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OF A PORTION OF A WORK ENTITLED
“THE LEGAL SYSTEM OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES,"
By M. LAMOTTE,
THE BOARD OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION.
гр Phye 428 677
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
GIFT OF THE
NOV 19 1926
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by
J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO., in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
EXTRACTS from the Report of the Committee com
posed of CHARLES H. WINFIELD, THOMAS WILLIAMS, HEZEKIAH S. BUNDY, HENRY L. DAWES, JOHN A. KASSON, Chairman, appointed by the House of Representatives of the 39th Congress, for the Purpose of investigating the Metric System, and framing a Suitable Bill for its Adoption by Law.
Your Committee unanimously recommend the passage of the bills and joint resolutions appended to this Report. They were not prepared to go, at this time, beyond this stage of progress in the proposed reform. The Metric System is already used in some arts and trades in this country, and is especially adapted to the wants of others. Some of its measures are already manufactured at Bangor, in Maine, to meet an existing demand at home and abroad. The manufacturers of the well-known Fairbanks scales state : "For many years we have had a large export de mand for our scales with French weights, and the demand and sale is constantly increasing." Its minute and exact divisions specially adapt it to the use of chemists, apothe
caries, the finer operations of the artisan, and to all scientific objects. It has always been and is now used in the United States coast survey. Yet in some of the States, owing to the phraseology of their laws, it would be a direct violation of them to use it in the business transactions of the community. It is therefore very important to legalize its use, and give to the people, or that portion of them desiring it, the opportunity for its legal employment, while the knowledge of its characteristics will be thus diffused among men. Chambers of commerce, boards of trade, manufacturing associations, and other voluntary societies, and individuals, will be induced to consider and in their discretion to adopt its use. The interests of trade among a people so quick as ours to receive and adopt a useful novelty, will soon acquaint practical men with its convenience. When this is attained,
a period, it is hoped, not distant, — a further act of Congress can fix the date for its exclusive adoption as a legal system. At an earlier period
may be safely introduced into all public offices, and for government service.
In the schedule of equivalents provided in the bill, extreme scientific accuracy is not expressed. The reasons follow. The exact length of the meter in inches, and the weight of the kilogram in grains, can of necessity be determined only approximately. The most careful determinations of these quantities now possible are liable to minute corrections hereafter, as more numerous observations are made, and better instruments are used. Instead, therefore, of aiming at an accuracy greater, perhaps, than is attainable, it is more expedient to consult the convenience of the people by using the simplest numbers possible in the schedule, and yet such as shall be in fact more nearly exact than can ever be demanded in the ordinary business of life. These numbers are to be used