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German obsolete units of measurement

The obsolete units of measurement of German-speaking countries consist of a variety of units, with varying local standard definitions. Some of these units are still used in everyday speech and even in stores and on street markets as shorthand for similar amounts in the metric system. For example, some customers ask for one pound (ein Pfund) of something when they want (exactly) 500 grams.

The metric system became compulsory on January 1, 1872, in Germany and on January 1, 1876, in Austria.[1]

Some obsolete German units have names similar to units that were traditionally used in other countries, and that are still used in the United Kingdom (imperial units) and the United States (United States customary units).

German system

Before the introduction of the metric system in German, almost every town had its own definitions of the units shown below. Often towns posted the local definitions on a wall of the city hall. For example, the front wall of the old city hall (still standing) has two marks which show the "Rudolstädter Elle"; it was to be used in that city. Supposedly by 1810, in Baden alone, there were 112 different standards for the Elle around Germany.[citation needed]

Length

Meile (mile)

A German geographic mile (geographische Meile) is defined as 115 equatorial degrees, equal to Script error: No such module "convert".. A common German mile, land mile, or post mile (Gemeine deutsche Meile, Landmeile, Postmeile) was defined in various ways at different places and different times. After the introduction of the metric system in the 19th century, the Landmeile was generally fixed at Script error: No such module "convert". (the Reichsmeile), but before then there were many local and regional variants (of which some are shown below):

Some kinds of Meile
Place Distance
in metres (feet)
Notes
Bavaria (Bayern) Script error: No such module "convert". Connected to a 115 equatorial degree as 25,406 Bavarian feet.
Württemberg Script error: No such module "convert".
Reichsmeile Script error: No such module "convert".
Script error: No such module "convert".
'imperial mile' – New mile when the metric system was introduced. Prohibited by law in 1908.
Anhalt Script error: No such module "convert".
Denmark, Prussia Script error: No such module "convert". 24,000 Prussian feet. Also known as "(Dänische/Preußische) Landmeile". In 1816, king Frederick William III of Prussia adopted the Danish mile at Script error: No such module "convert"., or 24,000 Prussian feet.
Saxony (Sachsen) Script error: No such module "convert". In the 17th–18th century or so, Script error: No such module "convert". = 32000 (Saxon) feet; later Script error: No such module "convert". (as in Prussia and the rest of Germany).
Schleswig-Holstein Script error: No such module "convert".
Baden Script error: No such module "convert". 8889 m before 1810, Script error: No such module "convert". before 1871
Hessen-Kassel Script error: No such module "convert".
Lippe-Detmold Script error: No such module "convert".
Saxony (Sachsen) Script error: No such module "convert". 32,000 (Saxon) feet (in the 19th century Script error: No such module "convert". see above).
Westfalia (Westfalen) Script error: No such module "convert". but also Script error: No such module "convert".
Oldenburg Script error: No such module "convert".
Rhineland (Rheinland) Script error: No such module "convert".
Palatinate (Pfalz) Script error: No such module "convert".
Osnabrück/Frankreich Script error: No such module "convert".
Wiesbaden Script error: No such module "convert".

Rute (rod)

File:MuensterRathausPreussischeHalbeRute2805.jpg
A standard at the City Hall in Münster, Germany from 1816; the bar shown is one "Prussian half rod" long.

The Rute or Ruthe is of Carolingian origin,[citation needed] and was used as a land measure. Many different kinds of Ruthe were used at various times in various parts of the German-speaking world. They were subdivided into differing numbers of local Fuß, and were of many different lengths. One source from 1830[2] lists the following:

Some kinds of Ruthe
Place Name Local equivalent Metric (Imperial) equivalentst
Aachen (Aix-la-Capelle) Feldmeßruthe 16 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Baden (Großherzogtum) Ruthe 10 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Basel, Canton of Ruthe 16 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Bern, Canton of Ruthe 10 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Braunschweig (Brunswick) Ruthe 16 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Bremen Ruthe 8 Ellen or 16 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Calenberg Ruthe 16 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Cassel, Hessen Ruthe 14 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Hamburg Geestruthe 16 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Hamburg Marschruthe 14 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Hannover Ruthe 16 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Lever, Oldenburg Ruthe 20 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Mecklenburg Ruthe 16 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Nürnberg, Bavaria Ruthe 16 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Oldenburg Ruthe 20 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Prussia, Rheinland Ruthe 12 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Saxony Ruthe 16 Leipziger Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Waadt, Canton of Ruthe or toise courante 10 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Würtemberg Reichsruthe 10 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Würtemberg old Ruthe 16 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Zürich, Canton of Ruthe 10 Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Except where noted, based on Niemann (1830).[2] The value of the local Fuß also varied widely.

Wegstunde

One hour's travel, used up to the 18th century. In Germany 12 Meile or Script error: No such module "convert"., in Switzerland Script error: No such module "convert"..

Klafter (fathom)

Originally 6 feet, after introduction of the metric system 10 feet. Regional variants from Script error: No such module "convert". in Baden to Script error: No such module "convert". in Switzerland.

