One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A former measuring instrument 66 feet (20.1 m) long, subdivided into 100 links, each of which is a short section of wire connected to the next link by a loop. It has now been superseded by the steel tape and electronic equipment.
- ‘These lines all derive from the US Public Land Survey which began on 30 September 1785 when Thomas Hutchins, first Geographer of the United States, unrolled a 22 yard Gunter's chain on the west bank of the Ohio river.’
- ‘He also invented Gunter's chain which was 22 yards long with 100 links.’
- 1.1 A measure of length equivalent to a Gunter's chain, equal to 1/10 furlong or 1/80 mile.Also called chain
Late 17th century: named after Edmund Gunter (1581–1626), the English mathematician who devised it.
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