The development of the metric system was a truly international effort. The British have made substantial contributions to its development. The metric is in effect an English invention. Metrication was first proposed by an Englishman, the Reverend John Wilkins in 1668. British scientists have been at the forefront of developing the metric system, and many have given their names to metric units, including Newton, Faraday, Joule, Kelvin and Watt.Continue reading “British contributions to the metric system”
Minister failed to explain metrication failure
Even though Conservative MP Paul Scully, the former Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets, failed to acknowledge that British measurements are still in a mess, he admitted that “Being able to compare prices and quantities is a fundamental principle of fair trade and that is why, overall we have a single metric system of units of measurement today.”. Ministers should take heed of his words. The use of a single metric system of units of measurement enables consumers to compare prices and quantities but this is now under threat. The recent imperial units consultation and the Retained EU Law Bill are threatening to reverse progress on metrication, reintroduce imperial units and bring back rival systems of units of measurement for trade and commerce.Continue reading “Minister failed to explain metrication failure”
First metrication reversal since Napoleon?
If the current Government implement their proposals to remove the requirement to use metric units for trade, it will be the first reversal of metrication in the UK and probably the first reversal in Europe since the days of Napoleon over 200 years ago.Continue reading “First metrication reversal since Napoleon?”
Taking us back to the 1970’s
There are a number of similar phenomena between our post-COVID times and the 1970’s. One of them is the Government proposing to allow traders to sell using imperial-only again, forcing customers to once again have to resort to conversion calculations to compare prices.Continue reading “Taking us back to the 1970’s”
Decimal measurement of area
Martin Vliestra looks at key steps in the search for a simple system of measuring area.Continue reading “Decimal measurement of area”
A paradox of our measurement muddle
Should the UK have one measurement system or two? We highlight a paradox in UK government policy.Continue reading “A paradox of our measurement muddle”
1980s – a turning point
Ronnie Cohen remembers how the loss of consensus on both the reform of the UK’s measurement units and on its membership of the European Community changed the course of history.Continue reading “1980s – a turning point”
Two-system muddle – now sorted?
If you are frustrated when navigating your way through Britain’s muddle of two measurement systems, then help is at hand. But first we outline how the country got itself into this mess.Continue reading “Two-system muddle – now sorted?”