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 1607 Edmund Gunter standardised this length.

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 | edit 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 | edit 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 | edit source]