The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Did the UK change weights measures to get back at the US?  (Read 1914 times)

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Somebody told me that the UK deliberately altered the weights and measures to "get back at" the US and that, in fact, the US measures are correct. Is there any truth to this story?
« Last Edit: 23/02/2010 08:30:42 by chris »


 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8667
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Re: Did the UK change weights measures to get back at the US?
« Reply #1 on: 22/02/2010 19:14:24 »
Yes. We went metric.
( That is a joke answer but neither as good a joke as the idea that the UK went metric starting in 1965 nor as funny as the idea that the US went metric from 1875).
Anyway, according to the much loved wiki,
"The U.S. customary units have common roots with the Imperial units which were used in the British Empire. Many U.S. units are virtually identical to their Imperial counterparts, but the U.S. customary system developed from English units in use before the Imperial system was standardized in 1824, and there are several numerical differences from the Imperial system."

 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5339
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Did the UK change weights measures to get back at the US?
« Reply #2 on: 23/02/2010 08:31:28 »
The US gallon is a lot different to the UK gallon.
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8667
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Did the UK change weights measures to get back at the US?
« Reply #3 on: 23/02/2010 22:05:29 »
The pint and quart are different too. The question is why and I really don't know. I suspect that it's cock-up rather than conspiracy.
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Did the UK change weights measures to get back at the US?
« Reply #4 on: 24/02/2010 06:51:20 »
It seems the US stuck with the original 231 cubic inch gallon defined in the Queen Anne statute of 1706. The UK didn't establish the Imperial Gallon until 1824, so arguably, the US uses the correct gallon and the UK does not  :D

I had always assumed it was the other way around.

As BC suggests, this was more likely caused by a series of cockups than any deliberate chicanery.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Did the UK change weights measures to get back at the US?
« Reply #4 on: 24/02/2010 06:51:20 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums