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date: 26 September 2020

preferred numbers, preferred values 

A Dictionary of Weights, Measures, and Units

Donald Fenna

engineering. A (near-) geometric series of numbers, providing a pre-defined count of essentially consistent multiplicative steps to a set objective, typically an overall multiplication by 10. The formalization of this simple mathematical process is attributed to a Capt. Renard in France, who applied it to the mooring ropes for balloons in the 19th century, reportedly reducing the variety stocked from over 400 to under 20. (Modern usage is most common for electronic components.)... ...

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