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|1 rod||= 16feet1⁄2|
|= 1⁄4 chain|
|= 5.0292 metres|
In medieval times English ploughmen used a wooden stick with a pointed tip to spur or guide their oxen. The rod was the length of this stick. In use from the 6th century, its modern value was standardized in the 12th century with Composito Ulnarum et Perticarum.
The rod is still in use as a unit of measure in certain specialised fields. In recreational canoeing, overland paths where canoes must be carried are measured in rods. This is probably because the length of a typical canoe is about one rod.
Popular culture and trivia
In the episode of The Simpsons entitled A Star is Burns, Grampa Simpson said "My car gets forty rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!" That's about 1.2 litres per metre, 12 feet per imperial gallon or 10 feet per U.S. gallon.
- ^ A perch is also a unit of area of land = 1 square rod, and a unit of cubic measure of stonework, usually = 16.5 feet by 1 foot by 1.5 feet = 24.75 cubic feet.