Pica Pete: What is a Pica?

pica pete vintage neon sign

Design Firm in Minot, North Dakota photo by Darla Hueske

Design on Broadway in Minot North Dakota is also home to this vintage neon sign. I remember seeing this sign twenty-plus years ago. Home of Pica Pete.
What is a pica?
The pica (pronounced PIE-KAH) is a typographic unit of measurement. It contains 12 point units of measure.
Publishing applications such as Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress represent pica measurements with whole-number picas left of a lower-case “p”, followed by the points-number, for example: 5p6, represents 5 picas and 6 points, or 5½ picas.