In the United States, 19ᵗʰ – 20ᵗʰ centuries , a unit of length, = 0.025 inches (40 lines = 1 inch). Now used only for the diameters of buttons, formerly also used for the diameters of watchglasses.

This unit is directly derived from the British and French ligne, which see.

United Nations 1966.



Provided, That the term ‘line’ as used in this paragraph shall mean the line button measure of one-fortieth of one inch.

Tariff Act of 1922, 42 Stat., ch.356, paragraph 1410.


Plain Movements in 10, 14 & 16 Sizes. Very Small 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 Line Watches and Movements.

Advertisement by Mathey Bros., Mathez & Co., page 30 of the Aug. 2, 1893 issue of The Jewelers' Circular.


In Great Britain, 17ᵗʰ – 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of length, approximately 0.0833… inches (12 lines = 1 inch).

Possible example from 1799.

Alexander (1850), usually a trustworthy source, characterizes the above definition as the “artificer's” line in England, and defines the ordinary line as 0.1 inch.


A synonym for the maxwell.


In Paraguay, another name for the liño, 75.1 square meters.

A respected glossary¹ describes the Paraguayan line as a unit of land area, 7,500 square meters (about 1.85 acres). This is almost certainly an error.

1. W. E. Clason.
Elsevier's Lexicon of international and national units : English/American, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, Russian. Amsterdam : Elsevier, 1964.

Sorry. No information on contributors is available for this page.

home | units index  | search |  contact drawing of envelope |  contributors | 
help | privacy | terms of use