Understanding olde English money

Discussion in 'Lunatic Lounge' started by unclehobart, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. unclehobart

    unclehobart New Member

    I keep seeing older movies... or at least movies about the older ages wherein terms like: pound, sterling, florin, crown, pence, farthing, hapney, sixpence... bla, bla... Jeez. What of that are the true names and what is slang? How do they divide into each other and what is still in use?
  2. Oz

    Oz New Member

  3. unclehobart

    unclehobart New Member

    So this means that in a Pound there were:-

    20 Shillings, 240 Pennies, 480 Halfpennies and an amazing 960 Farthings. Now you can see why we had problems learning it eh?

    good god... 240 to a pound? I can't see the underlying logic. 250 would be graspable as it would make 1000 farthings to the pound and have a stretched out decimalation. shilling->12 pennies/ 2 sixpence/ 4 threepence... and a hapney to make a pence and half ... gah!
  4. Oz

    Oz New Member

    That's why I posted a link dude.........fucked if I can understand it :D
  5. PT

    PT Off 'Motherfuckin' Topic Elite

    "Just tell me how many of these shineys you want and give me my fecking cd!"
  6. paul_valaru

    paul_valaru 100% Pure Canadian Beef

    almost as confusing as miles feet quarts yards gallons etc.

    (thank god for metric.)
  7. Professur

    Professur Well-Known Member

    Typical american. The underlying logic is simply that they're made of different metals. Duh. If 100 copper pennies isn't as valuable as one pound of serling silver, how do you propose to make that nonsense work? Overvalue copper? Make a smaller pound? (worked for the american gallon, didn't it?) Just because it's all money, doesn't make it all the same. Apples and oranges might all be fruit, but you don't try and make one into the other.

    As for decimalation, the greek tragedy caused when they finally did decimalise was proof enough that the old way was best. If you weren't smart enough to figure out your money, you probably weren't smart enough to have earned it in the first place.
  8. Professur

    Professur Well-Known Member

    I see. So you subscribe to the the theory that Jesus actually hid in Gaul. Interesting. Feel like talking ancient history?
  9. unclehobart

    unclehobart New Member

    Resizing the coins to correspond to the correct valuations would be the route I would go.
  10. HomeLAN

    HomeLAN New Member

    And how do you deal with all those already in circulation?
  11. alex

    alex Well-Known Member

    So, how many farthings in one of these?
  12. Luis G

    Luis G <i><b>Problemator</b></i> Staff Member

    Finally, someone with common sense ;)
  13. unclehobart

    unclehobart New Member

    We still live under knots and fathoms and wtf is up with horsepower... how did that old forumla go? the amount of energy it took for a horse to haul 100 pounds 100 feet? Talk about pulling a vaguery from yer boo-hole.
  14. unclehobart

    unclehobart New Member

    In Old England, the mile - derived from the Roman "mille passus" or 1000 double steps - was originally 5000 feet long as in the Roman definition (1 "passus" = 5 feet). Later, it took 5280 feet to accomodate exactly 8 furlongs, the most popular measure of the time.
    Actually, the usual happened : the foot and the rod went slowly their separate ways, being used by different industries (the weaver and the farmer ...) Things had to be straightened up and, as the foot and the rod were already entrenched, we find these strange figures : 16.5 ft/rod and 5280 ft/mile. This was voted by the House under Queen Elizabeth I in 1595.
    It should be noted that the furlong comes from the Greek and Roman stadion, which they themselves inherited from more ancient times. It seems to be the optimal length for the traditional plough.
  15. unclehobart

    unclehobart New Member

    "Nautical" units :

    1 fathom = 6 feet = 2 yards (= 1.8288 m) - widespread use (see Antiquity)
    1 cable length = 120 fathoms = 720 feet (= 219.456 m) - - - See below
    1 nautical mile (Brit.) = 6080 feet (= 1853.184 m) - - - See below
    1 nautical mile (Int.) = 1852 m exactly (= 6076.115 Int. feet)
    (and 3 nautical miles = 1 nautical league -- 3 * 1852 = 5556 m)
    Note : 1 knot = 1 nautical mile/hr (speed unit)
    You may encounter a Mark Twain in the US : equals 2 fathoms or the minimum safe clearance for steam wheelers (came before the writer and inspired his pen name)
    Never heard of a cannon shot ? This was about 3 miles in the last century, and explains why the US territorial waters were set at this distance originally.
    Notes : the Nautical Mile is defined as the length of 1 minute of arc along a meridian, but the Earth is not a perfect sphere. Therefore 1 minute will be equal to 6046 feet at the Equator and 6108 feet at the Pole. The average is 6077 feet, which was rounded off to 6080 feet by the British Admiralty.
    In 1929, the International Nautical Mile was defined as 1852 meters exactly (which brings us closer to the original average.) The United States adopted it in 1954.
    There is also a Geographical Mile defined as 1 minute of arc along the Equator and equal to 6087.2 feet - or 1855.378 meters.

    About cable length, I received an E-mail from Ralph Zimmermann stating : "You list a cable as being 720 feet, which is accurate if you are talking about depth in water. A cable refering to a distance across water is defined as 1/10th of a Nautical Mile". I rushed to my old Encyclopaedia Britannica and it confirmed : "the old usage whereby the length of a hempen anchor cable was 101 fathoms survives in the British naval measurement of a 'cable length' or one-tenth of a nautical mile".

    kill me... kill me now.
  16. [b]

    [b] New Member

    horsepower: A measure of the rate of work. 33,000 pounds lifted one foot in one minute, or 550 pounds lifted one foot in one second.

    If I can find the site again, supposedly horsepower started out as ponypower... It was supposed to be the length a pony could pull a laden coal cart thru a mine in one minute.

  17. Oz

    Oz New Member

    Then of course their was the weight system.....
  18. chcr

    chcr Too cute for words

    Fuckin' A!
  19. Stop Laughing

    Stop Laughing New Member

    Now this makes sense. Well, at least as much sense as all of what's posted here. :D
  20. unclehobart

    unclehobart New Member

    I'd scoop them all up like the euro conversion.

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