There was a point system, is all you need to know at this juncture.
What are the advantages of the application of the point system to the width of type?
Before the adoption of the point system, type sizes were named in a haphazard way.
How were types described before the adoption of the point system?
American type sizes conform to a graduated scale known as the point system.
Of course, inside of Central the point system as you know it now will be of no value whatever.
point system—The standard system of type bodies, based on the point as a unit; in America the point is .0138 of an inch.
The point system is the arrangement and combination of six dots on two lines.