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Chain ( Eng. " Chain length ") or chain is a unit of length .


Other terms for the measure of cord or chain:

Anglo-American system of measurement

Physical unit
Unit name Chain
Unit symbol
Physical quantity (s) length
Formula symbol
system Anglo-American system of measurement
In SI units
Named after English chain , "chain"
Derived from Rod

In the Anglo-American area , a chain with the unit symbol ch. designated.

1 ch. = 4 approx. = Left 100 = 66 ft. = 20.1168 meters

1 statute mile = 8 furlong = 80 chain = 320 rd. = 8000 link

The chain is currently still used by British engineers to measure distances between stations or bridges. In the UK, however, it has been out of use for land surveying for some time, whereas in Australia and New Zealand it was still used for this purpose in the recent past.

The unit acre (4046.86 m²) corresponds to a strip-shaped field of 10 chain × 1 chain that a team of oxen could plow in about a day . The units morning , day's work and yoke , which in Europe are still alive today in the rural population, have similar dimensions .


In German-speaking countries, the chain was a comparable measure. In the measures and weights of the North German Confederation of August 17, 1878 it was laid down


The short-lived Swiss chain introduced at the time of the Helvetic Republic was between 0.498 and 0.610 meters, depending on the canton.

  • length
    • 1 half chain = 5 cubits
    • 1 double chain = 20 cubits
    • 1 chain = 10 cubits
    • 5 chains = 1 half cord
    • 10 chains = 1 cord
    • 20 chains = 1 double cord
  • surface
    • 1 square chain = 100 square cells
    • 50 square chains = 1 half-square cord
    • 100 square chains = 1 square cord

Individual evidence

  1. Fr. Silber: The universal calculator for business transactions: Contains the conversion of coins, weights, etc. Dimensions of all countries in the world. Volume 1, Moritz Ruhl Verlag, Leipzig 1870, p. 390.
  2. Gustav Wagner, Friedrich Anton Strackerjan: Compendium of the coin, measure, weight and exchange rate ratios of all states and trading cities on earth. BG Teubner, Leipzig 1855, p. 285.
  3. Mail online, January 25, 2015
  4. C. Bopp: The international measure, weight and coin agreement through the metric system. Julius Maier Publishing House, Stuttgart 1869, p. 83
  5. ^ Johann Georg Tralles: Report of the establishment of the basic units of the metric system adopted by the Franconian Republic by the member of the Swiss Republic who is responsible for this business. In the National-Buchdruckerei, Bern 1801, p. 80