Paris inch

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Paris inch
Unit system French
Unit of length
Unit conversions
1 paris inch in ... ... is equal to ...
   SI units    0.027069 m
   imperial/US units    0.08881 ft
 1.0657 in

"The Paris inch is commonly employed as the unit by which to express the focal length of lenses, and it cannot, therefore, be dispensed with"

The Ophthalmoscope (1864) [1]

The Paris inch or pouce is an archaic unit of length that, among other uses, was common for giving the measurement of lenses. [1] The Paris inch could be subdivided into 12 Paris lines (ligne), and 12 Paris inches made a Paris foot.[1] The Paris foot, Paris inch and Paris line could be abbreviated with the prime symbol ( ′ ), double prime symbol ( ″ ), and triple prime symbol ( ‴ ) respectively, like some other inch and foot units.[1] The Paris inch is longer than the English inch and the Vienna inch, although the Vienna inch was subdivided with a decimal, not 12 lines.[1][2]

A famous measurement made using the Paris inch is the lens measurement of the first great refractor telescope, the Dorpat Great Refractor, also known as the Fraunhofer 9-inch. The 9-Paris inch diameter lens was made by Joseph von Fraunhofer, which works out to about 24.4 centimetres (9.59 English inches). This lens had the largest aperture of its day for an achromatic lens.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Zander, Adolf (1864). Google Books The Ophthalmoscope Check |url= value (help). 
  2. ^, Notes by David Heaf on Anweisung zur nützlichen and angenehmen Bienenzucht für alle Gegenden by Pfarrer Johann Ludwig Christ (1739-1813) Rodheim, Hessen, Germany
  3. ^ adsabs link Fraunhofer and the Great Dorpat Refractor, Waaland, J. Robert, American Journal of Physics, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp. 344-350 (1967)
  4. ^

See also[edit]