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Regional Boards => Canada => Topic started by: ghYHZ on November 16, 2011, 05:55:43 AM

Title: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: ghYHZ on November 16, 2011, 05:55:43 AM
Signs were recently replaced at the TCH106 Rotary at Pictou, NS……somehow they missed this one!

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-fbn4Fg41cjY/TsOUIShlyFI/AAAAAAAAIKM/G7orltpo9wM/s800/IMG_0760.JPG)

http://g.co/maps/m6qwn

Sign would have been erected in 1968 when that section of the Trans Canada opened and converted to Metric in 1977…….but its roots are clearly showing!

Let’s see your photos of any other pre-metric relics out there.

  
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: RoadWarrior56 on November 16, 2011, 07:17:32 AM
I don't know if they are still there, but back in '05 when I drove through Calgary on the freeway that goes N-S, there were a few bridge clearance warning signs that were still in feet and inches.  They made me feel at home.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Alps on November 16, 2011, 07:25:29 PM
Several other ones around my NS pages, but the first one I thought of when I saw the thread title is the one you posted!
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Brandon on November 16, 2011, 11:27:51 PM
I don't know if they are still there, but back in '05 when I drove through Calgary on the freeway that goes N-S, there were a few bridge clearance warning signs that were still in feet and inches.  They made me feel at home.

It's a shame Canada changed; there was no reason to change to the French system.  However, the Canadian building trades flat out rejected Trudeau and his ego trip and still use Imperial measurements for building structures.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: corco on November 16, 2011, 11:31:18 PM
Quote
It's a shame Canada changed; there was no reason to change to the French system.  However, the Canadian building trades flat out rejected Trudeau and his ego trip and still use Imperial measurements for building structures.

Besides the fact that the entire rest of the world besides one superpower and a couple third world countries are using it? And the whole Canadian cultural desire to differentiate herself from the USA?
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: J N Winkler on November 17, 2011, 12:49:41 AM
I don't know about that, Corco.  Canada's struggle to self-define a cultural identity distinct from that of the USA has led to its being labeled a "nation of assistant professors," but I think Canadian metric conversion has to be seen in the context of a wider push toward metric in the Anglophone world during the 1970's.  Canada, New Zealand, and Australia all converted to metric in the 1970's, and planning for metric conversion was well underway in the US and Britain at the same time.

Canada had no control over metric conversion in the US.  If it had gone forward, instead of stalling after a few localized experiments like I-19, control-city distance signing in Ohio, and dual-units signing in California, the same units system would be in use on both sides of the border and would not be a differentiating feature.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: ghYHZ on November 17, 2011, 05:56:23 AM
It's a shame Canada changed; there was no reason to change to the French system.  However, the Canadian building trades flat out rejected Trudeau and his ego trip and still use Imperial measurements for building structures.
And why is it a shame? You are viewing this from the side-lines…….I’m a Canadian, an Engineering Technologist, use it every day and have been for 30+ years. I’m totally “bilingual” and can switch back and forth between either system, but I DO prefer metric….just makes so much more sense! You still hear the occasional “I’ll never get used to that “new” system” but metric was introduced a long time ago, a whole generation + ago. For someone that entered school back in the late ‘70s, this is the system they’ve been taught but most can easily function in Imperial measure too   
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: vdeane on November 17, 2011, 07:43:16 AM
Even metric isn't esier than the typical American answer to unit conversion: don't.  :-D
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: 1995hoo on November 17, 2011, 07:49:43 AM
It's a shame Canada changed; there was no reason to change to the French system.  However, the Canadian building trades flat out rejected Trudeau and his ego trip and still use Imperial measurements for building structures.
And why is it a shame? You are viewing this from the side-lines…….I’m a Canadian, an Engineering Technologist, use it every day and have been for 30+ years. I’m totally “bilingual” and can switch back and forth between either system, but I DO prefer metric….just makes so much more sense! You still hear the occasional “I’ll never get used to that “new” system” but metric was introduced a long time ago, a whole generation + ago. For someone that entered school back in the late ‘70s, this is the system they’ve been taught but most can easily function in Imperial measure too    

I've lived in the USA my entire life (vacations in Canada and Europe don't count) and I much prefer metric to the silly gibberish measurements used here. It makes a hell of a lot more sense. Plus I'm that age where when I was a kid starting school it was the time when the USA was supposedly going to be switching over soon, so from kindergarten through about the fourth grade the teachers focused more on teaching us metric units than they did the old-fashioned ones. There was some time spent on the American units, just not very much. I thought there were 12 ounces in a pound until I was in my 20s because so many things are sold in 12-ounce packages (yeah, I didn't realize there are two different units of measure with the same name, one for liquids and one for solids).

