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Science & Environment

How Did The Meter Get Its Length?

One of 30 copies of the first protoype meter made  by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in Sevres, France. 1875-1889 <em> </em>
One of 30 copies of the first protoype meter made by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in Sevres, France. 1875-1889 <em> </em>

Copyright 2014 NPR

Corrected: June 23, 2014 at 12:00 AM EDT
Previous versions of this story said a platinum bar cast in the 19th century was what the world used as the official length of a meter. It was the first official standard for the length of the meter. There's another in effect today.