Letters to the Editor

Gunter's chain provided practical solution


| October 2005


The Surveyor's Chain (Farm Collector letters, June 2005) is called the Gunter's Chain, named after the inventor, E. Gunter. The Gunter's Chain was invented in the early 1600s. The chain is 66 feet long and has 100 links. The brass tags should denote 10 links, which makes counting easier. The chain converted measurements directly to acres because one chain by 10 chains equal one acre. Simply multiply length by width and move the decimal point one place to the left for acres. The federal government still uses a steel tape marked in chains and links to measure agricultural land for compliance in crop programs. Manufacturing a single tape 66 feet long would have been challenge in the early 1600s; short links bent together were much more manageable.

Mike Gunther
Dixon, Mo.

Editor's note: Mike Gunther is responding to Barbara and Arnold Walters' question (Farm Collector, August 2005), regarding the significance of the brass tags located on the marker.














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