I would just like to know, what they think of the new Metric system! :-) Seriously. With all the electronic gadgetry around these days, what have we lost, with the old Imperial scales?
Alot of Architects and Engineers, some of whom are now dead, but whom i do remember talking about this topic, regreted not having the Imperial system anymore. While yes, some things did get bigger with Metric, more things got smaller. Even the size of the drawing sheets got smaller. There used to be a size called doulble elephant, of drawing sheet, which is a bit bigger than A0 sizes of sheets today.
But in the imperial system, you have 8 and 1/2 inch, 8 and 1/4 inch, 8 and 1/8 inch, 8 and 1/16 inch, 8 and 1/32 inch, 8 and 1/64 inch. So on. For carpenters, engineers, surveyors... I is so much quicker, and easier to layout a foundation or a housing layout - with all of those divisors, to work with. I mean, you don't need a laptop, or a notebook and pencil normally to use the Imperial system. Just your head and a bit of experience/common sense. Sizes of materials, relating to strength of wood, cutting a timber roof, the standard sawn dimesions/strengths, widths between rafters, span to depth ratios.... weight of a brick, (Ever hear of brick dimensions? Metric brick dimensions, are completely and absolutely useless, when they had Imperial brick dimensions the brick layer, knew off the top of his head, exactly how to go about laying out a whole structure in brick dimensions) Next time you look at all the old brick buildings around you, think about that.
Believe me, I have heard so many examples of how inferior the metric system is, in the building/engineering trade, it cannot be peoples imagination. Anyone, who learned using Imperial, still in all fields of land drainage, services, surveying, etc think in Imperial still, and just convert to digital. Remember the people who surveyed most of the world to begin with, were British. They also built alot of the 'New World' of America, Australia, India, etc that you now know. With a few Irish/Polish navies that is.
To be honest, because mobile computing and calculators are so widespread nowadays, with lazer alignment etc, etc. People don't think about what they are measuring anymore. But at the same time, it would be nice to have a rough idea in ones mind. But the basic idea of Imperial, is that for not calculator using men in trades etc, and that includes the whole world of mechanics too btw, the strength/size relationships in the Imperial system were much, much better.
I have been measuring, designing and revising building drawings for a while now (coming up to ten years soon). And in all that time, I have never once found one metre to be a useful measurement as regarding to designing the homes/building we live and work in. I started out using 1 metre grids to design plans. But 900mm is a good wide width for a doorway, and is also a nice height for a table. That is 36 inches, believe it or not, so automatically, you know how many divisors you have with that magical 36! It is almost too good to be true in fact. 100mm is another frequently used, the width of a brick on flat, or a block on edge. But sometimes, it is nice to say slightly less than 4 inches, which would be 3 inches in Imperial, but is a very stupid looking 75mm in Metric. 100mm is 4 inches in Imperial. And 4 goes into 12, 3 times, or into 24, 6 times, or into 36, 9 times. 50mm and 25mm are useful too, but those are 2 inches and 1 inch in Imperial respectively.