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Perhaps this is not part of a units of measure website, but it is an interesting piece of history. This book was bought by my mother after she was married in 1946, in order to learn how to cook. Here are some pages from it. Note that there is no fridge! There are also instructions on how to deal with dried eggs and dried milk, and a reference to National Bread (used during the war).
This comes from an old reference book, 'Modern Practical Building, Volume IV' by Harry Newbold, from Caxton Publishing, London, first published in March 1934, this text was the 3rd edition December 1950.
|1 bag or sack of plaster (London measure)||- 14 pounds or 1 bushel|
|1 bag or sack of Portland cement||- 200 pounds, 2 centals, or 2 bushels|
|1 bag or sack of lime||- 186 pounds or 3 bushels|
|1 bundle of laths||- Approx. 125 laths|
|500 bricks||- 1 load of bricks|
|1 load of earth or ballast||- 1 cubic yard|
|1 load of lime||- 32 bushels|
|1 pig of ballast||- 56 pounds|
|1 scam of glass||- 120 pounds|
|1 faggot or fodder of lead (London)||- 2184 pounds|
|1 faggot or fodder of steel||- 120 pounds|
Here are some more commodity units: scam, faggot, fodder, cental! On the volume page, there are different definitions of a sack or bag, and a load, without specifying the material. I have also had an email about a lime works in Derbyshire in 1794. This produced 114,138 loads of lime, or 5706 score and 18 loads. This means that there are 20 loads to a score. Also apparently there are 8 bushels to a load - yet another value for a 'load'!
Click here for "Multum in Parvo" Table Book - a book of tables used by school children in 1951.
Perhaps this is not part of a units of measure website, but it is a piece of history. I was born on 28th May 1853, and this was my ration book. Obviously I didn't use these rations myself, but my mother breastfeed me, so these were extra rations for her. You had to register with particular shops to buy the rationed food from. This is not the whole book, but pages from it. Rationing was finally abolished shortly after I was born.
This is the back of a replica exercise book bought at Beamish, the North of England Open Air Museum, "where the past comes to life". It is obviously modern, bur presumably a reprint of an old exercise book. Unfortunately it doesn't say how old the original is. This is very like the exercise books of my childhood, except it was always "rod, pole or perch". Beamish is a wonderful museum - go and see it if you can!
Modern school rulers are often made of transparent plastic with centimetres, and, if you're lucky, inches in tenths. The old wooden rulers of my childhood were more interesting. One side was centimetres (and if we knew nothing else about centimetres, we knew that 30 cms was less than a foot). One side was inches in tenths. But since it wasn't transparent, the other side was marked. This one, below, has inches in sixteenths and twelfths.
The ruler below is older and has more fractions. The front is centimetres and inches in tenths. The back (luckily clearer) has quarters, eighths, sixteenths and twelfths of inches. It even has a simple protractor. Not that I ever heard of anyone using the protractor!
© Jo Edkins 2009 - Return to units index