Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9802148:


The Rake 5 12, 12:09pm

It makes a lot more sense if you know that acres were defined for agricultural reasons. A furlong is 1/8 of a mile (~200m) and a chain is 1/10 that. The reason it's a long rectangular strip is that when you're plowing, turning around is a lot of trouble. So a furlong is that length because that's a standardized version of the ad hoc distance of "approximately where the average plow team will want to stop to take a break anyhow." And then chains are surveying lengths which were basically set to make a nice, round number of acres fit into a square mile.