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Justme
28-12-2005, 3:32 PM
Not really a very old document, this. Remember those red exercise books that were handed out at school and for sale in every stationery shop? On the back cover were lists of imperial measurements - lengths, volumes, weights etc. When I was a child I thought they'd be around for ever. Of course they disappeared after decimalisation, and now I would love to see a picture of one of those old covers. Can anyone post one up, please?

Guy Etchells
28-12-2005, 4:18 PM
Not sure if this is the right type (my school had blue ones with the school badge on the front ). I bought a couple of these in the late 80s for rough notes.
http://anguline.co.uk/ex/exfront.jpg
http://anguline.co.uk/ex/exback.jpg
Cheers
Guy

Ladkyis
28-12-2005, 6:43 PM
AAAh but those are modern Guy, they are metric ones! I liked the ones with Rods poles and perches

22 yards one chain, 10 chains one furlong, 8 furlongs one mile, that sort of thing my word that takes me back a few years.

I need a lie down in a darkened room now
Ann

Guy Etchells
28-12-2005, 8:06 PM
Yes, That's what I was thinking might be meant, unfortunately I am 300 miles from mine.
Cheers
Guy

BeeE586
28-12-2005, 9:24 PM
Oh yes, those were the days. On my first teaching practice I was asked to teach long division of length to a class of 32 8 to 9 year olds. Can you imagine something like 3 chains 8 yards 2 feet divided by 23 ? Horrible ! Decimalization was welcomed with open arms.

Eileen

martync
29-12-2005, 2:08 PM
At University I had a lecturer with a sense of humour that gave speeds in Furlong fortnights and the like for semiconductor physics tutorials!

Justme
31-12-2005, 10:50 AM
Yes it's the old pre-metric ones I'm interested in. The kind of exercise you mention Eileen is well (not fondly) remembered, and I'm sure responsible for putting generations of children off arithmetic/maths. Thanks for putting up those two pictures Guy, but anything with a bar-code is far too modern for me!
Ess.

Guy Etchells
31-12-2005, 1:19 PM
Oh yes, those were the days. On my first teaching practice I was asked to teach long division of length to a class of 32 8 to 9 year olds. Can you imagine something like 3 chains 8 yards 2 feet divided by 23 ? Horrible ! Decimalization was welcomed with open arms.

Eileen
Why?
It was simple mental arithmatic! 3x22 = 66 +8 = 74 x3 =222 +2 =224 divide by 23 = 9 remainder 17 or 9 and 17/23

Far easier than remembering if a millimetre is a thousanth of a metre or a millionth of a metre.
Even to this day years after metrification if someone tells me a building is 10 metres long I have no idea but if it is 33 feet long I can place it to an inch.

Man was not designed for metrification he was built to imperial sizes.
I.E.
one inch - the length of a thumb from first joint to end
four inches the width of a hand
three hands one foot
three feet or one pace equals one yard
the span from nose to tip of finger arms outstretched 3 feet
the span of both arms outstretched equals 6 ft. ;)
Cheers
Guy

Justme
31-12-2005, 3:42 PM
A joke which went the rounds when our money was decimalised:
one lady to another "Ah, they should have waited till the old folk died off!"

Guy Etchells
31-12-2005, 4:11 PM
Many a true word spoken in jest.

If they had waited, they would still be waiting now and we could enjoy the pleasure of imperial measures forever.
Cheers
Guy

Mythology
31-12-2005, 4:27 PM
Then, just when you think you've got the decimal system into your head, along comes the computer, and you have to learn that "kilo" doesn't mean 1000, it means 1024.

Bring back the groat, I say! ;)

BeeE586
04-01-2006, 7:35 PM
Just caught up with this thread, Guy. I follow your method of division, but could you have understood it and done it aged 8/9 ? I set up my spreadsheets in much the same way - reducing everything to pennies - when analyzing inventories to work out percentages in 'old' money.

Unfortunately, I am not built to Imperial measurements; my thunb is only 7/8ths of an inch and finger tip to finger tip is 5ft 4ins. I think I will stay with a ruler and metric.

Eileen

Wasn't a cubit the lenght of a Pharoah's forearm ? and I've forgotten what an ell was.

Guy Etchells
04-01-2006, 10:14 PM
Yes that's how we did it in the mists of time. I thought all schools taught that way, I know we had huge volumes of mental arithmetic in lessons. No calculators then, we were not even allowed to use side-rules until the senior school and certainly no crib-tables.
The junior school 11-13 year olds took algebra & geometry in addition to arithmetic, therefore the grounding in arithmetic must have been in the fifth year 8/9 years olds. The younger classes concentrated more on tables by rote etc.
Cheers
Guy
The cubit was the length from the elbow to the tip of your middle finger (18 inches) and an ell varied but was supposed to be from elbow to elbow (45 inches)

Ladkyis
05-01-2006, 12:02 AM
"one inch - the length of a thumb from first joint to end"
four inches the width of a hand
three hands one foot
three feet or one pace equals one yard
only if you are male

the span from nose to tip of finger arms outstretched 3 feet
This one I still use when checking the length of fabric in my "stash"

the span of both arms outstretched equals 6 ft.
this one is only if you are 6 feet tall because the span from fingertips to fingertips with arms outstretched should equal your height.

Sometimes I am amazed at the trivia I have tucked away in my brain, no wonder I can't remember where I put anything!!

