Teach Your Parents Metric

Photo Credit : Today, Mediacorp Press, Samsung.

How will you react when you read the above advertisement? You will be pondering how thin or thick is 0.4764 inches? Your mind will try to do a mental conversion from inches to mm…BTW how apt is the title “Imagine a new measure of style” haha!

Note : The actual reading is 12.1mm instead of 0.4764inches. The picture above has been edited (Photoshop) for use.

Back in the 70s, imagine how would your parents or even grandparents react when we asked them to use metric system? Also we always relate SI units to Metric system, why? The International System of Units or the International System is called the SI, using the first two initials of its French name Système International d’Unités.
Or do you remember the below 3 Metrication stamps in 1979;

Showing Distance;

Showing Length;

Showing Weight;

The last stamp you can see the Logo of the Singapore Metrication Board. This Metrication Board was probably set up in the early 70s.

So do you think if there is a campaign “Teach Your Parents Metric” in Singapore? For a campaign country like Singapore, it may not be a surprise…yes there is!

Below shows the Singapore Metrication Board’s Logo printed on their pamphlets;

Below shows the “Teach Your Parents Metric” pamphlets;

This is a very old pamphlet that I used it as a bookmark cum ‘notepad’ for my History notes. Guess that must be either Sec.1 (1975) or 2 (1976). Take a look at the inside of this pamphlet;

Some of us may even remember that in the 70s, some of the textbooks front covers usually showed the ‘SI Edition’. Below shows my Sec.1 Science Textbook in 1975;

Some textbboks even have the Metric Conversion table in them;

3 most memorable things that were in the Imperial System then were;

1. Old car speedometer. It looked something like the one below, with speed in MPH (Miles Per Hour) and the Inner Circle showed in KPH(Km/Hr);

2. Milestone road marker. These are a series of numbered markers placed along a road at regular intervals at the side of the road. Of course then, the distance measured was in Miles. These Milestone were made of stones and they are now all replaced by the new Kilometre signs;

3. Speed limit in MPH. Those ‘senior citizens’ here definitely will remember the old speed limit road signs in MPH instead of Km/h;

Credit : LTA

But how do you tell them apart? How do you know if the sign above meant MPH or Km/h ?

4. Coin operated weighing machine. You put 10 cent into the machines, usually at the cinemas lobby, then a printed ticket will be issued showing your weight in pounds;

Photo Credit : Rho. Above photo shows a similar weighing machine.

Below shows some samples of those weighing tickets in pounds;

Credit : Ebay

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4 Responses to “Teach Your Parents Metric”


  1. 1 profkingsfield2004 Sunday, October 7, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Your metric conversion table reminds me of my time in primary school during the early 1960s. The back of each exercise book had a printed conversion table. I think it was the “Times Table” (2 , 3 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 , 10, 11 and 12) and/or the British Imperial System of “Inches, Feet and Yards”, “Katis and Tahils”, “Pounds, Schillings and Pence”.

    Class tests were based on those conversion tables. So the shop-keeper always make money from us because we want to buy the exercise books with the conversion tables.

  2. 2 Bobo Sunday, October 7, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Oh man.. thanks for showing us those.. I never even know the Board exists… so cool!

  3. 3 laokokok Monday, October 8, 2007 at 7:36 am

    Hi Peter, if you still see a Milestone along the PIE and any old road ( probably they forgotten to remove it), pls let me know.

    Hi Bobo, you are most welcome.

  4. 4 Conversion Tool Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 9:41 am

    I miss Singapore. It’s been 12 years since I left, but I still remember those 3 years vividly.


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