• History of the compilation

    Using a compass by an ancient town planner.

    There is a legend about the ancient Greek inventor named Daedalus. This name meant "skillful" and was given to him not in vain. Legend ascribes to Daedalus the invention of carpentry, testifies that he was known as an excellent architect and sculptor. Once, Daedalus, being imprisoned on the island, made himself and his son Icarus wings of bird feathers, having waxed them. Before the flight, he strictly forbade Ikara to climb high into the sky and approach the sun. But the young man, having flown into the air, forgot about his father's instructions, so he liked to soar freely, like a bird. Sunlight melted the wax. The feathers flew, and Icarus fell into the sea and died.

    Daedalus in Athens had a nephew named Taloy, a very talented young man. When Talos was only 12 years old, he came up with a potter's wheel, with which people began to make dishes. The skeleton of the fish led him to the idea of ​​making the first saw in the world. Uncle Talos envied his talent and, seizing the moment, pushed the young man off the city rampart. But before that, Talos managed to give people another invention. He connected with the help of a hinge two identical lengths of the rod - so it turned out to be a compass.

    Legend is a legend, and the compass and ruler are probably the oldest drawing tools on earth. On the walls and domes of temples and houses, on the carved cups and cups of ancient Babylonia and Assyria, such straight lines are drawn, such regular circles that it is simply impossible to hold them without the compass and ruler. And there were these states about 3 thousand years ago.


    The oldest, which has come down to us no longer from legend, but from reality, was found in France during excavations of an ancient burial mound. He lay in the ground for more than 2 thousand years. In the ashes that fell asleep 1900 years ago the Greek city of Pompeii, archaeologists have discovered many bronze circuses already.

    Compasses has always been an indispensable assistant to architects and builders. It is no accident that the façade of one of the most ancient and beautiful churches in Georgia( it is called Svetitskhoveli) depicts the hand of the architect, and behind it the compasses. In Ancient Russia, they loved the pattern of small regular circles. A steel compass is a cutter for drawing such a pattern - archaeologists have found at excavations in Novgorod.

    Agree, there is something in this tool that makes you treat it with respect. Here is how Yu. K. Olesha, the author of the famous fairy tale "Three Fat Men" described his acquaintance with him in his childhood: "In a velvet bed lies a cold shining compass, tightly clenching its legs. He has a heavy head. I intend to raise it. He suddenly opens up and injects into his hand. "

    Today there are many different circulations. They are needed for drawing circles and arcs, measuring the length of segments, transferring sizes from one drawing to another, etc. Czechoslovak engineers at the international machine-building exhibition in Brno received a gold medal for the improvement of the drawing tool. When the height of the compass is 12 centimeters, you can make a circle with a diameter of up to 60 centimeters, and very accurately. For this, the tool is equipped with a system of elongating levers with screw heads. This design, perhaps, is one of the few that really are original. The fact is that already the circulations found during the excavations in ancient Pompeii were so perfect that the following centuries practically did not contribute anything to their design!

    People always needed to be able to draw straight lines. The smoothly trimmed plank-ruler helped to delineate the stone slab in the construction of the pyramids, to divide the parchment sheet into columns. In the schools of Rome in the plank cut through the window letters and the teacher led them through the student's inept hands.

    We did not do without a ruler - "rule" - and Russian scribes. Each of them hung a lined awl at the belt beside the clay inkwell. In the expenditure books of the Moscow orders of the XVII century, the name "Karakse" is often found. So called their own imagery. They were a frame in the size of the sheet, on which the threads were tightened. Putting a scribe on a sheet of paper, the scribe ran along the threads with a bone stick, squeezing out line-stitches on paper. That is why the manuscripts of that time surprise us with the evenness of the lines and the precise intervals.

    Divisions in the ruler( centimeters, millimeters) appeared after in 1719, at the suggestion of the Paris Academy of Sciences, a meter was adopted per unit of length - one ten-millionth part of the quarter of the Parisian geographic meridian. But before that, there were various measures of length. In Ancient Rus the basic units of measures of length were sazhen, elbow and span. Sazhen corresponded to the distance between the arms stretched out by a man from the thumb of one hand to the thumb of the other. It was about two meters. Elbow is one of the oldest measures of length, applied to different peoples. The size of the elbow ranged from 38 to 46 centimeters, which corresponds to the distance from the end of the elongated middle finger of the hand or the compressed fist to the elbow fold. The span is the distance between the extended thumb and forefinger of the hand, equal to about half the elbow. So it turns out that sazhen = 4 elbows = 8 seconds. There were also large measures of length - a verst, or field, equal to 750 fathoms, and vague measures: "rocking", that is, the distance that an abandoned stone flies, "shooting" - the distance that an arrow, launched from a bow," and others.

    Since the end of the XV century, along with the ancient measures of length, a new one is beginning to be used - arshin. Arshin was divided into 4 quarters, each quarter - 4 vertoshka. A quarter was taken equal to the span.

    The metric system of measures began to be introduced in our country since 1918.This process lasted quite a long time and was completed only in the late 1930s. Now the metric system has firmly entered our life and is the only valid and legal system throughout the country.

    On October 14, 1960, the XI General Conference on Weights and Measures decided on a new definition of the meter as a length equal to 1650763.73 of the radiation wavelength in a vacuum corresponding to the orange line of the spectrum of the krypton isotope with an atomic weight of 86. Due to this, the accuracy of the old standard of length increasedabout 100 times, which is necessary with the modern development of science and technology.

    Take note of

    Vintage measures of length

    Mile( 7 versts) ≈ 7.5 km

    Verst( 500 fathoms) ≈ 1 km

    Sazhen( 3 arshins, 7 feet) ≈2 m

    Arshin( 4 quarters, 16 versts, 28inches) ≈ 71 cm

    Tops ≈ 4.4 cm

    Foot ≈ 30.5 cm