You’ve got some warm Scottish tweed or a few vintage French ribbons you need to measure? Then pass by the pretty arcades of Rue Vaugirard, just opposite the Luxembourg Gardens, and you will find exactly what you’re looking for – a meter!
This historical prototype of a “mètre étalon” is the real thing! Feel free to use it, it is pretty much fit for its purpose.
But why and how did it get there in the first place?
In order to promote the use of the metric system, The National Convention had 16 marble metres installed in the most popular and busy Parisian areas between February 1796 and December 1797.
Unfortunately not many of them survived.
The fascinating historical artifact you can inspect on 36, rue Vaugirard, however, is one of the two proud survivors today and actually the only one still located in its original whereabouts!