A uniform decimal system of weights and measures, originated in France
with a committee of eminent scientists, named by the Academy of Sciences by order of the Constituent Assembly, May 8, 1790.
The basis of the system is the metre, which is 3.37 inches longer than the American
This base, determined by Delambre and Mechain, is the 1-40,000,000 part of the circumference of the earth on the meridian extending through France
It was made the unit of length and the base of the system by law, April 7, 1795.
A prototype metre was constructed in platinum by an international commission, representing the governments of France
, and the Roman
, Cisalpine, and Ligurian republics, in 1799.
The unit of weight is the gramme
, the weight of a cubic centimetre of water at 4° centigrade (the temperature of greatest density). The unit of measure of surface is the are
, which is the square of the decametre, or 10 metres.
The unit of measure of capacity is the stere
, or cubic metre.
The system is now in use in the United States Marine Hospital service, in the foreign business of the post-office, in the United States
coast and geodetic survey, and to some extent in the mint, United States
signal service, and United States
|Decimal system of money adopted by the United States Congress, with the dollar as a unit||July 6, 1785|
|John Quincy Adams, United States Secretary of State, makes an elaborate report on the metric system to Congress||Feb. 23, 1821|
|By legislation of July 4, 1837, the use of the system in France is enforced, to take effect||Jan. 1, 1840|
|International Decimal Association formed||1855|
|Canada adopts the decimal currency used in United States||Jan. 1, 1858|
|Metric weight of 5 grammes (77.16 grains) and diameter of 2 centimetres given to the 5-cent copper nickel piece in the United States by act of Congress||May 16, 1866|
|Use in the United States authorized by act of Congress, and table of equivalents approved||July 28, 1866|
|Convention establishing an international bureau of weights and measures signed at Paris by representatives of Austria, Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, United States, Argentine Republic, Brazil, and Peru||May 20, 1875|
|International congress on weights and measures meets at Paris||Sept. 4, 1878|
Unit of the measure of length
Metre = 39.37 inches.
Unit of the measure of surface
Centare = 1 sq. metre = 1,550 sq. inches.
Unit of the measure of capacity and solidity
Litre = cube of .1 metre (decimetre) = 61.022 cubic inches or .908 qt.
Unit of weight
|Kilolitre or stere||1,000||litres.|
Gramme = cube of .01 metre (centimetre) =.061022 cubic inch or 15.432 grs.
|Miller or Tonneau||1,000,000||grammes.|