The Pyramid Inch

Around the middle of the 19th century until 1922 the British enjoyed an "empire" that contained about one-quarter of of the Earth's total land area and 458 million people, one-quarter of the world's population at the time. A large part of the 458 million people did not enjoy the empire all that much, and that included the Egyptians's who found themselves in what was called a "protectorate".
Fascinated by the antiquities in Egypt, digging and robbing started on a large scale. A large part of the antique treasures nowadays outside of Egypt (or other states under British dominion) where simply stolen, more or less openly. Germany, France, Italy, and so on, certainly did their best too to keep up with the British, and what is now called "pyramidology" has its roots in those times.
Pyramidology, or better Pyramidioty is the pseudo science, to put it nicely, that conceives the Cheops pyramid as something supernatural, possessing strange powers and encoding the history of humankind, past and future, and so on, in its geometry.
Among the first Pyramidiots was the Astronomer Royal of Scotland: Charles Piazzi Smyth, who was promoted to his exalted position in 1845 at the tender age of 26 years.
Of course, he had powerful sponsors: Sir John Herschel, famous son of the even more famous (German) Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel, who discovered the planet Uranus.
Sir John was fascinated by the great pyramid. It was he who first calculated how old those pyramids should be, assuming that they were oriented exactly towards an especially bright start when they were built. He arrived at an age of about 4.800 years, which is quite good considering that the proper age is about 4.500 years.
Piazzi Smyth, however, got completely carried away. Based on the work of somewhat older pyramidiots like John Taylor, who published: The great pyramid; why was it built: & who built it? in 1859, and a lot of his own work, he published 1864 a 664 page book: Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, followed by Life, and Work in the Great Pyramid in 1867.
His central thesis is simple. The detailed geometry of the great pyramid encodes absolutely everything that ever happened, for example the stock market crash in 1929 and that you, personally, should send me large amounts of money right now or else.
The great pyramid (and only the great Cheop's pyramid for some unclear reason) thus must have been divinely inspired and expressed the will of God. It could not possibly have been built by Egyptian heathens, but most go back to the brink of time, with some old Hebrews involved somehow.
From various recurring measures and sizes, the smallest unit of the sacred ancient system of measuring length could be deduced: the so-called pyramid "inch".
Behold! The God-given pyramid inch was identical to the British inch (with only a little bit of pushing).
You get a pyramid inch, for example, when you divide the circumference of the great pyramid by 364,2423, the duration of year in days, and then by 100. Well, what you get is about 0.1 % off the British inch but, what the hell, it's close enough.
Obviously, England was enjoying divine blessing and inspiration (as was clear anyway, because the Lord had already delivered a large part of the planet to the British).
Sir John Herschel, who was a member of the "Standard Commission" and thus quite influential, fought for some reasons of his own against the introduction of the (French) metric system. He found a very effective ally in Piazza Smyth, who proclaimed:
The British measuring system, by God, came directly from God himself (there wasn't a herself then)! Adopting the godless system of the French, for God's sake, would be heresy of the vilest kind. Absolutely out of the question!
This may sound asinine and nutty by today's enlightened standards but Piazza's campaign (he probably thought of it as crusade) against the metric system caused a big uproar and he was quite prominent with the "simple people" or plain folks. The metric system was voted down and England remained "egyptian" or just stupid.
Since you asked: Germany adopted the metric system as soon as Germany came into being in 1872, right after we invaded Gaul once more.
However, I must hand it to the true British Scientists. In 1869 science went for the metric system in principle. Piazza was cast out from the "Standard Commission" as well as from the "Royal Society".
Well—He lost the battle but won the war! England and its unruly offspring, the USA, ignored their scientists and still go with God's own pyramid inch.
The general feeling of that time is still well expressed in a little poem that appeared in the late 19th century from the "United States based International Institute for Preserving and Perfecting Weights and Measures":
Then down with every "metric" scheme Taught by the foreign school,
We'll worship still our Father's God! And keep our Father's "rule"!
A perfect inch, a perfect pint, The Anglo's honest pound,
Shall hold their place upon the earth, Till time's last trump shall sound!

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