What equals 2.54 centimeters and originally meant 3 barley corns end-to-end?


In 1324, Edward II decreed that the inch was the length of 3 barley corns placed end-to-end. The inch is the basis of the Imperial measures of length, and is now legally defined as exactly 2.54 centimetres.

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Barley Metre Corn Centimetre


Many different units of length have been used around the world. The main units in modern use are U.S. customary units in the United States and the Metric system elsewhere. British Imperial units are still used for some purposes in the United Kingdom and some other countries. The metric system is sub-divided into SI and non-SI units.

The base unit in the International System of Units (SI) is the metre, defined as "the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second." It is approximately equal to 1.0936 yards. Other units are derived from the metre by adding prefixes from the table below:


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