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THE

METRIC SYSTEM

OF

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.

BY

G. A. WALTON,

AUTHOR OF A SERIES OF ARITHMETICS, DICTATION EXERCISES

IN ARITHMETIC, ETC., ETC.

BOSTON:
BREWER & TILESTON.

UNIVERSITY

LIBRARY 047* 172

PREFACE.

THE metric system of weights and measures was first adopted in France in 1795. A length supposed to be one ten millionth of a quadrant, or one forty millionth of a circumference of the earth measured over the poles, was taken as a provisional measure for the base of the system; this length was called a meter.

In order to ascertain more accurately the length of a quadrant, new measurements of the earth were subsequently instituted under the direction of eminent mathematicians, who measured the arc of a meridian between the parallels of Dunkirk and Barcelona. From their measurements, the length of the meter now in use was determined. This length was adopted as the base of the system, in 1799. The use of the metric system was not, however, legally enforced, to the exclusion of any other system, until January 1, 1840.

In Spain, Portugal, and Belgium, this system is also used exclusively, while in many other countries it is adopted wholly or in part. Among these are Holland, Italy, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, and Poland, in Europe; and Chili, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, San Salvador, and the Argentine Republic, on this continent.

Movements are also being made to adopt it in England, Germany, Sweden, and Norway. Its use in the United States was legalized by an act of Congress, passed in July, 1866.

Notwithstanding so much has been done to make the meter exactly one ten millionth of a quadrant, it is now thought to be too short by a small fraction, which is, however, less than one eight thousandth of an inch. The length of the meter is nearly 39.37079 English inches, or 39.3685 United States inches; but for ordinary purposes, may be considered 39.37 inches.

In the following pages are presented the principles of the metric system, with a great number of problems involving their application. While these pages are especially designed to accompany Walton's Series of Arithmetics, they are adapted to meet the wants of students in general.

There is some diversity in the manner of pronouncing the names of the given weights and measures. While it is to be presumed that in the words kilometer, centimeter, etc., the accent will eventually fall upon the antepenult, thus, kilom'eter, centim'eter, etc., the accentuation indicated upon page 24 has been recommended by Professors Newton, Davies, and others, and is decidedly to be preferred, for the present, as showing more clearly the derivation of the words.

The entire pamphlet has been carefully revised by persons of recognized authority upon the subject. Their services are hereby gratefully acknowledged by

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THE AUTHOR. LAWRENCE, April 20, 1867.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by G. A. WALTON, in the Clerk's Office of

the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

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