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Barleycorn

A medieval measurement still surviving for footwear.

Edward 11 decreed in 1324 that three barleycorns taken from the centre of an ear of corn equalled an inch. He also decreed that the longest normal human foot was thirty-nine barleycorns. This length (39) became the largest size normally made (13) - so divide barleycorn"s by three to find your shoe size.

The standard was formally accepted in the U.S.A. in 1888.

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