Chain (unit)

chainschainchainageengineer's chainChain (length)Gunter chainsurveyor's chain(surveyor's) chain66-foot measuring chainCh
The chain is a unit of length equal to 66 feet (22 yards).wikipedia
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Rod (unit)

rodsrodperches
It is subdivided into 100 links or 4 rods.
The rod or perch or pole (sometimes also lug) is a surveyor’s tool and unit of length exactly equal to 5 1⁄2 yards, 16 feet, of a statute mile, or one-fourth of a surveyor's chain (approximately 5.0292 meters).

Furlong

furlongsf7 furlongs
There are 10 chains in a furlong, and 80 chains in one statute mile.
A furlong is a measure of distance in imperial units and U.S. customary units equal to one eighth of a mile, equivalent to 660 feet, 220 yards, 40 rods, or 10 chains.

Link (unit)

linklinks
It is subdivided into 100 links or 4 rods. From Gunter's system, the chain and the link became standard surveyors' units of length and crossed to the colonies.
The unit is based on Gunter's chain, a metal chain 66 feet long with 100 links, that was formerly used in land surveying.

Imperial units

imperialimperial systemimperial unit
These longer chains became obsolete following the adoption of the imperial system in 1824.
The original railways (many built in the Victorian era) are a big user of imperial units, with distances officially measured in miles and yards or miles and chains, and also feet and inches, and speeds are in miles per hour.

Acre

acresacreageac
It is traditionally defined as the area of one chain by one furlong (66 by 660 feet), which is exactly equal to 10 square chains, 1⁄640 of a square mile, or 43,560 square feet, and approximately 4,047 m 2, or about 40% of a hectare.

Section (United States land surveying)

sectionsection cornerssections
Under the US Public Land Survey System, parcels of land are often described in terms of the section (640 acre), quarter-section (160 acre), and quarter-quarter-section (40 acre).
A section can be halved seven times in this way, down to a 5 acre parcel, or half of a quarter-quarter-quarter section—an easily surveyed 50-square-chain (2 ha) area.

Cricket pitch

pitchpitcheswicket
The chain also survives as the length of a cricket pitch, being the distance between the stumps.
It is 22 yd long (1 chain) and 10 ft wide.

Gunter's chain

chainsurveyor's chainmeasuring chain
From Gunter's system, the chain and the link became standard surveyors' units of length and crossed to the colonies.
These, the chain and the link, became statutory measures in England and subsequently the British Empire.

Edmund Gunter

Gunter ruleGunter's scaleGunter's rule
In 1620, the polymath Edmund Gunter developed a method of accurately surveying land using a surveyor's chain 66 feet long with 100 links.
The length of the chain chosen, 66 ft, being called a chain gives a unit easily converted to area.

Public Land Survey System

PLSSPublic Lands Survey Systemsurvey
Under the US Public Land Survey System, parcels of land are often described in terms of the section (640 acre), quarter-section (160 acre), and quarter-quarter-section (40 acre). A federal law was passed in 1785 (the Public Land Survey Ordinance) that all official government surveys must be done with a Gunter's (surveyor's) chain.
Distances were always measured in chains and links, based on Edmund Gunter's 66-foot measuring chain.

Weights and Measures Acts (UK)

Weights and Measures ActWeights and Measures Act 1985Weights and Measures Act 1824
This unit is a statute measure in the United Kingdom, defined in the Weights and Measures Act 1985.

Cadastre

cadastralcadastercadastral map
The thirteen states of America were expanding westward and the public land had to be surveyed for a cadastral.
Properties are generally rectangular, boundary lines often run on cardinal bearings, and parcel dimensions are often in fractions or multiples of chains.

Ramsden surveying instruments

Ramsden theodolitegreat theodolitenew theodolite
A longer chain of 100 ft, with a hundred 1 ft links, was devised in the UK in the late 18th century by Jesse Ramsden, though it never supplanted Gunter's chain.
Eighteenth-century surveyors used Gunter's chains which were 22 yards long (one chain with 100 links of 7.92 inches).

Yard

yardsydTotal return yards
The chain is a unit of length equal to 66 feet (22 yards).

Unit of measurement

unitunits of measurementweights and measures
The chain is a unit of length equal to 66 feet (22 yards).

Length

widthlengthsbreadth
The chain is a unit of length equal to 66 feet (22 yards).

Odometer

clockingmilometerodometers
By extension, chainage (running distance) is the distance along a curved or straight survey line from a fixed commencing point, as given by an odometer.

Mile

miRoman milemiles
There are 10 chains in a furlong, and 80 chains in one statute mile. In 1593 the English mile was redefined by a statute of Queen Elizabeth I as 5280 feet, to tie in with agricultural practice.

Elizabeth I of England

Elizabeth IQueen Elizabeth IQueen Elizabeth
In 1593 the English mile was redefined by a statute of Queen Elizabeth I as 5280 feet, to tie in with agricultural practice.

Composition of Yards and Perches

Act on the Composition of Yards and Perchesa statute of c. 1300agricultural practice
In 1593 the English mile was redefined by a statute of Queen Elizabeth I as 5280 feet, to tie in with agricultural practice.

Polymath

Renaissance manpolyhistorHomo Universalis
In 1620, the polymath Edmund Gunter developed a method of accurately surveying land using a surveyor's chain 66 feet long with 100 links.

Thomas Jefferson

JeffersonPresident JeffersonJeffersonian
In 1784 Thomas Jefferson wrote a report for the Continental Congress proposing the rectangular survey system; it was adopted with some changes as the Land Ordinance of 1785 on 20 May the following year.