I find some American objections to metric measurements to be just stupid. My old boss's secretary once said, "How would you be able to tell how fast you're going?" I looked at her and said, with a straight face, "See, there's a speed limit sign that says '100.' You look at the little needle on your dashboard and if it's pointing at '100' you're going the speed limit." I also don't understand how Americans can claim metric is "too confusing." If that's so, shouldn't our money be too confusing to understand? It's decimal as well, after all.

I will concede that until your mind adjusts, using degrees Celsius is probably a harder adjustment for most people than weights and distances.


Regarding signs, I haven't used the road since 2006, but for many years there was (may still be) a sign just north of the border on Autoroute 15 that said, in French and English, "Our Traffic Signs Are Metric." Then it had a diagram showing a sign on the left that says "Maximum 60/40 Minimum." That sign was crossed out in red and an arrow pointed to another sign on the right that said "Maximum 100/60 Minimum/km/h." (The slashes, except for the one in "km/h," denote where the following text was on another sign.) I always found this sign a bit amusing because if its intent is to help American tourists, it arguably fails because Americans don't have speed limit signs that say "Maximum 60." I thought it would have been more effective if the sign on the left had said "Speed Limit 60."
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: NE2 on November 17, 2011, 08:11:55 AM
Here we go again...
Personally I prefer having a distance measurement system that corresponds to the Public Land Survey System. I don't really care about weights and volumes, but there's absolutely no advantage of Celsius over Fahrenheit, since you can't multiply in a temperature system that's not zeroed on absolute zero. Switching to metric time would be more logical than to Celsius.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: 1995hoo on November 17, 2011, 09:53:43 AM
.... Switching to metric time would be more logical than to Celsius.

The French tried that during the Revolution. Didn't work too well. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Republican_Calendar)
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: formulanone on November 17, 2011, 06:16:27 PM
The French tried that during the Revolution. Didn't work too well. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Republican_Calendar)

I could get used to that 5-day work week...er, décade.

Remembering 360 day names, now that's a bit tricky.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Duke87 on November 17, 2011, 07:15:39 PM
Regarding signs, I haven't used the road since 2006, but for many years there was (may still be) a sign just north of the border on Autoroute 15 that said, in French and English, "Our Traffic Signs Are Metric." Then it had a diagram showing a sign on the left that says "Maximum 60/40 Minimum." That sign was crossed out in red and an arrow pointed to another sign on the right that said "Maximum 100/60 Minimum/km/h."

May 2011:
(http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/9499/img1511uv.jpg)
Similar idea, but not bilingual.

Handling speed limits and distances in meters and kilometers is quite easy for me, at least insofar as driving is concerned. I can "Thinkmetric", as the old signs said. And liters I understand just as easily as gallons since, after all, we do use them here!

Other measures are more difficult. Celsius I usually need to convert to Fahrenheit to really comprehend. Kilograms I need to convert to pounds somewhat.

And then of course you have things that are selective comprehension based on application. Say you have a 60 Watt lightbulb and I know exactly what you mean. But say you have a 60 Watt motor and I'll be like "huh, what?". Motor capacities are always measured in horsepower.


All things considered, metric is definitely a neater, simpler system to use if you're used to it. But realistically the costs for the US to convert would be astronomical and we don't have the money. That, and Americans are stubborn and we like being different. :-P
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Dr Frankenstein on November 17, 2011, 11:48:08 PM
I can only think of one particular sign in my area that used to tell a distance in imperial units. On "STOP AHEAD" signs, we used to put the distance to the stop inside the red octogon, and I'm pretty sure at least one has been modified from "500" (feet) to "50m"... quite sloppily too.

But this really is the only one I can think of.

Nova Scotia has a good number of very old signs with remnants of imperial units, though.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: 1995hoo on November 18, 2011, 07:57:11 AM
Regarding signs, I haven't used the road since 2006, but for many years there was (may still be) a sign just north of the border on Autoroute 15 that said, in French and English, "Our Traffic Signs Are Metric." Then it had a diagram showing a sign on the left that says "Maximum 60/40 Minimum." That sign was crossed out in red and an arrow pointed to another sign on the right that said "Maximum 100/60 Minimum/km/h."

May 2011:
(http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/9499/img1511uv.jpg)
Similar idea, but not bilingual.

....

That sign makes more sense because of the "mph" plaque.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: formulanone on November 18, 2011, 08:15:07 AM
Handling speed limits and distances in meters and kilometers is quite easy for me, at least insofar as driving is concerned. I can "Thinkmetric", as the old signs said. [...] Kilograms I need to convert to pounds somewhat.

Same here, if we went to cm-km or kg overnight, I would be fine.

I think part of this is if you've ever been to a foreign country, and you perform a mental calculation to make sure you aren't being ripped off between your currency and the one you now need to use. After a day or two, you barely think twice about it (if they use a "metric" form of currency, that is; I can only imagine the hijinks of visiting the UK before their currency changes for 1970).

