons were using chariots before the Romans (in fact the word car comes from the
    Message 1 of 16 , Mar 1, 2009
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      > The railway standard gauge can be traced back to the wheel spacing of
      > Roman chariots. Who cared that it was 4ft 8.25 inches. It was just the
      > length of a piece of wood of an iron bar used by the track layers.

      Mostly urban legend I'm afraid. You can start with the fact the Britons
      were using chariots before the Romans (in fact the word 'car' comes from
      the Brythonic) and then look at early dramroad/waggonway history and the
      story all falls apart.

      The nearest anyone has gotten to sanity on this is that it looks like a
      lot of wooden waggonways would have been 5' wide measured across the
      outside edges and that being about right for a horse.

      People tend to remember the 7' gauge and the 4'8" but forget the
      large amounts of other gauges early on before railways began to link up
      and break of gauge became a problem.

      In the UK collieries did often use something in the 4'0-5'0 range but
      there were a huge mix, while some of the Welsh ones used quite narrow
      tracks even before steam.

      The Pen Y Darren locomotive (Trevithick) was believed to be 4'6" gauge
      as the inside of the flanges was recorded as 4'2" while Puffing Billy was
      5' gauge. Blenkinsops engines at Middleton colliery ran on 4'1" gauge
      track (with an outside rack). It is only the early Stephenson railways
      that any kind of consistency begins to emerge.

      I was under the impression the US , particularly southern US was similar
      in this respect.
    • Chris
      Hi Alan. I bow to your superior knowledge. I have to admit, I was alwasy a bit uneasy about it but it was cited by so may that I just assumed it was, in some
      Message 2 of 16 , Mar 1, 2009
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        Hi Alan.

        I bow to your superior knowledge. I have to admit, I was alwasy a bit
        uneasy about it but it was cited by so may that I just assumed it was,
        in some way, correct. However, this myth was perpetuated by several
        eminent railway authors at the time of my youth. I wonder how may
        books on railways still quote it - I have no time nor wish to follow
        it up now.

        All the best,
        Chris.

        2009/3/1 Alan Cox <alan@...>:
        >> The railway standard gauge can be traced back to the wheel spacing of
        >> Roman chariots. Who cared that it was 4ft 8.25 inches. It was just the
        >> length of a piece of wood of an iron bar used by the track layers.
        >
        > Mostly urban legend I'm afraid. You can start with the fact the Britons
        > were using chariots before the Romans (in fact the word 'car' comes from
        > the Brythonic) and then look at early dramroad/waggonway history and the
        > story all falls apart.

        --
        Chris Manvell
        http://trains.manvell.org.uk, http://family.manvell.org.uk,
        http://skye.manvell.org.uk, http://bahai-faith.manvell.org.uk.
      • Michael Duggan
        I was caught up when the schools were teaching metric. The problem was that the whole emphasis was on teaching conversions. How many feet is a meter? How
        Message 3 of 16 , Mar 1, 2009
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          I was caught up when the schools were teaching metric. The problem was that the whole emphasis was on teaching conversions. How many feet is a meter? How many pints in a liter? How many mph is 65 kph?

          If we'd just ditched imperial and taught metric people would have been fine. The conversions killed us. That and it being invented by the French :}

          Michael Duggan
          Jack of All Trades, Master of Some
          http://www.pawofabear.com




          ________________________________
          From: David K. Smith <david@...>
          To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2009 7:28:24 PM
          Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: The Metric System

          I'm really very sorry the US did not convert to metric when it was

          proposed all those years ago. The government cowtowed to a population
          of pig-headed people who simply refused to accept a superior system.
          What a waste.

          --David








          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Thomas Welsch
          I prefer my Z scale ruler for Z scale !!!!! Thom Welsch
          Message 4 of 16 , Mar 1, 2009
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            I prefer my Z scale ruler for Z scale !!!!!

            Thom Welsch
          • Manfred G
            Daniel, My dad didn t even consider Swiss German a language at all. He always called it a throat disease. :-) Manfred
            Message 5 of 16 , Mar 1, 2009
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              Daniel,

              My dad didn't even consider Swiss German a language at all. He always
              called it a throat disease. :-)

              Manfred

              Daniel Baechtold wrote:
              > David
              >
              > in fact swiss german is the easiest language of the world. no grammatic, just present, future and past perfect; and if you misspell a word just say it's another swiss accent :-)
              >
              > Daniel
              >
              >
              > <1b. Re: The Metric System
              > < Posted by: "David K. Smith" david@... dks2855
              > < Date: Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:28 pm ((PST))<<
              > <
              > <5280 feet in one mile. Very simple? Err... what about nautical miles?
              > <Tons or metric tons? Ounces or troy ounces? All of those arbitrary
              > <conversion numbers--5280, 12, 4, 3, etc.--must all be memorized. For
              > <metric, *everything* is based on 10. Nothing to remember. It cannot
              > <get any simpler.
              > <
              > <It's like saying English is the easiest language in the world. Well,
              > <it is only if you already know it! (The Cambridge Grammar of the
              > <English Language book is 1860 pages.) Spanish is actually considered
              > <one of the easiest languages in the world. Why? Virtually no
              > <exceptions. The same rules apply in all cases. Simple. Just like 10s.
              > <
              > <I'm really very sorry the US did not convert to metric when it was
              > <proposed all those years ago. The government cowtowed to a population
              > <of pig-headed people who simply refused to accept a superior system.
              > <What a waste.
              > <
              > <--David<
              > <
              > <http://jamesriverbranch.net/
              > <http://1-220.blogspot.com/
              >
            • Uwe Liermann
              Hello Manfred, ... ...you must have misunderstood something there... Just imagine a nice slender girl reaching you a sweet Swiss Schoggi ... ...and you will
              Message 6 of 16 , Mar 1, 2009
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                Hello Manfred,

                > My dad didn't even consider Swiss German a language at all. He always
                > called it a throat disease. :-)

                ...you must have misunderstood something there...

                Just imagine a nice slender girl reaching you a sweet Swiss "Schoggi"...

                ...and you will see that it is the most beautiful language of the
                world....

                ;-)))


                --
                GreetingZ
                Uwe
              • Manfred G
                AHHHhh. Well if you put it that way I can see that it is a very nice language. Heck I m so broad minded that I will even say that it wouldn t matter what
                Message 7 of 16 , Mar 1, 2009
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                  AHHHhh. Well if you put it that way I can see that it is a very nice
                  language. Heck I'm so broad minded that I will even say that it wouldn't
                  matter what language she was using. I would like it very much. ;-D

                  I wonder if that is due to the girl or what she is holding? Nah, better
                  not to analyze to much.

                  Manfred

                  Uwe Liermann wrote:
                  > Hello Manfred,
                  >
                  >
                  >>My dad didn't even consider Swiss German a language at all. He always
                  >>called it a throat disease. :-)
                  >
                  >
                  > ...you must have misunderstood something there...
                  >
                  > Just imagine a nice slender girl reaching you a sweet Swiss "Schoggi"...
                  >
                  > ...and you will see that it is the most beautiful language of the
                  > world....
                  >
                  > ;-)))
                  >
                  >
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