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Grade 5

Graphic communication

Module 4

Measuring systems

The development of measuring systems


Since the earliest times measuring was one of man’s most important activities, but in those days no accurate measuring-instruments existed. Parts of the human body were used as measuring-instruments and these later became the measuring-units. As technology developed, and people gradually became more civilised, measuring-instruments and measuring-units became more accurate.

What is measuring:

Measuring is the process of comparing that which we want to measure with the unit with which we measure.

The Romans standardised and safeguarded the Babylonian measuring-systems in ± 600 B.C., and these systems were used throughout the entire civilised world of that time.

The Roman measuring system:

1 foot = 16 fingers’ breadth = 12 inches

1 ½ foot = 1 ell

2 ½ foot = 1 step

5 foot = 1 double step

1 000 double steps = 1 mile

4 fingers’ breadth = 1 hand breadth

3 hands’ breadth = 1 span

2 span = 1 ell


[lo 3.2]

What problem was caused by the fact that people of an earlier civilisation used their limbs as measuring-instruments?

Measures and Weights

In Biblical times people used different measures and weights from those that are used today. Try to use their measures.

a) A finger’s breadth is the breadth of a finger.

b) A hand’s breadth is measured below the fingers.

c) A span is measured right across an outstretched hand.

d) An ell is the length from the elbow to the tips of the fingers.

ASSIGNMENT 2: [lo 3.1]

In old translations of the Bible we read that Goliath was six ell and a span. According to the scale one ell = two span, thus Goliath was __ span tall. Measure this out and then measure the length with a measuring-tape. How does his length compare with your own length?

(Copy and complete)

His length:

My length:


According to the new translations of the Bible Goliath was

__ m tall (see 1 Sam. 17:4).

Is there a marked difference?

If there is, give a reason for this difference.


[lo 3.2]

Something interesting: Noah’s ark was 300 ell long.

Measure the ell (from the point of the middle finger to the elbow) of three teachers at your school. Copy the table and complete:

Name of Teacher ELL in mm
Average ELL

Calculate the length of the ark in mm

At break time, measure it out on your playing field. According to Gen. 6:15 the ark was 135 m long.

Does your answer agree with that?

If not, why would it differ?


In 1834 the English kings made it their mission to develop a uniform measuring-system that could be used throughout the whole world, because each country in Europe had its own system. The metric system came into being as a result of the work of brilliant French scientists and mathematicians who developed a new decimal measuring-system in 1795. A fixed length was allocated to a specific unit and this resulted in the fact that from then on measurements were reliable. By the end of the 19 th century 22 countries were already using the metric system.

Certain measuring-instruments were designed and this made the job of measuring things much easier. Some of these instruments are the tape-measure, the precision measuring wheel, the metre-stick and the ruler.

Questions & Answers

find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
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I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
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is it a question of log
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
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Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
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what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply
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Abdirahman Reply
algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
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I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Technology grade 5. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10979/1.2
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