Quote
Other measures are more difficult. Celsius I usually need to convert to Fahrenheit to really comprehend.
I think that one would be the tricky one. Great for methods refrigeration and freezers, but of little helpful difference for anything else. Conversion factor is also really odd. Kelvin is really the only scientific scale (and nobody publicly uses that for discussing ambient temperatures).

Quote
But say you have a 60 Watt motor and I'll be like "huh, what?". Motor capacities are always measured in horsepower.

Interestingly, power ratings are all over the map, literally.

We use Horsepower, but on some nations they use the kW (kilowatt), which 1 hp = 0.986 kW. Some automakers didn't like advertising a "decrease" in power...
but Germany and some parts of Europe and Japan occasionally use the Pferdestärke or PS: which is literally the inverse: 1 PS = 0.986 hp. For all intents and purposes, it's quite close (almost nobody can notice a 5 hp difference, anyhow).

Even if we did a massive conversion, I don't think there would be a massive improvement in efficiency with business, government, and industry just because we suddently went metric; if anything, we'd be collectively flummoxed for a year or two. There would be so many holdouts and exceptions granted (sports, traditions, non-profits, as to make things even more annoying).

That sign makes more sense because of the "mph" plaque.

Except 62 mph = 100 km/h.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: vdeane on November 18, 2011, 09:37:18 AM
There's a similar speed limit conversion sign on ON 137 north leaving Hill Island.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: 1995hoo on November 18, 2011, 11:00:46 AM
That sign makes more sense because of the "mph" plaque.

Except 62 mph = 100 km/h.

Technically, yes. However, the point of the sign is not to be hypertechnical, but rather to remind the driver which measurements are in use, especially since many Canadian speed limit signs no longer have the supplemental "km/h" reminder underneath. Conversions of speed limits are not normally hard conversions where you switch to the exact number (though there used to be a sign on I-87 just south of the border that showed 105 km/h switching to 65 mph). Rather, a speed limit of 60 mph or 65 mph usually switches to 100 km/h even though it's not an exact conversion; 65 might also switch to 110. Speed limits aren't normally posted in increments of anything other than 5 mph in the USA, and in Canada the only times I can recall seeing 5 km/h gradients were on yellow advisory speed signs. Even the MUTCD edition that used metric as the primary system of measurement used soft conversions, as I distinctly recall it referring to 100 km/h and then saying "65 mph" in parentheses.

So anyway, as a practical matter, the sign is accurate from the standpoint that they're saying a 60-mph speed limit changes to a 100 km/h speed limit.

Point is, I understand what you're saying and I concede your accuracy, but I think the level of precision you're referring to isn't necessarily beneficial on a road sign that's intended as purely informational. A distance sign ought to be either converted more precisely or, if round units are preferred, relocated to ensure the right distance, but the intent of a distance sign is very different from a sign of the particular sort at issue here.


There's a similar speed limit conversion sign on ON 137 north leaving Hill Island.

Been a long time since I went northbound that way—only been southbound recently. The sign I remember there from family vacations when I was a kid said "Canada has gone metric!" (with the exclamation point) and I don't remember what the speed limit information underneath looked like. I seem to recall a US-style speed limit sign on the left and it then said "changes to" with a Canadian-style sign on the right. I have no clue what the numbers were. I understand why in Quebec they'd use a different scheme due to the language issue.

The ferry terminal in Yarmouth didn't have any sort of advisory sign and I just don't remember as to any of the other border crossings I've used because I wasn't paying attention.



Edited to add: Alps Roads has a picture of the Autoroute 15 sign I recall being there as recently as a trip to Mont-Tremblant in January 2006. (http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/qc/a-15/) I understand he doesn't like people to embed his images elsewhere, so I've simply linked the page. BTW, I agree with him about liking their four-way stop indication.

Edited to add: They removed bandwidth limitations, so go ahead.
(http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/qc/a-15/sl.jpg)

Photo by Averill Hecht ( alhecht at comcast.net ) who asked that he receive credit.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: J N Winkler on November 18, 2011, 11:38:02 AM
I think part of this is if you've ever been to a foreign country, and you perform a mental calculation to make sure you aren't being ripped off between your currency and the one you now need to use. After a day or two, you barely think twice about it (if they use a "metric" form of currency, that is; I can only imagine the hijinks of visiting the UK before their currency changes for 1970).

It is actually not that difficult.  4 farthings to a penny, 12 pennies to a shilling, 20 shillings to the pound.  Things ceased to be priced in farthings several decades before decimalization, so the system had been simplified even further.  In practice only fairly major purchases were priced out in full in pounds, shillings, and pence.  Most other things, like groceries and paperback books, were priced just in shillings and pence (often separated with a slash and a hyphen for whole shilling amounts:  e.g., 5/-).  The pound was not really pocket money until after inflation in the 1960's and 1970's.  To give an idea of how valuable the pound was, in the 1930's £500 was a typical price for a house.  I also don't think £1 was the lowest denomination of paper currency until relatively late (I believe five-shilling and ten-shilling banknotes were issued at various points in the pre-decimalization period).

