# Measurement Units History Lesson

#### Marc

##### Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member

IN THE BEGINNING was created the
Imperial Ton
= 2240 pounds (lbs.)
= 20 Hundredweight (cwt) i.e. 1 cwt = 112 lbs.

AND YEA, when the Pilgrim Fathers landed on Plymouth Rock, they said
VERILY: One Hundredweight should be one hundred pounds and one Ton should be 2000 lbs.

THUS WAS CREATED the U.S. Ton.

BUT SORELY DISPLEASED were the merchants and traders when they became aware that the colonials were making 10% on the side.

THUS IT CAME TO PASS that the British traders did declare that their galleons would, in future, also use measures of 2000 lbs, and declared that this measure should be named the Short Ton.

MANY MOONS PASSED, and the tribes of Europe did send their high priests to council one with the other, whereupon they begat the EEC (EU).

THE TRIBES OF THE CONTINENT did pour scorn upon the Ton and the Short Ton, and being more in number than the Britons did ordain that all nations should obey The New Commandment: Thou shalt worship the Tonne which equates to 1000 kilogrammes (kg).

THIS DID SORELY DISPLEASE THE BRITONS, since this new measure did contain 2205 lbs., but it came to pass that more tribes came to join the EEC and the Britons were obliged to pay homage to the Tonne.

THE EEC DID COMMAND that tablets of stone be carved, on which was writ:
1 IMPERIAL TON = 2240 lbs.
1 SHORT TON=1 U.S. TON = 2000 lbs.
1 TONNE = 1000 kg = 2205 lbs.

THUS WAS THE CONFUSION CREATED.

Amen

#### Jerry Eldred

##### Forum Moderator
Super Moderator
The first thought that comes to mind is lawyers. Which is the chicken, and which is the egg (i.e.: We have lawyers because the legal system is so complex, or the legal system is so complex to keep all of the lawyers happy)? The same seems to ring true in measurement. We have the need for measurement scientists because our international measurement system is so complex. I will be the first to vehemently deny that there is any conspiracy to keep things complicated. I think perhaps in metrology, things are as complicated because scientists in the various implicated countries can't agree. The U.S. refuses, for example, to convert fully to the metric system. Will we ever? If so, the short ton will have to be destroyed. Maybe noone has the strength to carry the one short ton standard to the waste can..

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#### Marc

##### Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
I was working in a lab years ago and left for a dentist appointment. Came back and noticed a temperature chamber smoking. Got the tech and - yes - he had confused centigrade and fahrenheit when he set the chamber profile. The customer was not amused.

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