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Along with stone, mud, and animal parts, wood was certainly one of the first materials

worked by primitive human beings. Microwear analysis of the Mousterian stone tools
used by the Neanderthals show that many were used to work wood. The development of
civilization was closely tied to the development of increasingly greater degrees of skill in
working these materials.

Among early finds of wooden tools are the worked sticks from Kalambo Falls, Clacton-
on-Sea and Lehringen. The spears from Schöningen (Germany) provide some of the first
examples of wooden hunting gear. Flint tools were used for carving. Since Neolithic
times, carved wooden vessels are known, for example, from the Linear Pottery culture
wells at Kückhofen and Eythra. Examples of Bronze Age wood-carving include tree
trunks worked into coffins from northern Germany and Denmarkand wooden folding-
chairs. The site of Fellbach-Schmieden in Germany has provided fine examples of
wooden animal statues from the Iron Age. Wooden idols from the La Tène period are
known from a sanctuary at the source of the Seine in France.

Two ancient civilizations that used woodworking were the Egyptians and the Chinese.
Woodworking is depicted in many ancient Egyptian drawings, and a considerable amount
of ancient Egyptian furniture (such as stools, chairs, tables, beds, chests) has been
preserved in tombs. As well, the inner coffins found in the tombs were also made of
wood. The metal used by the Egyptians for woodworking tools was originally copper and
eventually, after 2000 BC bronze as ironworking was unknown until much later.[1]
Commonly used woodworking tools included axes, adzes, chisels, pull saws, and bow
drills. Mortise and tenon joints are attested from the earliest Predynastic period. These
joints were strengthened using pegs, dowels and leather or cord lashings. Animal glue
came to be used only in the New Kingdom period.[2] Ancient Egyptians invented the art
of veneering and used varnishes for finishing, though the composition of these varnishes
is unknown. Although different native acacias were used, as was the wood from the local
sycamore and tamarisk trees, deforestation in the Nile valley resulted in the need for the
importation of wood, notably cedar, but also Aleppo pine, boxwood and oak, starting
from the Second Dynasty.[3]

The progenitors of Chinese woodworking are considered to be Lu Ban (魯班) and his
wife Lady Yun, from the Spring and Autumn Period. Lu Ban is said to have brought the
plane, chalkline, and other tools to China. His teachings are supposedly left behind in the
book Lu Ban Jing (魯班經, "Manuscript of Lu Ban"), although it was written some 1500
years after his death. This book is filled largely with descriptions of dimensions for use in
building various items such as flower pots, tables, altars, etc., and also contains extensive
instructions concerning Feng Shui. It mentions almost nothing of the intricate glueless
and nailless joinery for which Chinese furniture was so famous.
A system of measurement is a set of units which can be used to specify anything which
can be measured and were historically important, regulated and defined because of trade
and internal commerce. Scientifically, when later analyzed, some quantities are
designated as fundamental units meaning all other needed units can be derived from
them, whereas in the early and most historic eras, the units were given by fiat (See
Statutory law) by the ruling entities and were not necessarily well inter-related or self-

Although we might suggest that the Egyptians had discovered the art of measurement, it is really
only with the Greeks that the science of measurement begins to appear. The Greeks' knowledge of
geometry, and their early experimentation with weights and measures, soon began to place their
measurement system on a more scientific basis. By comparison, Roman science, which came
later, was not as advanced...[1]

The French Revolution gave rise to a scientific system, and there has been steady
significant pressure since to convert to a scientific basis from so called customary units of
measure. In most systems, length (distance), weight, and time are fundamental quantities;
or as has been now accepted as better in science and engineering, the substitution of mass
for weight, as a better more basic parameter. Some systems have changed to recognize
the improved relationship, notably the 1824 legal changes to the imperial system.

Later science developments showed that either electric charge or electric current must
be added to complete the minimum set of fundamental quantities by which all other
metrological units may be defined. Other quantities, such as power, speed, etc. are
derived from the fundamental set; for example, speed is distance divided by time.
Historically a wide range of units were used for the same quantity; for example, in
several cultural settings, length was measured in inches, feet, yards, fathoms, rods,
chains, furlongs, miles, nautical miles, stadia, leagues, with conversion factors which are
not simple powers of ten or even always simple fractions within a given customary

Nor were they necessarily the same units (or equal units) between different members of
similar cultural backgrounds. It must be understood by the modern reader that
historically, measurement systems were perfectly adequate within their own cultural
milieu, and the understanding that a better more universal system (based on more
rationale and fundamental units) only gradually spread with the maturation and
appreciation of the rigor characteristic of Newtonian physics. Moreover, changing one's
measurement system has real fiscal and cultural costs.

Once the analysis tools within that field were appreciated and came into widespread use
in the nascent sciences, especially in the utilitarian subfields of applied science like civil
and mechanical engineering, conversion to a common basis had no impetus. It was only
after the appreciation of these needs and the appreciation of the difficulties of converting
between numerous national customary systems became widespread could there be any
serious justification for an international effort of standardization. Credit the French
Revolutionary spirit for taking the first significant and radical step down that road.

In antiquity, systems of measurement were defined locally, the different units were
defined independently according to the length of a king's thumb or the size of his foot, the
length of stride, the length of arm or per custom like the weight of water in a keg of
specific size, perhaps itself defined in hands and knuckles. The unifying characteristic is
that there was some definition based on some standard, however egocentric or amusing it
may now seem viewed with eyes used to modern precision. Eventually cubits and strides
gave way under need and demand from merchants and evolved to customary units.

In the metric system and other recent systems, a single basic unit is used for each
fundamental quantity. Often secondary units (multiples and submultiples) are used which
convert to the basic units by multiplying by powers of ten, i.e., by simply moving the
decimal point. Thus the basic metric unit of length is the metre or meter; a distance of
1.234 m is 1234.0 millimetres, or 0.001234 kilometres.

[edit] Metric system

A baby bottle that measures in three measurement systems—imperial (U.K.), U.S.

customary, and metric.

Metric systems of units have evolved since the adoption of the first well-defined system
in France in 1795. During this evolution the use of these systems spread throughout the
world, first to the non-English-speaking countries, and more recently to the English
speaking countries.

Multiples and submultiples of metric units are related by powers of ten; the names for
these are formed with prefixes. This relationship is compatible with the decimal system
of numbers and it contributes greatly to the convenience of metric units.

In the early metric system there were two fundamental or base units, the metre and the
gram, for length and mass. The other units of length and mass, and all units of area,
volume, and compound units such as density were derived from these two fundamental

Mesures usuelles (French for customary measurements) were a system of measurement

introduced to act as compromise between the metric system and traditional
measurements. It was used in France from 1812 to 1839.

A number of variations on the metric system have been in use. These include
gravitational systems, the centimetre-gram-second systems (cgs) useful in science, the
metre-tonne-second system (mts) once used in the USSR and the metre-kilogram-second
system of units (mks) most commonly used today.

The current international standard metric system is the International System of Units
(Système international d'unités or SI) It is an mks system based on the metre, kilogram
and second as well as the kelvin, ampere, candela, and mole.

The SI includes two classes of units which are defined and agreed internationally. The
first of these classes are the seven SI base units for length, mass, time, temperature,
electric current, luminous intensity and amount of substance. The second of these are the
SI derived units. These derived units are defined in terms of the seven base units. All
other quantities (e.g. work, force, power) are expressed in terms of SI derived units.