The real difficulty came immediately after decimalization, when pre-decimal currency was still in circulation and people had to memorize "old money" and "new money" conversion factors until it was withdrawn from circulation (I think it has since been demonetized).  As an example, two old sixpence coins would have been worth five "new pence" (two sixpence = 1 shilling = 1/20 of £1 = 5p).  Occasionally, in works of popular history, you will see people do these conversions in order to make pre-decimal money amounts accessible to readers who were not born in 1970.  I did not do this in my own graduate thesis, and instead quoted amounts in £ s. d., Reichsmarks, and pre-World War II Italian lire as they were given in the original sources, but whenever I needed to give an impression of how large an amount was compared to other prospective uses of the money, I mentioned things like the cost of milk for schoolchildren, the cost of a "corporation" house, etc.

Quote
Even if we did a massive conversion, I don't think there would be a massive improvement in efficiency with business, government, and industry just because we suddently went metric; if anything, we'd be collectively flummoxed for a year or two. There would be so many holdouts and exceptions granted (sports, traditions, non-profits, as to make things even more annoying).

I tend to agree that we have already gone to metric in nearly all of those areas where switching costs would be liquidated by operating efficiencies over time.  Distance indications on highway signs are not one of them, though a case could be made for height and regulated mass indications on signs.  (In Britain, the regulatory basis for lorry weights has been "maximum authorised mass," expressed in metric units, since 1981, and dual-units signing for bridge clearances has been available since the late 1980's.  In both cases these changes are designed to accommodate international freight movements.  It has since been suggested that dual-unit clearance signing should be made mandatory, or alternatively that clearances should be signed only in metric, since even a mild bridge strike can result in derailment.)

In the US metric units on signs are not even on the table.  The real battle, which has been raging since the mid-1990's and has now been settled decisively in favor of English units, is metrication of highway design and construction.  Many highway engineers would far prefer to work in metric because units for things like stress and strain are dimensionally correct, unlike the English-unit equivalents.  However, the contracting community has resisted metrication because it is costly to change out standardized components like sewer pipe and day laborers have little vernacular knowledge of metric.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: english si on November 18, 2011, 01:44:42 PM
It is actually not that difficult.  4 farthings to a penny, 12 pennies to a shilling, 20 shillings to the pound.  Things ceased to be priced in farthings several decades before decimalization, so the system had been simplified even further.  In practice only fairly major purchases were priced out in full in pounds, shillings, and pence.  Most other things, like groceries and paperback books, were priced just in shillings and pence (often separated with a slash and a hyphen for whole shilling amounts:  e.g., 5/-).  The pound was not really pocket money until after inflation in the 1960's and 1970's.  To give an idea of how valuable the pound was, in the 1930's £500 was a typical price for a house.  I also don't think £1 was the lowest denomination of paper currency until relatively late (I believe five-shilling and ten-shilling banknotes were issued at various points in the pre-decimalization period).
Indeed, you'd only really have worked in two units (pounds and shillings for the rich, for whom the pennies didn't matter, and shillings and pence for everyone else). Even in '58, when my Grandparent's bought their house (now worth something like £180k, if not more), either their mortgage, or their full house price was £600.

Half a penny was also a decimal coin until the mid-80s (and was worth the equivalent of 2p in today's money), despite the penny changing at decimalisation (with 12d becoming 5p). The ten-bob note remained until decimalisation, IIRC.

I think those who said that decimal money would be too complex had a point - yes, it's easier to use, but there was a horrendous change that went better than could be expected, some serious price inflation in the conversion (also happened in many Eurozone countries when they switched) - for instance I have a late 60s map of Jersey with a decimal price overlaid over the s/d price (6/6 became 55p, when that would be 32.5p in a direct conversion - inflation in the early 70s couldn't have been high enough to cause a 40% mark up in a couple of years). You could have simply had 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 shillings, and ditch £sd notation for £s. You'd lose the eighth-shilling coin after about 15 years, quarter-shilling after 20ish, half-shilling after 30ish.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: jwolfer on November 18, 2011, 04:06:42 PM
That sign makes more sense because of the "mph" plaque.

Except 62 mph = 100 km/h.