Lachter

Main article: Lachter

The Lachter was the most common unit of length used in mining in German-speaking areas. Its exact length varied from place to place but was roughly between Script error: No such module "convert"..

Elle (ell)

Distance between elbow and fingertip. In the North, often 2 feet, In Prussia 178 feet, in the South variable, often 2 12 feet. The smallest known German Elle is Script error: No such module "convert"., the longest Script error: No such module "convert"..

Fuß (foot)

The Fuß or German foot varied widely from place to place in the German-speaking world, and also with time. In some places, more than one type of Fuß was in use. One source from 1830[2] gives the following values:

Some kinds of Fuß
Place Name Local equivalent Metric (Imperial) equivalents
 
Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) Feldmaßfuß 16 Klafter Script error: No such module "convert".
Aachen Baufuß 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Aargau, Canton of [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Aichstadt, Bavaria old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Altona, Holstein [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Anspach, Bavaria Werkfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Appenzell, Canton of [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Aschaffenberg, Bavaria [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Augsburg, Bavaria Werkschuh Script error: No such module "convert".
Baden Reichsfuß 10 Zoll, 110 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Baireuth, Bavaria [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Bamberg, Bavaria [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Basel, Canton of Stadtschuh Script error: No such module "convert".
Bavaria [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Bergamo, Austria Fuß 16 Cavezzo Script error: No such module "convert".
Berlin Prussian Reichsfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Bern, Canton of gewöhnlicher Fuß 12 Zoll Script error: No such module "convert".
Bern, Canton of Steinbrecherfuß 13 Zoll Script error: No such module "convert".
Bohemia [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Bozen, Austria Tyroler-Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Braunschweig (Brunswick) Fuß 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Bremen Fuß 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Breslau old Silesian Fuß 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Bünden, Canton of churischer Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Calenberg Land Fuß 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Carlsruhe (as Baden) [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Cassel, Hessen [Fuß] 114 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Cleve, Prussia [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Cöln am Rhein (Cologne), Prussia [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Cracau Fuß or Stopa Script error: No such module "convert".
Cremona, Austria old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Danzig, Prussia old Fuß 12 Elle Script error: No such module "convert".
Darmstadt Hessian Reichsfuß 10 Zoll Script error: No such module "convert".
Darmstadt old Darmstadt Fuß 12 Zoll Script error: No such module "convert".
Dordrecht, Netherlands [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Dresden, Saxony [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Duderstadt, Hanover [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Durlach (as Baden) [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Durlach old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Emden, Hanover [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Erfurt, Prussia old Fuß 114 Feldruthe, 116 Bauruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Frankfurt am Main [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Freiburg, Canton of Werkfuß 12 Zoll, 110 Werkklafter Script error: No such module "convert".
Friedberg in der Wetterau, Oberhessen [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Friedrichsstadt, Denmark [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Fulda, Kurhessen Werkfuß 12 Elle Script error: No such module "convert".
Genf (Geneva), Canton of Fuß 18 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Gießen, Oberhessen [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Glarus, Canton of [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Glatz, Prussia Werkfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Göttingen, Hanover [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Gotha, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Halle an der Saale, Prussia Werkfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Halle an der Saale, Prussia Feldfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Hamburg Fuß 16 Klafter, 116 Geestruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Hanau, Hessen Fuß 225 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Hanover, capital of the Kingdom Fuß 12 Elle, 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Heidelberg, Baden [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Heilbronn, Würtemberg [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Heiligenstadt, Prussia old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Herford, Prussia old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Hildesheim, Hanover Fuß 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Holstein [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Innsbruck, Austria Tyroler-Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Königsberg, Prussia old Fuß 115 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Lausanne, Canton of Waadt [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Leipzig, Saxony gewöhnlicher Fuß 12 Elle, 16 Klafter 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Lemberg, Austria Galizian Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Lemgo, Lippe [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Lindau, Bavaria Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Lindau, Bavaria Feldmeßschuh, Bauschuh Script error: No such module "convert".
Linz, Austria Fuß Klafter Script error: No such module "convert".
Lübeck [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Lucern, Canton of Fuß (for wood measure) Script error: No such module "convert".
Lucern, Canton of Zimmerwerkschuh Script error: No such module "convert".
Lucern, Canton of Bau- and Feldmeßschuh Script error: No such module "convert".
Milan, Austria old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Mainz, Hessen Werkfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Mainz, Hessen Kameralfuß, for firewood Script error: No such module "convert".
Mannheim, Baden [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Mecklenburg Fuß 12 Elle, 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Metz, France old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Mühlhausen, Prussia Fuß 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Neufchatel, Principality of Werkfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Neufchatel, Principality of Feldmeßfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Nordhausen, Prussia old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Nürnberg, Bavaria Stadtfuß 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Nürnberg, Bavaria Artillery Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Oldenburg Fuß 120 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Osnabruck, Hanover [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Padua, Austria Fuß 16 Cavezzo Script error: No such module "convert".
Prague, Austria Bohemian Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Prussia, Rheinland Reichsfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Ratzeburg, Mecklenburg-Schwerin [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Regensburg, Bavaria [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Rheinbaiern Fuß 12 Zoll, 13 metre Script error: No such module "convert".
Rheinland Rheinländischer Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Rostock, Mecklenburg-Schwerin Fuß 12 Elle, 116 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Sanct Gallen, Canton of [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Schaffhausen, Canton of [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Silesia (Austrian part) [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Solothurn, Canton of [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Stade, Hanover [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Stettin, Prussia old Pomeranian Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Stralsund, Prussia old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Strassburg, France [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Stuttgart Reichsfuß 12 Elle, 110 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Tessin, Canton of [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Thorn, Prussia old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Trento, Austria [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Trier, Prussia Land- and Werkfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Trier, Prussia Waldfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Trier, Prussia Zimmermannsfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Tyrol, Austria [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Udine, Austria [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Ulm, Würtemberg [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Venice, Austria Fuß 15 Passo Script error: No such module "convert".
Verden, Hanover [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Verona, Austria Fuß 16 Cavezzo Script error: No such module "convert".
Vienna, Austria Fuß 16 Klafter Script error: No such module "convert".
Waadt, Canton of Fuß 10 Zoll, 110 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Wallis, Canton of [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Weimar [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Wesel, Prussia old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Wetzlar, Prussia old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Wiesbaden, Nassau [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Wismar, Mecklenburg-Schwerin [Fuß] Script error: No such module "convert".
Wittenberg, Prussia old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Worbis, Prussia old Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Würtemberg Reichsfuß 12 Elle, 110 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Würzburg, Bavaria [Fuß] 12 Elle Script error: No such module "convert".
Zug, Canton of Fuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Zug, Canton of Steinfuß Script error: No such module "convert".
Zürich, Canton of Fuß 16 Klafter, 110 Ruthe Script error: No such module "convert".
Except where noted, based on Niemann (1830).[2] The values of the other local units mentioned also varied widely.

Zoll (inch)

Usually 112 foot, but also 111 and 110.

Linie

Usually 112 inch, but also 110.

Volume

Klafter

For firewood, Script error: No such module "convert".

Nösel

In general, the Nösel was a measure of liquid volume equal to half a Kanne ("jar," "jug," "bottle," "can"). Actual volumes so measured, however, varied from one state or even one city to another. Within Saxony, for example, the "Dresden jar" held approximately Script error: No such module "convert"., so a nösel in Dresden was about Script error: No such module "convert".. The full volume of a "Leipzig jar" measured Script error: No such module "convert".; the Leipzig nösel was therefore Script error: No such module "convert"..

The nösel was used in minor commerce, as well as in the household to measure meal, grain, and such. These units of measure were officially valid in Saxony until 1868, when the metric system was introduced. Nevertheless, the old measures have continued in private use for decades.

One interesting modification was introduced in Thuringia. There, the nösel was, by extension, also a measure of area; namely, the area of land which could be sown with one nösel of seed — or about Script error: No such module "convert".

See also

References

  1. ^ Barnard, Frederick Augustus Porter (1879). The Metric system of weights and measures. American Metric Bureau. pp. 220–2. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Niemann, Friedrich (1830) Vollständiges Handbuch der Münzen, Masse, und Gewichte aller Länder der Erde fur Kaufleute, Banquiers ... : in alphabetischer Ordnung. Quedlinburg und Leipzig, G. Basse. p. 286

Bibliography

  • François Cardarelli: Encyclopedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins. Springer, Berlin 2003. ISBN 1-85233-682-X
  • Helmut Kahnt, Bernd Knorr: Alte Masse, Münzen und Gewichte. . Bibliographisches Institut Mannheim/Wien/Zürich 1987. (Lizenzausgabe von VEB Bibliographisches Institut Leipzig 1986) Invalid language code.
  • Wolfgang Trapp: Kleines Handbuch der Maße, Zahlen Gewichte und der Zeitrechnung. Von . Reclam Stuttgart, 2. Auflage 1996. ISBN 3-15-008737-6 Invalid language code.
  • Günther Scholz, Klaus Vogelsang: Kleines Lexikon: Einheiten, Formelzeichen. Fachbuchverlag, Leipzig 1991 ISBN 3-343-00500-2 Invalid language code.
  • Johann Christian Nelkenbrechers Taschenbuch eines Banquiers und Kaufmanns: enthaltend eine Erklärung aller ein- und ausländischen Münzen, des Wechsel-Courses, Usos, Respect-Tage und anderer zur Handlung gehörigen Dinge; mit einer genauen Vergleichung des Ellen-Maaßes, Handels-, Gold- und Silber-Gewichts, auch Maaße von Getreide und flüssigen Sachen derer fürnehmsten europäischen Handels-Plätze. Nachdruck der Ausgabe 1769: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, Düsseldorf 2004. ISBN 3-936755-58-2 Invalid language code.

External links

de:Alte Maße und Gewichte