Research: Abstract of the Napoleonic Era

Weights and Measurements:

Conversion of English Naval Measurements into French Measurements Based on the Tables of Mr. Delambre

Conversions based on the tables Mr. Delambre, that the commission of the weights and measures had fixed the length of the meter and had given the ratio to the English foot as follows:

The meter  =  443.295936 lines of royal feet.  =   36.941328 inches of the same feet.  =  39.382700 English inches.

The exact ratio is:

1440 English feet.  =  1350.7329696 French feet.  =  438.77113390 mèters.
1000 English feet.  =  938.0090243 French feet.  =  304.7023166 meters. 
6 English feet.  =  one fathom.  =  5.6280541 French feet.  =  1.8282139 meters.
3 English feet.  =  one yard.  =  2.8140271 French feet.  =  0.9141070 meters.
101 fathoms.  = a English cablet length.  =  113.6866937  French fathoms.  =  184.6496039 meters.
120 fathoms.  =  a English cablet length.  =  135.0732994 French fathoms.  =  219.3856680 meters.

Notes:

1. Conversion of English feet into French feet, in the ratio of 1440 English feet = 1351.2 French feet which was made use for the conversion of the English tables, and corrected according to the ratio given by the Commission of the Weights and Measures.  The length of the meter  =  443.293936 lines of Royal feet  =  36.941328 inches of the same foot  = 39.382700 inches of the English foot and gives the ratio 1440 feet English = 1350.732970 French feet."

2. In 1830, the UK Admiralty defined the following: Cable's Length (distance): Tenth of a nautical mile (approximately 101 fathoms); Cablet: 120 fathoms.

Source:

Gicquel-des-Touches, P.-G.  Tables Comparatives des Principles Dimensions des Batimens de Guerre Français et Anglais de Tous Rangs, de Leur Mature, Greément, Artillerie, Etc.  Paris: Bachelier, 1817.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: September 2003

 

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