Слике страница


Dearborn's balance used. The three half bush

els belonged to different merchants; they and the sealer's weights and measures were from Albany.



Beam and scale with avoirdupois weight only



Dearborn's balance not used.

[blocks in formation]

Note on the weights and measures of capacity in the District of Co


By the constitutional law of the District, the standard weights and measures of Alexandria are derived from Virginia, while those of Washington city and Georgetown are from the standard of Maryland. The law, in both states, as has been shewn, is, and for more than one hundred and fifty years has been, the same, namely : the act of parliament of 1496, for the statute book. The Winchester measure, avoirdupois weights, and the Exchequer standards for practice. The avoirdupois pound of Alexandria is one of the most defective in the Union, being 50 grains troy, or more than two pennyweights, short of 7,000 grains. The half bushel is also too small ; its primitive standard having been, not the Winchester bushel, but one of the oldest Exchequer standards, made under the statute of 1266. It is 16 cubical inches less than the parliamentary Winchester half bushel.

The Georgetown peck is in exact proportion to the Winchester bushel. Its pound avoirdupois is too light by 30 troy grains.

The new measures at Washington lately obtained at Baltimore, are a half bushel, peck, and half peck, of copper, lined with tin, cylindrical in form; the half bushel and peck with a hole and cock in the centre of the bottom, to let off the water.

The half bushel appears to have been intended to be of 13 inches diameter, and eight inches depth, which would have given 1064 inches of cubical contents. This would correspond almost exactly with one standard bushel at the English Exchequer, which was tried in April, 1819, by weight of water, and found to hold 2128.9 inches; but, of the new Washington half bushel, neither the depth nor the diameter are uniform. They vary to the extent of a quarter of an inch, in different parts of the vessel. The bottom is not perfectly flat, but bulges a little inward at the centre; nor is the edge of the top circumference perfectly level ; so that, while on one side it overflows, it is left got entirely full on the other. Its mean diameter is, with sufficient exactness, 13 inches, and its depth 7.9, which gives 1058.6 inches for its cubical contents. This is 16.61 inches less than it ought to be.

It was found to contain 461b. 5oz.13 pwt. or 267,672 grains, troy weight, of mixed rain, river, and pump water, with Fahrenheit's thermometer at 42°, and then overflowed at one side of the border, while on the opposite side there was about jo of an inch yet to fill. This also gives 1058.6 inches as its capacity. It contained of wheat, in stricken measure, 311b. 4oz. 5 dr. avoirdupois, of which the old half bushel had contained 32lb.

The peck has in its dimensions the same irregularities, though in less degree than the half bushel. Its diameter is ten inches; its depth from 6.7 to 7, with a bottom bulging inward. The mean depth is about 6.9, and its contents, by that measure, are 541 inches.

It holds 231b. 8oz. 15 pwt. or 136,680 grains troy of water, giving also 541 inches, being 3.4 inches more than the standard measure.

The half peck is 7.5 diameter, and 6.25 inches deep, which gives 276.25 inches for its contents. It holds 12lb. loz. 4pwt. or 69,696 grains troy of water, or 276.5 inches, being 8 inches more than the standard measure.

Although each of these measures, separately taken, is incorrect, they are so far just in the aggregate, that the half bushel and the peck, with the half peck twice filled, would yield, with perfect exactness, a bushel of the legal standard of 2150.42 cubic inches.

The half bushel, peck, and half peck, which had been used as standards at Washington until the last autumn, were much more exact, both in their proportions to one another, and in their conformity to the Winchester bushel, than those now substituted in their stead. The one pound avoirdupois had been of 6,962 grains, or 38 grains too light. The weights now are

1 pound 7,010 grains troy 10)

14,024 - 24 grains too much. 4 28,062 • 62) The wine gallon is of 231 solid inches, and the smaller measures proportional to it. There are no stardards either of troy weight or beer measure.

« ПретходнаНастави »