Rod (unit)

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A sign at the City Hall in Münster, Germany noting that the bar shown is one "Prussian Half Rod" long

A rod, a perch[1] or a pole is a unit of length in the imperial and US systems.

1 rod = 16+12 feet
= 5+12 yards
= 14 chain
= 5.0292 metres

In mediæval times English ploughmen used a wooden stick with a pointed tip to spur or guide their oxen. The rod was the length of this stick. In use from the 6th century, its modern value was standardized in the 12th century with Composito Ulnarum et Perticarum.

The rod is still in use as a unit of measure in certain specialised fields. In recreational canoeing, overland paths where canoes must be carried are measured in rods. This is probably because the length of a typical canoe is about one rod. In the United Kingdom, some gardens are measured in rods.

Popular culture and trivia[change | change source]

In the episode of The Simpsons entitled A Star is Burns, Grampa Simpson said "My car gets forty rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!" That's about 1.2 litres per metre, 12 feet per imperial gallon or 10 feet per U.S. gallon.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. ^  A perch is also a unit of area of land = 1 square rod, and a unit of cubic measure of stonework, usually = 16.5 feet by 1 foot by 1.5 feet = 24.75 cubic feet.

Other pages[change | change source]