Victorian London - Publications - Etiquette and Household Advice Manuals - Cassells Household Guide, New and Revised Edition (4 Vol.) c.1880s [no date] - Weights and Measures

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Volume 1



A KNOWLEDGE of customary weights and measures is very desirable, and, therefore, the following tables have been drawn up in the most simple form. No. 1 is the most extensively used of all weights, being that by which we buy and sell nearly everything that is weighed. No. 2 is used principally for weighing gold and silver. No. 3 is often met with in physicians' prescriptions, although drugs are now sold by avoirdupois weight. No. 4 is that by which diamonds and other gems are weighed. The grain is divisible into sixteen parts. No. 5 represents the most frequently used of measures of length. The measures marked with a star (*) are of less common occurrence, and are, in fact, only employed for special purposes, when they are used. The degree consists of only sixty geographical miles, which are equal to rather over sixty-nine statute miles. No. 6 is used for measuring surfaces, and is employed by carpenters, glaziers, land-surveyors, &c. No. 7 is for measuring stone, marble, timber, and other solid bodies. No. 8 is used for measuring a great variety of goods, both dry and liquid.
    Numerous other measures were formerly in use, but are not here given, as being out of date. There are also certain articles of commerce, as wool, cheese and butter, hay and straw, firewood, &c., for which peculiar weights are used, but, as these are principally employed in wholesale trade, they also are omitted. Coals were once sold by measure, but must now be sold by weight. In London and elsewhere, a ton of coals consists of ten sacks each sack containing two hundredweights. Potatoes are now commonly sold by weight, though measures are still used in some places.


1 Grain (gr.)
1 Dram equals 27 1/3 1/2 Grains
1 Ounce (oz.) equals 16 Drams.
1 Pound (lb.) equals 16 Ounces
1 Stone (for meat or fish) equals 8 pounds
1 Stone (for general purposes) equals 14 pounds
1 Quarter equals 28 pounds
1 Hundredweight (cwt.) equals 112 Pounds
1 Ton equals 20 Cwt.


1 Grain (gr.)
1 Pennyweight (dwt.) equals 24 grains
1 Ounce (oz.) equals 20 Dwt.
1 Pound (lb.) equals 12 unces


1 Grain.
1 Scruple equals 20 Grains.
1 Dram equals 3 Scruples
1 Ounce equals 8 Drams
1 Pound equals 12 Ounces.


1 Carat equals 4 Grains
1 Carat equals 3 1/5 Gr. Troy


1 Inch
1 Nail* equals 2£ Inches.
1 Palm* equals 3 Inches.
1 Hand* equals 4 Inches.
1 Span* equals 9 Inches.
1 Foot equals 12 Inches.
1 Yard equals 3 Feet.
1 Ell* equals 1£ Yards.
1 Fathom* equals 2 Yards.
1 Pole or Rod equals 5£ Yards.
1 Furlong equals 40 Poles.
1 Mile (statute) equals 8 Furlongs.
1 League equals 3 Miles.
1 Degree equals 69 Miles.


1 Square Inch.
1 Square Foot equals 144 Squares Inches.
1 Square Yard equals 9 Square Feet.
1 Square Pole equals 30£ Square Yards.
1 Rood equals 40 Square Poles.
1 Acre equals 4 Roods.


1 Cubic Inch.
1 Cubic Foot equals 1,728 Inches.
1 Cubic Yard equals 27 Cubic Feet.
1 Load or Ton equals 40 Feet of Rough Timber, or 50 Feet of Hewn Timber.
1 Ton Shipping equals 42 Cubic Feet.


1 Gill.
1 Pint equals 4 Gills.
1 Quart equals 2 Pints.
1 Pottle equals 2 Quarts.
1 Gallon equals 4 Quarts.
1 Peck equals 2 Gallons
1 Bushel equals 8 Gallons.
1 Coom equals 4 Bushels.
1 Quarter equals 8 Bushels.

[--grey numbers in brackets indicate page number, 
(ie. where new page begins), ed.--]

source: Cassells Household Guide, c.1880s