A chart of Imperial and customary units. We use Imperial (colonial) measures. "Customary" = common for the United States. Truth. I was so confused trying to understand why we use 5,280 feet = 1 mile, I gave up.
Dear Cecil: I understand a few of the reasons behind our complicated English measurements. For instance, an acre was the area plowable in one day using draft animals. But where, pray tell, did the...
"It originated in the Roman mille passuum, a thousand paces, or more precisely, a thousand strides. Each pace consisted of five Roman feet, giving us a mile of 5,000 feet. Since the Roman foot (the pes) was smaller than today’s foot, the Roman mile was about nine-tenths the length of our mile. "
Since the Tudors lengthened these measurements and created the modern day "foot", a mile --
"Unfortunately, the English also had the idea, for reasons we needn’t go into here, that a mile consisted of eight furlongs. The furlong, short for “furrow-long,” is said to have been the distance a horse could pull a plow before having to rest. Its length was a matter of confusion for quite a spell, but by the 16th century folks generally agreed that it consisted of 40 rods of 16-1/2 feet each, or 660 feet in all — and of course eight furlongs was 5,280 feet. "