Florence Pretz of Kansas City invented the Billiken in 1908
as “the god of things as they ought to be.”
Establishing the metric system was a success against things as
they ought not be. So many other aspects of our lives are more
irrational and heterogeneous.
After the French revolution, the Commission of Weights and
Measures included the Marquis de Condorcet, Pierre-Simon Laplace,
Adrien-Marie Legendre, Antoine Lavoisier, and Jean-Charles de
Borda. The proper name for the modern metric system is the
International System of Units, or, in French, le Système
International d’Unités, with the abbreviation SI.
The meter preceded both John Wilkins’ work and the
French revolution. Marin Mersenne measured the length of the
seconds pendulum in 1644; the Royal Society proposed that it
should be the standard unit of length in 1660; Tito Livio
Burattini proposed that it should be called a meter in 1675.
See also in The book of science:
Readings on wikipedia: