This page describes an obsolete unit.

The unit described on this page was in use prior to modern methods of precision measurement. It was based on a standard which is no longer available, and which is not capable of being calibrated against modern measurement units. Therefore, the equivalence to modern SI units or to current United States customary units can only be considered approximate.

The Fuss (meaning foot) was a unit of length or distance in the pre-1872 Prussian system of units. Since no definitive Prussian standards are definitively known by the present day, the only way of determining the length of any pre-metric Prussian unit would be to measure something in modern terms whose length was given by the Prussians in their units. (There are some standards, such as the one in the photo, that were set up in different locations, and not all of them were of the same unit, as this one was a half Ruthe, so it is still not clear what the ultimate standard was.) And because this procedure does not give us any clue to which unit may have been the base unit and which were subsidiary units, this distinction really does not apply to the pre-metric Prussian units here given, so all the units really have equal status. However, most references appear to have treated the Fuss as the base unit, expressing other units in terms of the Fuss.


A standard at the City Hall in Münster, Germany from 1816; the bar shown is one "Prussian Half Rod" long.

Relation to other pre-metric Prussian unitsEdit

  • 12 Zölle (Pre-metric Prussian inches) = 1 Fuss
  • 12 Füsse = 1 Ruthe (Pre-metric Prussian rod)

Value in terms of modern unitsEdit

Cardarelli, in his tabulation[1], gives the value of 0.313857 m for the length of the Fuss, equal to 1.029715 ft = 0.343238 yd .


  1. Cardarelli, François (1998). Scientific Unit Conversion. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-76022-9.