It is difficult for today to imagine life without knowing how many hours, how much temperature, how much we have a pound, what is the surface of our apartment or house. Even children, without the knowledge of measurement as such, use logic of measurements-compare their height to the height of other children or try to determine the size of their toys relative to another toy or object. Therefore, we can say that the need for measurement is naturally implanted in the brain.
The earliest records of the measurement and the units of measurement date back to 4000 years before Christ. Measuring units have been developed, primarily for the needs of agriculture, construction and fair trade. Usually every nation had their own way of measuring. The first measuring units developed for what was most needed for people-for mass, volume, length, and surface. Since people did not have precise instruments then they had to use what was available to them. They measured the length of something by comparing them with the forearm, fist or finger; time was measured according to the position of the sun, the moon, or other celestial bodies; the volume of the vessel was determined on the basis of how many seeds of a plant can fit into it; mass was used to compare with a mass of stone or plant seeds (and today we use the karat as a measure of purity and weight of gold and fine stones – 1 carat is 0.2 g (200 mg) corresponding to the weight of a seedlot seed.
Image of carnivorous seed and diamond
Prva zvanična mjerna jedinica za dužinu razvijena je u Starom Egiptu i nazvana je kubit. Izvedena je iz dužine podlaktice, od lakta to vrha srednjeg prsta. Smatra se da su inč, jard i stopa izvedene (za sad nedovoljno objašnjenom računicom) iz kubita. Današnja osnovna jedinica za dužinu, metar, je predložena 1791. godine i tada je definirana kao desetomilijuniti dio udaljenosti između Sjevernog Pola i Ekvatora.
The picture shows the original meter, placed across the Senate path in Paris
When it comes to mass, wheat was the first unit to measure the noble metals. Later developed units were made by comparing with the mass of the stone. Gram, a thousandth of a pound, is defined as the mass of droplet of pure water, which has a volume of one hundred cubic feet per cubic meter (ie, a volume of 1 cm3) at the temperature at which the ice begins to melt. The kilogram, the basic mass unit for the SI system, is the only one with the prefix “kilo”. That’s because most of the things that traded weighed more than 1 gram, so the kilogram was easier to compute.