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America has TWO official, but will retire one after 127 years in 2023 due to errors they cause

Most Americans will say there is one official measurement for a foot, but what may come to a surprise is that there are actually two and they differ by about one hundredth of a foot.

The first model was developed by surveyors in 1893 and the second, which is shorter, came into play 66 years later and closer to what is used internationally.

However, with different measurements comes a range of problems – areas are not surveyed properly and building construction has faced delays.

An Arizona-based surveyor declared war on the two systems to eliminate the older measurement and brought his case to the nation’s surveyors. 

A poll revealed the move was in favor by the majority and the international foot will be the gold standard in the US starting January 1, 2023. 

The first model was developed by surveyors in 1893 and the second, which is shorter, came into play 66 years later and closer to what is used internationally. However, with different measurements comes a range of problems – areas are not surveyed properly and building construction has faced delays

Michael L. Dennis, who is also a geodesist with the National Geodetic Survey, told The New York Times that he has observed a number of mix-ups over the years that have resulted in repairing mistakes, which led him on the quest to retire one. 

‘I kept running into these problems with different versions of the foot, and I thought it was ridiculous that this thing had gone on this long,’ he said.

‘So I had this secret desire to kill off the U.S. survey foot, and I’d been harboring that for years.

Another reason Dennis set out to abolish one of the foot measurements is that states mandate the use of one or the other, but do not specify which one is in play.

An Arizona-based surveyor declared war on the two systems to eliminate the older measurement and brought his case to the nation's surveyors. A poll revealed the move was in favor by the majority and the international foot will be the gold standard in the US starting January 1, 2023 (Pictured are early surveyors measuring a baseline in New Mexico)

An Arizona-based surveyor declared war on the two systems to eliminate the older measurement and brought his case to the nation’s surveyors. A poll revealed the move was in favor by the majority and the international foot will be the gold standard in the US starting January 1, 2023 (Pictured are early surveyors measuring a baseline in New Mexico)

International surveyors are unaware of the two feet measurements, computer software does not recognize them and calculators use the new measurement as a default

International surveyors are unaware of the two feet measurements, computer software does not recognize them and calculators use the new measurement as a default

To some the problem may seem harmless, but for those working in the field the confusion is a ‘recipe for disaster.’

Dennis explained that International surveyors are unaware of the two feet measurements, computer software does not recognize them and calculators use the new measurement as a default.

And sometimes, both measurements are to be used in a single project – one for horizontal measurements and the other for elevations.

The largest problem comes down to determining which is which.

Dennis suggested tossing out the old US survey foot and name the one created in 1959 as the gold standard.

To have his case heard, he traveled to Arlington, Virginia to stand in front of the he National Society of Professional Surveyors.

Although Dennis was told to prepare for battle when bringing his demands to the group, to his surprise he was actually met with favor.

A poll was conducted among the members, with a majority supporting the move – while a small number deemed it sacrileges.

Timothy W. Burch, the society’s president-elect, who is in favor of retiring the old foot, said: ‘One thing is, let’s be honest, the actual name, the U.S. survey foot.’

‘For unfortunately a lot of Americans, especially in this day and age, anything that has to do with the U.S. and that naming quality being taken away, it’s like we’re under attack.’

When America gained its Independence there were 100,000 unites of measurements in use at once. Because the English previously had the biggest hold in America, Congress suggested pulling parts from the imperial system – this included the yard

When America gained its Independence there were 100,000 unites of measurements in use at once. Because the English previously had the biggest hold in America, Congress suggested pulling parts from the imperial system – this included the yard

‘So there is a portion of the country that’s like, No, this is ours, this is what we’re going to keep.

In the end, Dennis won his case.

The old foot is set to retire on January 1, 2023 and all measurements and weights will reflect the change moving forward.

The change will also require surveyors to purchase new yardsticks and measuring tape, but as The New York Times notes, they once used handwritten deeds to describe plots and now use navigational systems.

In 1866 the metric system was adopted across the US.

In 1866 the metric system was adopted across the US.

‘It’s a victory for, dare I say it, common sense to have uniform standards,’ Dennis said.

‘Even our founding fathers of the nation knew that it was important and it’s kind of weird that people would argue otherwise today.’

America’s choice in measurements goes far back as when the first settlers began to colonize the country, who brought measurements from their homeland.

When America gained its Independence there were 100,000 unites of measurements in use at once.

And it wasn’t until 1790 did the first proposal hit lawmakers discussing the need for a standard system.

Because the English previously had the biggest hold in America, Congress suggested pulling parts from the imperial system – this included the yard.

However, in 1866 the metric system was adopted across the US.

The foot measurement was redefined in 1959 to meet international standards, which is 0.3048 of a meter, but allowed the old version to exist – but it will disappear in 2023.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk