Icelandic units of measurement

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A number of units of measurement were used in Iceland to measure length, mass, area, capacity, etc. Since 1907, the metric system has been compulsory in Iceland.[1][2]

Unit system before the metric system[edit]

A number of units were used and these units were analogues to Danish.

Length[edit]

A number of units were used in Iceland to measure length. One foot (fet) was equal to 0.31385 m and one nautical mile (sjómíla) was equal to 1,855 m, as they were defined by their metric equivalents.[1] Some other units are given below:[1][3]

  • 1 line (lína) = ​1144 feet
  • 1 inch (þumlungur) = ​112 feet
  • 1 alin = 2 feet
  • 1 fathom (faðmur) = 6 feet
  • 1 míla á landi (or landmíla) = 24,000 feet
  • Þingmannaleið = 20,000 faðmar = 120,000 feet[4]

Mass[edit]

A number of units were used to measure mass. One pound (pund) was equal to 0.5 kg as it was defined by its metric equivalent.[1] Some other units are given below:[1][3]

  • 1 mark (mörk) = ​12 pound[5]
  • 1 fisk = 8 pounds
  • 1 fierding = 40 pounds
  • 1 liespund = 64 pounds
  • 1 barrel of butter (tunna smjörs) = 224 pounds
  • 1 skippund = 320 pounds
  • 1 batt = 320 pounds

Area[edit]

A number of units were used to measure area. One square fathom was equal to 3.546 m2 and one square mile was equal to 56.7383 km2, as they were defined by their metric equivalents.[1] Some other units are given below:[1]

  • 1 square inches = ​15,184 square fathom
  • 1 square feet = ​136 square fathom
  • 1 square alin = ​19 square fathom
  • 1 túndagslátta = 900 square fathom
  • 1 engjateigur = 1,600 square fathom

Capacity[edit]

A number of units were used to measure capacity. One pot (pottur) was equal to 0.9661 l as it was defined by its metric equivalent.[1] Some other units are given below:[1][3]

  • 1 kornskeppa = 18 pots
  • 1 anker = 39 pots
  • 1 general barrel (almenn tunna) = 120 pots
  • 1 barrel of ale (öltunna) = 136 pots
  • 1 korntunna = 144 pots

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Washburn, E.W. (1926). International Critical Tables of Numerical Data, Physics, Chemistry and Technology. New York: McGraw-Hil Book Company, Inc. p. 8.
  2. ^ Cardarelli, F. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins. London: Springer. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1.
  3. ^ a b c Cardarelli, F. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins. London: Springer. pp. 117, 118. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1.
  4. ^ http://www.visindavefur.is/svar.php?id=2940
  5. ^ http://www.visindavefur.is/svar.php?id=6557