Technically, yes. However, the point of the sign is not to be hypertechnical, but rather to remind the driver which measurements are in use, especially since many Canadian speed limit signs no longer have the supplemental "km/h" reminder underneath. Conversions of speed limits are not normally hard conversions where you switch to the exact number (though there used to be a sign on I-87 just south of the border that showed 105 km/h switching to 65 mph). Rather, a speed limit of 60 mph or 65 mph usually switches to 100 km/h even though it's not an exact conversion; 65 might also switch to 110. Speed limits aren't normally posted in increments of anything other than 5 mph in the USA, and in Canada the only times I can recall seeing 5 km/h gradients were on yellow advisory speed signs. Even the MUTCD edition that used metric as the primary system of measurement used soft conversions, as I distinctly recall it referring to 100 km/h and then saying "65 mph" in parentheses.

So anyway, as a practical matter, the sign is accurate from the standpoint that they're saying a 60-mph speed limit changes to a 100 km/h speed limit.

Point is, I understand what you're saying and I concede your accuracy, but I think the level of precision you're referring to isn't necessarily beneficial on a road sign that's intended as purely informational. A distance sign ought to be either converted more precisely or, if round units are preferred, relocated to ensure the right distance, but the intent of a distance sign is very different from a sign of the particular sort at issue here.


There's a similar speed limit conversion sign on ON 137 north leaving Hill Island.

Been a long time since I went northbound that way—only been southbound recently. The sign I remember there from family vacations when I was a kid said "Canada has gone metric!" (with the exclamation point) and I don't remember what the speed limit information underneath looked like. I seem to recall a US-style speed limit sign on the left and it then said "changes to" with a Canadian-style sign on the right. I have no clue what the numbers were. I understand why in Quebec they'd use a different scheme due to the language issue.

The ferry terminal in Yarmouth didn't have any sort of advisory sign and I just don't remember as to any of the other border crossings I've used because I wasn't paying attention.



Edited to add: Alps Roads has a picture of the Autoroute 15 sign I recall being there as recently as a trip to Mont-Tremblant in January 2006. (http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/qc/a-15/) I understand he doesn't like people to embed his images elsewhere, so I've simply linked the page. BTW, I agree with him about liking their four-way stop indication.


In the early 80s Florida had km/H supplemental signs. I remember them being EVERYWHERE around Jacksonville.  They have all been replaced by now, I know of a couple speed limit signs on side roads that have been downgraded from SR that have MPH qualifiers on the sign. ( Michael Summa had pics of a few)  The signs had the Km/H listed in the closest 0 or 5.  (45mph=70km/h 25MPH= 40km/h.)  EXCEPT 55MPH was not signed as 90km/h but as 88km/h.  At 11 this bugged me and it still does... But I guess in 1981 the max speed limit was legally 55 and not 57.whaterver(?) MPH would have been recommending an illegal speed...
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: 1995hoo on November 18, 2011, 05:19:31 PM
In the early 80s Florida had km/H supplemental signs. I remember them being EVERYWHERE around Jacksonville.  They have all been replaced by now, I know of a couple speed limit signs on side roads that have been downgraded from SR that have MPH qualifiers on the sign. ( Michael Summa had pics of a few)  The signs had the Km/H listed in the closest 0 or 5.  (45mph=70km/h 25MPH= 40km/h.)  EXCEPT 55MPH was not signed as 90km/h but as 88km/h.  At 11 this bugged me and it still does... But I guess in 1981 the max speed limit was legally 55 and not 57.whaterver(?) MPH would have been recommending an illegal speed...

That's exactly the reason—the old NMSL prohibited a state from posting any speed limit higher than 55 mph on pain of losing federal highway funds, so they didn't dare post anything above 88 km/h. I think I read somewhere that there were a few such signs on the New York Thruway near Syracuse. I never saw them so I don't know for sure.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: J N Winkler on November 18, 2011, 05:54:42 PM
That's exactly the reason—the old NMSL prohibited a state from posting any speed limit higher than 55 mph on pain of losing federal highway funds, so they didn't dare post anything above 88 km/h. I think I read somewhere that there were a few such signs on the New York Thruway near Syracuse. I never saw them so I don't know for sure.

In point of fact, 88 km/h represents a very slight speed limit cut from 55 MPH because the conversion factor is not 1.6 km/h = 1 MPH exactly (it is more like 1.6093).  55 MPH is 88.515 km/h.

Arizona DOT could have posted 88 km/h signs on I-19 (as originally planned in 1981) without running foul of the NMSL, and even for speed maniacs a cut of half a kilometer per hour is too little to fuss about.  So the mystery of why the 88 km/h signs were either not posted at all, or posted and then taken down, remains unsolved.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: vdeane on November 19, 2011, 11:27:34 AM
Been a long time since I went northbound that way—only been southbound recently. The sign I remember there from family vacations when I was a kid said "Canada has gone metric!" (with the exclamation point) and I don't remember what the speed limit information underneath looked like. I seem to recall a US-style speed limit sign on the left and it then said "changes to" with a Canadian-style sign on the right. I have no clue what the numbers were. I understand why in Quebec they'd use a different scheme due to the language issue.
(http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/5606/on137metric.png) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/254/on137metric.png/)
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Duke87 on November 19, 2011, 01:47:33 PM
While I suppose it's helpful to remind drivers that the units are changing (though I personally could not imagine absent-mindedly driving down some Canadian side street and thinking the speed limit was 50 mph... I mean, the signs look different!), showing conversions is kinda unnecessary since all speedometers in US cars have km/h on them, anyway.

