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The Kasson Metric Act of 1866

07/28/2006 2:48 PM

On July 28, 1866, The Metric Act of 1866 was put forth by Congressman John A. Kasson of Iowa, who chaired the House Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures. The bill recognized the metric system as a lawful system for weights and measures in the United States. However, the bill did not make use of the metric system mandatory, nor did it set forth the metric system as a replacement for the American system of measurement.

Well, it's 140 years later, are we finally ready to move to a system of measurement that is easy to use and makes sense?

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Guru
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#1

Imperial vMetric

07/29/2006 4:27 AM

You must be using IMPERIAL years because in the metric system 2006 - 1886 is 120.

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#3
In reply to #1

Re:Imperial vMetric

07/29/2006 10:07 AM

And you must be dislexic, it is 1866 not 1886. Sorry charlie only the freshest tuna....

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Guru
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#4
In reply to #3

Re:Imperial vMetric

07/29/2006 10:29 AM

Either that or my eyesight is up the duff. Sorry about that but I do agree that it's time that we all used the same units so I wish you luck in your efforts!!!

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#12
In reply to #3

Prefer metric.

08/07/2006 4:14 PM

Either way, it was a long time ago, and the USA has made only slight progress. The rest of the world converted much faster. I myself have no difficulty using metric. In fact, it is the system I have preferred for the past 23 years. For engineering, metric is the only system that really works. Imperial is too clumsy, as evidenced by the Mars Orbiter mishap. For international trade, metric is well-established, and there are signs that clothing sizes are going metric, the most noteworthy is BS-EN 13402, which calls for actual measurements in centimeters.

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Commentator
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#6
In reply to #1

Re:Imperial vMetric

07/30/2006 11:20 PM

120 OR 140 years in the metric system ,how much is that in the imperial measurement or dog years who cares anyway

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#2

DOT Tried

07/29/2006 4:43 AM

I have designed state Department of Transportation projects in three states since obtaining my professional engineering license. These are Kentucky, New York, and Illinois. All three states at one time mandated that their projects be designed using metric. All three states have since returned to the original english system. I don't know if the tradesmen outcry was too great, if the number of errors increased, if the DOT's realized they were paying a premium for engineers, contractors, and manufacturers to perform conversions, if re-tooling costs were too great, etc. I know most of our design was performed using english units and then converted to metric nomenclature for plan use. But based on the fact that three state transportation departments have withdrawn (for now) requirements that designs be in metric tells me we are not ready. Metric can easy, but the conversion to a metric based system must permeat all our lives, including housewares, cooking, everyday purchases, design software, etc. As an engineer of 20 plus years experience, I intuitively know what 10 cubic yards looks like, what 10 feet looks like, what 10 feet per second looks like, etc. Understanding 10 cubic meters, 10 meters, or 10 meters per second, requires a learning curve that America in general does not seem to have the patience for.

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#7
In reply to #2

Re:DOT Tried

07/31/2006 10:02 AM

As a frequent driver in and around the state of Alabama, I noticed a few years ago that they had replaced all the mile markers on the interstate and other major highways with kilometer markers. Must have caused some kind of uproar, because it was only a few months before they removed the km markers and put back the mi markers. Wonder how many tax dollars that fiasco wasted? Long live the American system of units and the Imperial system upon which it is based!

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#8
In reply to #7

Re:DOT Tried

07/31/2006 12:02 PM

I agree it was a fiasco. And yet, every college engineering program still teaches problems mostly in metric. Go figure.

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The Engineer
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#5

No Way Hypocrites

07/29/2006 3:20 PM

Unless your advocating 10 hour days and 10 day weeks. Oh, you didn't mean Metric time? So you just pick and choose the metric units you want to impose on an unsuspecting populace that is perfectly happy having no idea how many ounces are in a pound? Shame on you.

The Imperial system of units is the culmination of 1000 years of arbritrary standards developed out of necessity. Like a fine liter of wine, the system has developed idiosyncrasies and distinguishing personality that make it a rich and engaging unit system. What other unit system will use base 3, 4, 12, and 40 systems together to describe length. Is the Imperial system complicated? Of course it is, the same way that Picasso was complicated. Now your suggesting we trade our Picasso in for a Rothko, well I'm not on board!

We should jealously protect our rich unit heritage against this worldwide metric conspiracy that wishes to sacrifice our beloved Imperial system on the altar of efficiency. I am confident that our side will prevail, mostly because we have special interests and laziness on our side. Long live Imperial units and God save the queen.

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#9
In reply to #5

Re:No Way Hypocrites

08/01/2006 9:36 PM

Not sure which cheek you are poking your tongue into, but definitely a nice piece of satire anyway. In 1974 Australia finished converting to metric after starting the ball rolling in 1966 with decimal currency. It is amusing to see kids who never saw the previous fiasco talking in feet and inches, generally they don't know what they are talking about. I think they pick up the lingo from American magazines (drag racing etc.) and partially from old farts who didn't learn either system. What makes it even more confusing to the half educated is we used the imperial system which is considerably different (and possibly worse than) the American system. For instance an Imperial gallon is about 4.5 litres and the US Gallon about 3.7 litres. You should see some of the MPG figures that get quoted with all our fuel measured in litres and all odometer readings in KM. The only thing the Imperial system got right was 4 quarters equals one hundredweight, but wait for it 100 = 112. Oh Yeah.

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#10

A metric world

08/02/2006 4:03 AM

Metric system – The rest of the World V USA (+ your great allies Liberia & Burma) As somebody who has grown up using the metric system and seen the consequences of separate organisations trying to communicate using both metric and imperial, the main advantage is simplicity. You just need to be able to count to a hundred! The units of measurement are also easier to understand. For example, to measure an area using imperial, your options are thus; - square inch, square foot, square yard, acre, square mile, township, square fathom, square rod, square furlong, square league, square mil, square pole, square perch, square hand, square link, square chain. Using metric, you have the square meter followed by a prefix if needed. (micro, milli, centi, deci, deca, hecto, kilo, mega) This is a relatively simple example compared to pressure, for instance. The danger comes in converting from one to another. Sure, there are internet conversion programs that are quick and simple to find, but better men the I have got their calculations very wrong by errors in computing the equivalents. In this global market we live in, can a major player like the USA afford, in the long term, the risks inherent in living by the mantra 'it was good enough for my ancestors, it's good enough for me'? If you wish to go home at night and cook your meal using pounds and ounces, no problem. But if you are talking to a potential client in Germany, that's a different thing altogether. As usual, I fear that the perceived insularity of the USA may, again, hold back progress.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re:A metric world

08/07/2006 4:07 PM

What's good enough for our ancestors might not be right for today's generation. Metric is indeed easy to learn, as I have found out in 1975, when I was 8 years old. This was the year of the Metric Conversion Act. I first became aware of the impending conversion when gasoline was sold by the liter, quickly followed by metric rulers and conversion tables. There was much confusion, despite the conversion factor on the pumps.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re:A metric world

01/29/2007 10:37 PM

Then there are the dummies...

http://www.wadenelson.com/gimli.html

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