The Origins and History of Calibration
‘Calibrate’ and ‘Calibration’ entered the English vocabulary around the time of the American Civil War, specifically in terms of a description of artillery and it was thought to be derived from a measurement of the calibre of the gun in question.
Artillery pieces that we see in front of us would need to be calibrated if a round missed the target by a few hundred metres. Then the artillery piece would need to be calibrated in order to make it more accurate.
However, the principles of calibration and the general process began at a much earlier time. In fact, some of the earliest known systems of calibration began in the ancient civilizations of Egypt Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley
Some of the earliest known systems of measurement and calibration seem to have been originated in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Countless excavations reveal the use of angular gradations for construction in these civilizations.
It’s important to note however that the actual term ‘calibration’ was first likely associated with the precise division of linear distance and angles using a dividing engine and the measurement of gravitational mass using a rating scale.
In fact these two forms of measurement and their direct derivatives supported nearly all commercial activity and technological development from the earliest civilizations we know off until around 1800 AD.
The Avery postal scale which uses the measurement of gravitational mass using a rating system. This is a great example of one of these systems in play, as mentioned this system of measurement has been in place since the earliest origins of civilization to only around 200 years ago; quite fascinating to think about!
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