The problem is more the other way around... I do believe many Canadian cars do not have mph on the speedometer (making knowing conversions necessary). And in addition, signs on the US side making a similar announcement of "hey, our speed limits are in mph, suck it Lavoisier!" are not so common (do they even exist anywhere?).
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: J N Winkler on November 19, 2011, 03:35:22 PM
The problem is more the other way around... I do believe many Canadian cars do not have mph on the speedometer (making knowing conversions necessary). And in addition, signs on the US side making a similar announcement of "hey, our speed limits are in mph, suck it Lavoisier!" are not so common (do they even exist anywhere?).

Yup, they do--I have a photograph of one I found on US 97 in Washington state.  If I can find it, I will edit this post to insert it.  I think I may have had it online at one point but lost it when Fotopic (which I used for image hosting) went out of business.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: 1995hoo on November 19, 2011, 08:57:42 PM
....

The problem is more the other way around... I do believe many Canadian cars do not have mph on the speedometer (making knowing conversions necessary). And in addition, signs on the US side making a similar announcement of "hey, our speed limits are in mph, suck it Lavoisier!" are not so common (do they even exist anywhere?).

I-87 in New York has a reminder sign. I've seen pictures of some in North Dakota but I've never visited that state. 
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: webfil on November 20, 2011, 12:58:43 AM
Here's some eye-candy.

(http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww106/webfil/1.png)
Boulevard Métropolitain (A-40), near Boulevard Lacordaire.
Construction detour in 1970.
Picture by Gabor Szilasi, Archives nationales du Québec.

Exit 47 = Actual exit 76 (Boulevards Pie-IX, Viau, Lacordaire)
Exit 49 = Actual exit 78 (Boulevard Langelier)

Late Google Street View (http://g.co/maps/jxbdy). Note that the speed limit has been «raised».  :P

(http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww106/webfil/2-1.png)
Unveiling of the new kilometre-based signage in 1974.
Picture by Adrien Hubert or Gilles Langevin, Archives nationales du Québec.

(http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww106/webfil/3.png)
Autoroute des Laurentides (A-15), near (metric) exit 67.
Picture by Claude Gosselin, 1974, Archives nationales du Québec.
Office des autoroutes-style signage, with unusual ski area trapezoidal trailblazing. Note the old, old school tourist info sign underneath the ski areas sign.

I beleive that this location (http://g.co/maps/kgzva) is shown on the picture.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: ghYHZ on November 20, 2011, 02:40:56 PM
Classic Shots!......Thanks for posting!
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: mhallack on November 25, 2011, 09:45:30 PM
Here in Maine on I-95 there are a few signs with both miles and kilometers, and even bi-lingual in French. But they all mention the distance to Old Orchard Beach, a popular vacation spot for Quebecers. Whenever I travel that part of the interstate I'll get a few pics.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Scott5114 on December 06, 2011, 01:08:12 AM
When measuring things for my own personal use, I will hardly ever bother with inches. Just about every ruler has cm on the other side, and I find it more convenient to just measure something as 2.9 cm or 11 mm or whatever than to stare at the inch side and try to comprehend which is the half inch mark, which is the quarter, and so on, and have to deal with the resultingly messy fraction like 2-3/8".
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: 1995hoo on December 06, 2011, 09:31:36 AM
If I saw that Mont-Rolland sign "webfil" posted, I'd read "1/2 m" as 50 cm, though of course that's unrealistic.


(edited to fix typo)
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: webfil on December 06, 2011, 12:11:52 PM
If I saw that Mont-Rolland sign "webfil" posted, I'd read "1/2 m" as 500 cm, though of course that's unrealistic.
Half a metre is 50 centimetres (or 500 millimetres). I'm sure that's what you meant. :P
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: 1995hoo on December 06, 2011, 12:34:10 PM
If I saw that Mont-Rolland sign "webfil" posted, I'd read "1/2 m" as 500 cm, though of course that's unrealistic.
Half a metre is 50 centimetres (or 500 millimetres). I'm sure that's what you meant. :P

D'oh. Yeah. Sloppy typing using mobile phone keyboard. That's exactly what I meant.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: webfil on June 30, 2012, 01:16:18 PM
Here is a post-metric sign.
I think this is uncommon in Canada

Highway 101 east, leaving Yarmouth.
http://goo.gl/maps/ubVy
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Pilgrimway on July 15, 2012, 06:40:07 AM
Nova Scotia has quite a few of them.  There is also a mixed mileage sign on the TCH eastbound just after the New Brunswick border.  I just passed it yesterday but didn't get a pic.  :(
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: StogieGuy7 on September 21, 2012, 03:12:40 PM
I consider myself fortunate to have attended elementary and jr. high school during the 1970s when the US was in the process of converting to the metric system.   Of course, public opposition ended that, but they sure drilled it into our heads in school and - as a result - I am totally 'bilingual' as far as the English/Metric systems are concerned.

