Today, people measure everything. There are records of temperature, pressure, volume, humidity, and position. We can measure things at a microscopic level or distances that span lightyears. However, accurate measurement has been an important part of human civilization for millennia. From the moment that a human being wanted to convey the size of something he saw, measurement became an important concept.
The Earliest Methods of Measurement
As one might expect, humans first used parts of the body to reference measurements. Early Egyptian, Babylonian, and Hebrew documents make reference to measurements being done with the forearm, hand, and finger. The earliest references to time were in relation to set, repetitive natural phenomena, such as the movement of the sun and moon. Furthermore, the earliest ways of measuring weight involved natural products such as seeds to serve as a standard. Some of our measurements today take their names from these earliest techniques. The term “foot” is an obvious one, but the “carat,” used to indicate the value of gold, is derived from the “carob” seed, which was used in the earliest assessment of it.
As trading developed, it was necessary to set standards. After all, seed weight and hand size can vary dramatically. Common mathematical concepts began to be developed across civilizations such as the Roman Empire or the Indus River Valley civilizations. Romans based their numbering system on a Base-12 model (hence 12 inches being in a foot). Because of England’s global influence over the last 1,000 years, many of the measuring techniques developed there have spread to many other countries. The measurement of a “yard” actually comes from the Saxon word “gird,” which refers to the circumference of a person’s waist.
As trade and industry becomes global, standard and precise measurements become even more critical. SRP Control can help in ensuring that your measurements are done in the most accurate way possible.