Posted by Gordon chapman on November 26, 1999
In Reply to: Foot equals 12 inches posted by Bruce Kahl on November 24, 1999
: : Can anyone tell me where or how one foot equaled 12 inches came from ?
: Our modern measurement of 12 inches equaling 1 foot actually comes from a king's arm. Or, to be more precise, one-third of a king's arm. According to Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts, the arm under discussion is that of King Henry I (1068-1135) of England, who had a thirty-six inch long arm and decreed that the standard "foot" should be one-third of that length.
Interesting, but the whole 12 inches thing dates back much further than that, and the number 12 crops up in many other places - months in the year, 12 hours in the standard clock, etc..
I can't remember much about it (it was skewl and a long time ago) but it had something to do with Egypt or Babylonia or Phoenicia or something out there, sorry I can't be much other use.