As such, I also tend to convert distances in my head from metric to English when outside of the US.  That's bad when you see these signs in Canada or the US with distances translated, as they are sometimes wrong.  "Bad" because I end up fixated on that when I should be thinking of other things!   :sombrero:
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: averill on January 17, 2013, 04:39:21 PM
I have a few pre-metric sign pictures I took in the early and mid 1970's, but I have no idea how to up-load them here.  If someone could email me on how this is done, I will post them here.  alhecht@comcast.net
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: oscar on January 18, 2013, 07:28:04 AM
One of the Yukon's more remote and untraveled routes, the Canol Road (YT 6) from the Alaska Highway to the YT/NT border, has several signs warning of a twisty road ahead for "1 Mile".  Other kinds of signs have been changed out to metric on that route.

Yukon also has more billboards showing distances in miles than I've seen elsewhere in Canada, though most Yukon billboards use metric.

The unofficial CAA marker at the west end of the Trans-Canada Highway, in Victoria BC, still has it as "mile 0", never updated to metric:

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/mile0-marker-west-end-TCH_DSC7316.jpg)
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 18, 2013, 09:28:24 AM
this was on the Alaska Highway in March, 2010. 

(http://shields.aaroads.com/blog/photos/DB1357.jpg)
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: StogieGuy7 on January 25, 2013, 02:33:39 PM
The problem is more the other way around... I do believe many Canadian cars do not have mph on the speedometer (making knowing conversions necessary). And in addition, signs on the US side making a similar announcement of "hey, our speed limits are in mph, suck it Lavoisier!" are not so common (do they even exist anywhere?).

Yup, they do--I have a photograph of one I found on US 97 in Washington state.  If I can find it, I will edit this post to insert it.  I think I may have had it online at one point but lost it when Fotopic (which I used for image hosting) went out of business.

I've rented many cars in Canada and can assure you that their speedometers have markings for m.p.h.  However, what you see is the reverse of what speedometers in the US display: km/h are the larger numbers that are generally on the top or outside circle of the speedo while m.p.h. are the smaller numbers below or on the inside. 

Anything electronic can usually be switched between metric and English - just like in the US.   It's simply not an issue. 
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: corco on January 25, 2013, 02:51:43 PM
Quote
Yup, they do--I have a photograph of one I found on US 97 in Washington state.  If I can find it, I will edit this post to insert it.  I think I may have had it online at one point but lost it when Fotopic (which I used for image hosting) went out of business.
There's this one on 395
(http://www.corcohighways.org/highways/395/20tocanada/bonus.JPG)
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Pete from Boston on May 03, 2013, 02:16:04 PM
I don't know if they are still there, but back in '05 when I drove through Calgary on the freeway that goes N-S, there were a few bridge clearance warning signs that were still in feet and inches.  They made me feel at home.

It's a shame Canada changed; there was no reason to change to the French system.  However, the Canadian building trades flat out rejected Trudeau and his ego trip and still use Imperial measurements for building structures.

I can't speak from ever having built anything in metric, but having done a fair amount in "Imperial" I will say there's a certain amount of utility to the divisibility of a base-12 system.  Granted, since our numerical system happens to be base-10, there's a point at which it becomes cumbersome, but a foot divided into 12ths and an inch divided into 16ths does provide a lot of flexibility.

Now if I could only figure out where the phillips screws are in Canada...
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: SignGeek101 on October 05, 2014, 12:14:09 AM
Well, time to bring this back. I'm surprised no one has posted this one yet. It's right on Wikipedia. It was found in Bolton Ontario in summer 2011. Not sure if it's still there.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/82/MetricatedSpeedLimitSignBoltonON2011.jpg/360px-MetricatedSpeedLimitSignBoltonON2011.jpg)

NOT my pic. Image courtesy of "Kelisi"
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Bluenoser on October 06, 2014, 10:59:35 AM
Nova Scotia has quite a few of them.  There is also a mixed mileage sign on the TCH eastbound just after the New Brunswick border.  I just passed it yesterday but didn't get a pic.  :(

Here it is:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.8463351,-64.2412935,3a,75y,195.82h,84.53t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sSk0wruB-nplwwHeyq_TM8A!2e0

Just before the LaPlanche St overpass...
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: SignGeek101 on December 16, 2014, 10:44:18 PM
I'm also posting this in "Interesting road signs". Don't really know what to think.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/canadagood/5532809828/sizes/l

Not my pic. Credit goes to the author. No GMSV to back it up.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Stephane Dumas on December 21, 2014, 11:54:07 AM
I spotted this sign, where it read "Maximum 45". I don't think it's for 45 km/h http://goo.gl/maps/CDI6L
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: SignGeek101 on December 21, 2014, 03:44:38 PM
I spotted this sign, where it read "Maximum 45". I don't think it's for 45 km/h http://goo.gl/maps/CDI6L

Seeing a speed limit in Canada end in a 5 is interesting enough. There are only a handful I know of.

