4.18.2005

Dad, Where does a pole come from?

Not the North Pole or magnetic pole, but a measure of distance. A pole is a British measurement of distance that was often used to measure land. I recently came across this interesting measure when I was reading Lewis and Clark's journals. They described the Great Falls of Montana to be a length of so many poles from one fall to the next. So upon searching the glorious internet, I came across what a pole is.

A pole is is 1/4 of 22 yards (66 feet) which comes out to be 16.5 feet. This was related to the amount of land a person could work over the course of a day. "It was reckond to be 2 perches by 2 perches (33 x 33 feet). Related to this was the ability for oxen to work an area of land in a day. 40 dayworks in an acre--the area that could be worked by a team of oxen in a day. A daywrok being 4 square perches.

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