Moxon Feet

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Brock French's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2007 - 5:01am
Moxon Feet

Hi all,

I'm attempting to make some comparative graphics of various units of measure re. type-making history...
I'm trying to suss this out with

Specifically regarding '¶ 2 Of Letter' of Moxon's ...Art of printing:
When he speaks of 'feet' in 1683, should this be regarded as The Roman foot divided by the 10/11 rule of the 'Composition of Yards' law?

∴ 10.59090... modern inches?

Alternately, preferably - does such a chart already exist?


David Yoon's picture
Joined: 17 Apr 2006 - 7:58pm

It's probably a mistake to try to be too systematic about units of measure prior to 1795. For Moxon, as the Wikipedia article indicates, these would be English feet, i.e., more or less the same as 12 inches American, but measures were less standardized in general before the Industrial Revolution, so it should be thought of as roughly 30 or 31 centimeters, give or take, not as an exact unit. Each typefounder or printer would have had his own measuring tools that might or might not give the same results as others'.