From: Raymond Mercier (RaymondM@compuserve.com)
Date: Wed May 18 2005 - 05:34:40 CDT
>So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads
A nice tale, but not the whole truth:
"A popular urban legend traces the origin of the 4 ft 8½ in (1435 mm) gauge even further back then the coalfields of northern England, pointing to the evidence of rutted roads dating from the Roman Empire. This legend is mostly false, however, except inasmuch that it shows a historical tendency to place the wheels of vehicles approximately five feet (1500 mm) apart."
However, while we are having fun with standards, can someone explain why the length of A4 paper (European not U.S.) 29.7 cm, is identical to the Roman foot ? Coincidence, or the product of sideways thinking by some eurocrat ?
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