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266.25 and 2130, according to the ancient Rumford gallon
of 1228, examined by the committee. 268.75 and 2150, according to the Winchester bushel, as
declared by statute 13, 14, William III., which has been
the model for some of the grain States. 271, less 2 spoonfuls, and 2168, less 16 spoonfuls, according
to a standard gallon of Henry VII., and another dated
1601, marked E. E., both in the Exchequer. 271 and 2168, according to a standard gallon in the Ex
chequer, dated 1601, marked E., and called the corn
gallon. 272 and 2176, according to the three standard corn gallons
last mentioned, as measured in 1688, by an artist for the Commissioners of the Excise, generally used in the seaport towns, and by mercantile people, and thence intro
duced into some of the grain States. 277.18 and 2217.44, as established for the measure of coal
by the statute 12 Anne. 278 and 2224, according to the standard bushel of Henry
VII., with a copper rim, in the Exchequer. 278.4 and 2227.2 according to two standard pints of 1601
and 1602, in the Exchequer. 250 and 2210, according to the standard quart of 1601, in
the Exchequer. 282 and 2256, according to the standard gallon for beer and
ale in the Treasury. There are, moreover, varieties on these varieties, from the barrel to the ton, inclusive ; for, if the barrel be of herrings, it must contain 28 gallons by the statute 13 Eliz. c. 11. If of wine, it must contain 31; gallons by the statute 2 Henry VI. c. 11, and 1 Rich. III. c. 15. If of beer or ale, it must contain 34 gallons by the statute 1 William and Mary, c. 24, and the higher measures in proportion.
In those of the United States which have not adopted the statutes of William and Mary, and of Anne before cited, nor their substance, the wine gallon of 231 cubic inches rests on the au
thority of very long usage, before the 5th of Anne, the origin and foundation of which are unknown; the bushel is the Winchester bushel, by the 11 Henry VII. undefined ; and the barrel of ale 32 gallons, and of beer 36 gallons, by the statute 23 Henry VIII. c. 4.
The Secretary of State is not informed whether there have been any, and what, alterations of these measures by the laws of the particular States.
It is proposed to retain this series of measures, but to fix the gallon to one determinate capacity, as the unit of measure, both wet and dry; for convenience is in favor of abolishing the distinction between wet and dry measures.
The wine gallon, whether of 224 or 231 cubic inches, may be altogether disregarded, as concerning, principally, the mercantile and the wealthy, the least numerous part of the society, and the most capable of reducing one measure to another by calculation. This gallon is little used among the mass of farmers, whose chief habits and interests are in the size of the corn bushel.
Of the standard measures before stated, two are principally distinguished in authority and practice. The statute bushel of 2150 cubic inches, which gives a gallon of 268.75 cubic inches, and the standard gallon of 1601, called the corn gallon of 271 or 272 cubic inches, which has introduced the mercantile bushel of 2276 inches. The former of these is most used in some of the grain States, the latter in others. The middle term of 270 cubic inches may be taken as a mutual compromise of convenience, and as offering this general advantage: that the bushel being of 2160 cubic inches, is exactly a cubic foot and a quarter, and so facilitates the conversion of wet and dry measures into solid contents and tonnage, and simplifies the connection of measures and weights, as will be shown hereafter. It may be added, in favor of this, as a medium measure, that eight of the standard, or statute measures before enumerated, are below this term, and nine above it. The measures to be made for use, being four sided, with rec
tangular sides and bottom.
The pint will be 3 inches square, and 3 inches deep;
6 inches. The gallon 6 inches square, and 7} inches deep, or 5, 6, and
9 inches; The peck 6, 9, and 10 inches; The half bushel 12 inches square, and 7) inches deep; and The bushel 12 inches square, and 15 inches deep, or 9, 15,
and 16 inches. Cylindrical measures have the advantage of superior strength, but square ones have the greater advantage of enabling every one who has, a rule in his pocket, to verify their contents by measuring them. Moreover, till the circle can be squared, the cylinder cannot be cubed, nor its contents exactly expressed in figures.
Let the measures of capacity, then, for the United States be-
with a straight strike.
There are two series of weights in use among us; the one
called avoirdupois, the other troy.
In the Avoirdupois series :
In the Troy series : The pound is divided into 12 ounces ; The ounce (according to the subdivision of the apothecaries)
into 8 drachms; The drachm into 3 scruples; The scruple into 20 grains.
According to the subdivision for gold and silver, the ounce is divided into twenty pennyweights, and the pennyweight into twenty-four grains. :
So that the pound troy contains 5760 grains, of which 7000 are requisite to make the pound avoirdupois; of course the weight of the pound troy is to that of the pound avoirdupois as 5760 to 7000, or as 144 to 175.
It is remarkable that this is exactly the proportion of the ancient liquid gallon of Guildhall of 224 cubic inches, to the corn gallon of 272 ; for 224 are to 272 as 144 to 175. (4.)
It is further remarkable still, that this is also the exact proportion between the specific weight of any measure of wheat, and of the same measure of water: for the statute bushel is of 64 pounds of wheat. Now as 144 to 175, so are 64 pounds to 77.7 pounds; but 77.7 pounds is known to be the weight of (5.) 2150.4 cubic inches of pure water, which is exactly the content of the Winchester bushel, as declared by the statute 13, 14, Will. 3. That statute determined the bushel to be a cylinder of 18} inches diameter, and 8 inches depth. ' Such a cylinder, as nearly as it can be cubed, and expressed in figures, contains 2150.425 cubic inches; a result which reflects authority on the declaration of Parliament, and induces a favorable opinion of the care with which they investigated the contents of the ancient bushel, and also a belief that there might exist evidence of it at that day, unknown to the committees of 1758 and 1759.
We find, then, in a continued proportion 64 to 77.7 as 224 to 272, and as 144 to 175, that is to say, the specific weight of a measure of wheat, to that of the same measure of water, as the cubic contents of the wet gallon, to those of the dry; and as the weight of a pound troy to that of a pound avoirdupois.
This seems to have been so combined as to render it indifferent whether a thing were dealt out by weight or measure ; for the dry gallon of wheat, and the liquid one of wine, were of the. same weight; and the avoirdupois pound of wheat, and the troy pound of wine, were of the same measure. Water and the vinous liquors, which enter most into commerce, are so nearly of a weight, that the difference, in moderate quantities, would be neglected by both buyer and seller; some of the wines being a little heavier, and some a little lighter, than water.
Another remarkable correspondence is that between weights and measures. For 1000 ounces avoirdupois of pure water fill a cubic foot, with mathematical exactness.
What circumstances of the times, or purposes of barter or commerce, called for this combination of weights and measures, with the subjects to be exchanged or purchased, are not now to be ascertained. But a triple set of exact proportionals representing weights, measures, and the tlrings to be weighed and measured, and a relation so integral between weights and solid measures, must have been the result of design and scientific calculation, and not a mere coincidence of hazard. It proves that the dry and wet measures, the heavy and light weights, must have been original parts of the system they compose-contrary to the opinion of the committee of 1757, 1758, who thought that the avoirdupois weight was not an ancient weight of the kingdom, nor ever even a legal weight, but during a single year of the reign of Henry VIII. ; and, therefore, concluded, otherwise than will be here proposed, to suppress it altogether. Their opinion was founded chiefly on the silence of the laws as to this weight. But the harmony here developed in the system of weights and measures, of which the avoirdupois makes an essential member, corroborated by a general use, from very high antiquity, of that,