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Dimensions metric or imperial

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I recently purchased one of the Ancre publications. I don't read Italian or French so I'm not sure if the dimensions used in the book are metric or imperial. Can anyone clarify this for me?...Moab


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Measure the scale on the lines drawing then convert (If it's a monograph).  I take it that there wasn't English version for this one?  


I just use the scales as a guide and follow the plans.  But then, I'm reducing them from 1/48 down to 1/64.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Jaager said:

Neither.  French feet and inches  unless metric is designated.

Is that the 'Paris foot" measure? 1 Foot (French measure or Paris foot) = 12.789 inches of English or "Imperial" measurement. At one point, even up to shortly before WWII, practically every country in Europe had their own standard "foot" measurement. It can really be crazy-making when working with old drafts. You look at the drawings and discover your standard "Imperial" rule doesn't match the dimensions on the drawings! I have one set of plans for a yacht designed in England in 1936 with plan notations in Swedish for construction to be done in Sweden.  The plans notation said 1"=1', but when I tried to work with them, I discovered they were actually drawn to the scale of 1 inch equals 12.5 inches.! It took me forever to figure out why they'd used such an odd scale.   I had to make my own rule by fiddling with copy sizing in order to work with the plans. I finally tripped over the explanation somewhere along the way.  It turned out it was a foot measurement somewhat unique to the boatyard building the boat. :D 

Edited by Bob Cleek

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France went metric during the French Revolution in 1799. So it presumably depends on which set of plans from the Ancre-Collection one is talking about, whether the scales are in measures of the 'Ancien Régime' or metric.


The original 'metre' and 'kilogramme' standards are preserved in the Bureau international des Poids et Mesures (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Bureau_of_Weights_and_Measures) - a stone-throw from where I live.


It took most countries until the end of the 19th century to become officially metric. What most people don't know is that even the 'Imperial' system today is actually based on the metric system, as the length of the inch is defined as a fraction of the metre.


Although Germany officially went metric in 1872, we still use e.g. the Pfund (= pound of 500 g) in everyday conversation.


It is true that virtually all major cities around Europe had their own definition of 'inch' and 'foot'. The difficulty is indeed to know which 'inch' and 'foot' the author of a plan or book actually used. Sometimes they state this somewhere, but not always. Knowing the nationality of an author or where he worked may be not sufficient. I had the case, where I had plans drawn in the late 1860s by a German from Hamburg and I assumed that he used Hamburg Feet (= 286,57 mm), but overlooked the small-print, where he actually stated that he used British Feet (= 304,8 mm) - my model thus ended up being 6% too short or 1/64 scale, rather than the intended 1/60 scale.

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