Research: Abstract of the Napoleonic Era

Weights and Measurements:

The French Old System of Measuring Distance

The Metric System was not introduced into France until 1795. The old system was known as the Toise and the Aune or Ell. Even after the introduction of the Metric System, the Toise was still used by the military. In September 1801, the Metric System was legalized and all other systems were forbidden. But it did not take for on 12 February 1812, Napoleon decreed that the old system would be used again.


Distance
Equivalent
League
600 perches
League
2200 toises
League
2200 fathoms
League
2640 geometric paces
League
3563.91 ells
League
13200 feet
Perch
3 2/3 toises
Perch
3 2/3 fathoms
Perch
4 2/5 geometric paces
Perch
6.045 ells
Toise
1 fathom
Toise
1 1/6 geometric pace
Toise
1.624 ells
Toise
6 feet
Geometric Pace
1.374 ells
Geometric Pace
5 feet
Ell
3 7/8 feet
Ell
43 2/3 inches
Foot
12 inches
Foot
144 lines
Inch
12 lines
Line
12 points
 
Sources:

The Little Bombardier and Pocket Gunner London: T Egerton; 1801. Page 141

Tousard, Louis de. American Artillerist's Companion or Elements of Artillery Vol. 1 New York: Greenwood Press; 1969. Page 124

Placed on the Napoleon Series: August 2003

 

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