> A measurement of thickness, particularly of wire. The major use of
> gauges in bicycle technology is for spokes. There are several
> different national systems of gauge sizes, and this has been a great
> cause of confusion.
It's my understanding that the origin of wire gauge sizes (at least U.S./English) is from a standard hole in a piece of metal (the gauge). If one could pass 15 strands of a certain size wire through the "gauge", that was 15 gauge wire. If only 12 strands could fit through, that was 12 gauge. Thus the higher the number the smaller the wire.
I have no idea where French gauge sizes came from.
Being cognizant of Dale's recent admonition that hometown should be included, I'm in Aurora, Illinois. I don't have that in my signature, nor do I plan to add it.
firstname.lastname@example.org (John V. Everett)