From: Peter Kirk (email@example.com)
Date: Wed May 18 2005 - 07:18:45 CDT
On 18/05/2005 11:34, Raymond Mercier wrote:
> 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 ?
Coincidence. European paper sizes, which are actually ISO international
standard paper sizes, are derived as follows, taken from
> ISO 216 defines the *A series* of paper sizes based on these simple
> * The height divided by the width of all formats is the square
> root of two (1.4142).
> * Format A0 has an area of one square meter.
> * Format A1 is A0 cut into two equal pieces. In other words, the
> height of A1 is the width of A0 and the width of A1 is half the
> height of A0.
> * All smaller A series formats are defined in the same way. If you
> cut format An parallel to its shorter side into two equal pieces
> of paper, these will have format A(n+1).
> * The standardized height and width of the paper formats is a
> rounded number of millimeters.
> The United States, Canada, and in part Mexico, are today the only
> industrialized nations in which the ISO standard paper sizes are not
> yet widely used.
Some of these paper sizes were a French standard as long ago as 1794!
The modern form of the system was introduced as a German standard in
1922, and in most of Europe by the 1950's - ironically last of all in
France in 1967. So this is nothing to do with the "eurocrats" of the
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