It does seem very slow, but there is a hill, with a quick turn. On the other end of the hill, it also shows the 45. It could definitely intend to show a limit of 70 km/h though. Hard to tell.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: webfil on December 22, 2014, 05:57:10 PM
What is wrong here is that « 45 » should be shown as a recommended speed under the S-curve or steep hill warning signs. Both « Max 45 » signs look too new ― and signs surrounding them look like they have been taken care of recently ― so that it would mean 70 km/h. Speed limit is 80 km/h leaving Saint-Hugues (https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.7966832,-72.8625911,3a,75y,321.56h,92.81t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sGax7FicgD133sPa6Wss5Rg!2e0) (the next village on that road) and there is a 80 km/h speed limit sign just past this ditch (https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.8745099,-72.9311832,3a,75y,207.15h,64.63t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sWEgkWrmAje5UxEtdcRlioQ!2e0). Nothing pre-metric here; more of a sign goof IMHO. Moreover, speeds ending with 5 are common recommended speeds in Québec, but unusual, nay rare in other provinces.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: SignGeek101 on December 26, 2014, 11:36:47 PM
I don't know if they are still there, but back in '05 when I drove through Calgary on the freeway that goes N-S, there were a few bridge clearance warning signs that were still in feet and inches.  They made me feel at home.

Here's one two:

http://goo.gl/maps/Ba9fK

http://goo.gl/maps/Jwmlt
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Kniwt on January 03, 2015, 11:44:16 PM
Seeing a speed limit in Canada end in a 5 is interesting enough. There are only a handful I know of.

45 km/h signs are somewhat common in and around Yellowknife, NT. Here's one:
http://goo.gl/maps/DMlCO

(http://i.imgur.com/6YRlk01.png)
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: Dr Frankenstein on January 05, 2015, 01:45:19 PM
The entire Long Sault Parkway is posted at 55 km/h (https://maps.google.ca/maps?ll=45.026435,-74.895966&spn=0.013043,0.01929&safe=strict&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=45.026333,-74.895977&panoid=K9G-fnDljOjpX9_N1M-a0A&cbp=12,206.29,,1,2.45).
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: cbeach40 on January 05, 2015, 02:41:08 PM
The entire Long Sault Parkway is posted at 55 km/h (https://maps.google.ca/maps?ll=45.026435,-74.895966&spn=0.013043,0.01929&safe=strict&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=45.026333,-74.895977&panoid=K9G-fnDljOjpX9_N1M-a0A&cbp=12,206.29,,1,2.45).

That one is a private roadway run by the parks commission, not a public highway. It being 55 km/h is as binding under the HTA as a speed limit in a mall parking lot.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: SignGeek101 on April 08, 2015, 10:25:55 PM
A post-metric dual sign:

http://goo.gl/maps/L8ME7
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on April 09, 2015, 07:20:51 AM
There is a similar post metric dual sign on Old Hwy 32 north of Gananoque, ON for a low railway subway.  I am guessing the proximity to the US border is the reason for the dual signage at this location:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.359504,-76.189484,3a,75y,6.59h,90.52t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sm0kbsvKZ4MF3cM0vXWvEEw!2e0?hl=en
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: SignGeek101 on July 26, 2015, 01:36:05 AM
Not official, but why not:

https://goo.gl/maps/gkw8G

I wouldn't post it here if it wasn't in a highway font, but since it's series E, it looks more "official" to me.
Title: Re: Pre-Metric Relics
Post by: webfil on January 27, 2019, 01:08:51 PM
Right, right. I believe prior to the fuel economy-related rollbacks in the 70s, Canada had some higher limits (75 perhaps?) but not until BC's increase a couple years ago did Canada again see 70MPH+ limits. AFAIK, BC's highest limit in 1999 was 110.
Not a surviving relic, but certainly pre-metric. Although I have the archive classification, I can't find the exact date ― probably around the transition.

(https://i.imgur.com/4Rvv43d.jpg)
A-20 (Trans-Canada Highway), approaching La Pocatière. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (E10, S44, SS1, D73-378, PD5)

The view now. (https://goo.gl/maps/4DPR88weqKw)