US foot-print shrinks

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US foot-print shrinks

Postby TheVat on December 14th, 2019, 12:27 pm 

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Re: US foot-print shrinks

Postby curiosity on December 14th, 2019, 6:35 pm 

I came across yet another variation, on a measuring tape made in the US!

Many years ago I was carrying out some work on an oil drilling platform, which was located in the north sea . The platform was jointly owned by U S and Dutch companies and I and my colleagues arrived there during a period of bad weather. However all our tools and equipment were stowed in a shipping container, which was deck cargo on a supply vessel and couldn’t be lifted onto the drilling platform, due to the high winds and large waves.
While waiting for the storm to subside, myself and one of my collueges decided to save some down-time by taking measurements for new pipework . So we borrowed a U S made 50 ft. measuring tape from the oil rigs engineering store, took the required measurements, and made the necessary drawings.
However... when the weather calmed and the pipe fitters started to cut the pipes to size, they found the pipes didn’t fit too well, when they checked against the measurements we had given them on the drawings they found them to be out by varying margins.

I happened to be taking a measurement with the borrowed tape, while wondering how myself and my colleague could be so consistently off with our measurements, when all was revealed..
The borrowed measuring tape was clearly marked in feet and inches and a foot on the borrowed measuring tape was certainly close, if not the same as a foot on our own measuring tapes.
The similarity ended there though.... Although the foot was a foot long on the borrowed measuring tape, there were only ten inches in each foot !!! incredibly all the measurements we had made with the borrowed tape up until that time had been of multiple feet yet ended with less than six inches, One measurement of ‘x’ feet and ten or eleven inches would have alerted us, but as it was, neither of us noticed the bizarre discrepancy


I have visited the US a couple of times since working on that oil drilling rig, and have been assured by several U S citizens that U S feet are the same twelve inches long as ours here in the UK.
I don’t suppose anyone could enlighten me on the possible origin of the semi-metricated measuring tape we borrowed, or is it a complete oddball and likely to remain a mystery for ever?
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Re: US foot-print shrinks

Postby TheVat on December 14th, 2019, 11:56 pm 

Unfortunately you happened onto a tape measure used by flooring contractors. The "inches" are one-tenth of a foot so that length can be easily expressed by decimals, which makes getting square footage totals easier to obtain on a calculator. E.g. 15.213 feet by 17.8 feet. You can quickly figure your total square footage without having to convert actual inches into a decimal value.

And I never imagined that bit of information in my head (from chatting with a flooring installer years ago) would ever be the slightest use here. Funny story, C.
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Re: US foot-print shrinks

Postby curiosity on December 15th, 2019, 8:12 am 

Unfortunately you happened onto a tape measure used by flooring contractors. The "inches" are one-tenth of a foot so that length can be easily expressed by decimals, which makes getting square footage totals easier to obtain on a calculator. E.g. 15.213 feet by 17.8 feet. You can quickly figure your total square footage without having to convert actual inches into a decimal value.


I certainly didn't expect an answer to that question!
Thanks for taking the time..
I realise it was hardly the biggest mystery of our age, but an unknown is an unknown no matter how trivial.

Thanks again, Graham.
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Re: US foot-print shrinks

Postby Forest_Dump on December 16th, 2019, 11:45 am 

Of course, I think life would get a lot easier if metric was used. It took me a bit to convert many years ago but I find it so handy for so many things even as simple as converting area (cm) into volume (litres).
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