Imperial Measurements, two words guaranteed to produce a shudder of horror in all school children. Nobody fully understands the system and it beggars belief that anyone would want to create such an unwieldy system in the first place – so how has it managed to last so long?
This is actually a serious question ”“ exactly why was this complex system of measures invented? Does anyone really know? From the British perspective, the system seemed quite natural; having 14 pounds to the stone and 12 pence to the shilling were just part of the initiation into the culture, no more peculiar than having milk delivered to the doorstep.
To the rest of the world, however, it would seem that the figures of 1,760 yards to the mile and 51/2 yards to the rod were plucked out of thin air.