Earth's Size Exactly Measured

New York World

It has cost the United States just five hundred thousand dollars to find out that the earth we live upon is 7,899 miles tall and 7,926 miles wide, so to speak.

In our school geographies we learned that the earth is a round ball, slightly flattened at the poles. The flattening amounts to thirteen miles and a half for each pole—the polar diameter being twenty-seven miles less than the equatorial diameter. So it isn't such a very flat earth after all.

The circumference of the earth at the equator—people don't travel around it by way of the poles—is 24,900.32 miles. This is only about 1.32 of a mile more than the measurement fixed by the French scientists who founded the metric system upon the measurement of an arc of the earth's circumference.

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The Lectures
November 29, 1900

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