Guy Etchells
05-01-2006, 12:23 AM
I know the feeling.
I can remember where everything I casually put down is; but put something away safely and it's gone for good.
Cheers
Guy

Mythology
05-01-2006, 12:42 AM
Same here. :o

In an e-mail to Linda, 24 July 2005, 8.45 a.m., re various photocopies which I was sending to her, I said
"I have made a pile of what I *think* is everything of yours, but I really am disorganised here, so I will bash out a little list later and send it, then you can shout if I've overlooked anything and I'll have another rummage if so."

I realised immediately after sending it that one item was missing, so the list did not follow very quickly.

Three and a half days later, 27 July 2005, 9.52 p.m.
"Today, at last, I *finally* found the copy of the Thomas Hyam marriage which I *knew* I had somewhere. Don't ask me how, but I'd managed to file it in my Australian Debenham stuff!
So, I think I now have everything of yours in one relatively neat heap, as follows" [etc.]

I really could do with a secretary. :o

Re mental arithmetic, I love the shocked look on the faces of young supermarket checkout girls when I plonk the exact money down before they've rung it up and they find that it is correct - they just don't believe that people can add up in their heads as they go along!

Pam Downes
05-01-2006, 2:08 AM
Re mental arithmetic, I love the shocked look on the faces of young supermarket checkout girls when I plonk the exact money down before they've rung it up and they find that it is correct - they just don't believe that people can add up in their heads as they go along!
Actually Myth, they're just astounded that a member of the male sex can be so organised as to have his money ready. :D
I always remember an incident in the pre-barcode days when some cakes bore the label '5p off marked price'. I had visions of still being in the shop at closing time because it took the checkout assistant so long to deduct 5p off 74p.
And I am so pleased to know that I'm not the only person to lose and forget things. It must be something you catch when you do genealogy :)
Pam Downes

Mythology
05-01-2006, 2:35 AM
:D For some strange reason, while totally disorganised with everything else, I do take pride in being a very organised shopper. I take my own bags and, with the exception of one girl in Waitrose at Brent Cross, I can pack it faster than they can scan it - you don't find some dozy fellow with a pile of goods clogging the place up while he rummages around trying to remember where he put his wallet (or, to slow things down further, his credit card) if I'm in front of you!

5p off 74p! Well, that is bad. I thought it was bad enough when one checkout girl couldn't cope with something labelled "10% off marked price" and had to call the supervisor over (she wasn't going to take my word for it) but that really takes the biscuit.

Rod Neep
05-01-2006, 5:57 AM
About a hundred years ago... well in 1970 actually, and pre-decimalisation, I used to work at Barclay's Bank. The general ledger (a huge book!) was laid out something like this:

Day DR...... Day CR.......... b/f
..............................127,492/9/11
9,753/16/8... 7,836/6/11
8,451/17/3... 5,385/4/9
7,853/15/11.. 9,528/15/10
4,007/17/8....5,987/1/11
and so on
...
for each day of the month to the 31st.

We were EXPECTED to do the whole calculation, starting with the brought forwards amount, subtracting the daily debits and adding the daily credits....
and writing down ONLY the total to be carried forwards to the next month.....

IN OUR HEADS !

As a matter of interest... try it with a calculator. (which of course, we didn't have)


1 = 20 shillings
1 shilling = 12 pence

Rod

Diane Grant-Salmon
05-01-2006, 6:14 AM
Don't you lot ever go to bed? I don't mean Rod, who is up early ..... but the rest of you are chatting away in the middle of the night! :D

Rod Neep
05-01-2006, 7:11 AM
Actually... I've been working all night (mostly working that is) Just about to go to bed! :)

Rod

AnnB
05-01-2006, 8:03 AM
Don't you lot ever go to bed? I don't mean Rod, who is up early ..... but the rest of you are chatting away in the middle of the night! :D
I was going to ask the same question, but I see Rod has just toddled off to bed, so at least someone is getting some sleep :o

As regards mental arithmetic (mental being the operative word!) I can remember sitting hour upon hour in the classroom reciting the 'times tables' (once two is two, two twos are four, three twos are six, etc. etc.) and although maths in any form was never my strong point, I still find it easier to do any calculations on paper rather than use a calculator :confused:

Best wishes
Ann

Pam Downes
05-01-2006, 11:02 AM
About a hundred years ago... well in 1970 actually, and pre-decimalisation, I used to work at Barclay's Bank. The general ledger (a huge book!) was laid out something like this:

Day DR...... Day CR.......... b/f
..............................127,492/9/11
9,753/16/8... 7,836/6/11
8,451/17/3... 5,385/4/9
7,853/15/11.. 9,528/15/10
4,007/17/8....5,987/1/11
and so on
...
for each day of the month to the 31st.

We were EXPECTED to do the whole calculation, starting with the brought forwards amount, subtracting the daily debits and adding the daily credits....
and writing down ONLY the total to be carried forwards to the next month.....

IN OUR HEADS !

As a matter of interest... try it with a calculator. (which of course, we didn't have)


1 = 20 shillings
1 shilling = 12 pence

Rod
Carried forward 126,163/1/10.
No calculator, but I did cheat by writing down the column totals. :)
I maintain that if Barclays still had the NCR machines we had in our branch that I could start work tomorrow without any training.
And the noisiest groups in the pub on Jun 30th and December 31st were usually the bank clerks celebrating the fact that they'd balanced at half-year, after manually posting interest charged and interest earned to all the accounts. None of this namby-pamby stuff nowadays where you balance by pressing a couple of buttons.
Pam Downes