January 17, 2022

The Catholic Transcript

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The amazing story of how France created the metric decimal system

The amazing story of how France created the metric decimal system

credit, Scientific

Illustrative image,

One of the last remaining standard metro rails, can be found beneath a window on the facade of the Ministry of Justice in Paris.

On the facade of the Ministry of Justice in Paris, just below a ground-floor window, is a marble slab inscribed with a horizontal line and the word “MÈTRE”.

It is hardly noticeable on the stately Place Vendôme – in fact, of all the tourists on the square, I was the only one to stop and meditate on it.

But this painting is one of the last “Scale” (Standard Metric Rods) were placed around town over 200 years ago in an effort to introduce a new global system of measurement.

It is just one of the many sites in Paris that refer to the long and fascinating history of the metric system.