Punch,  45 (1863), 23.

First Metric Lesson

Schoolmaster Punch


Poetry, Drollery


Measurement, Metrology, Mathematics, Education

    Describes Mr Punch's attempts to teach the 'little British Blockhead' how to count and weigh by 'the Metric Weights and Measures', and urges him that he will soon appreciate 'what toil it saves' and consider 'its foes [...] fools or knaves'. Proceeds to define the metre ('Tis ten millionth of the distance / From th' Equator to the Pole'), upholds the ease of multiplication and division using the metric system, and then explains and gives an example of the use of Greek prefixes used in metric measures. Further ridicules opponents of the system and concludes by insisting that 'we'll have the Metric system' and that opponents to it 'Shall be trampled down by Punch'.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

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