This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"D. W. A." Waukon, Iowa, writes as follows: "On page 176 of the Monthly is an item 'French Fruits in England,' all in English except one word, and that renders the whole item unintelligible to 49,000,000 of the American people, including myself. Now is it necessary, for the advancement of science, that the measures of fruit, as well as the names of flowers, should be given in an 'unknown tongue?' "
[The decimal system of the French is so immeasurably superior to the old English method of calculation, that we are surprised that in a country where dollars and cents have driven out " pounds, shillings and pence," 49,000,000 people have got no further towards decimal measures than were their great grandfathers, before their grandsires declared their independence of other absurdities. But we must take things as we find them, and for the benefit of our despairing friends say that a gramme is equal to the thirtieth part of an ounce, and a kilogramme is two pounds and three ounces of our stupid system. Our ton of 2,240 pounds is 100 kilogrammes, and on this basis all the lower weights are proportionately graded. In measure the French also begin with the 100 quarts, which is their hectolitre, and while we flounder through gills and pints and quarts and pecks and bushels, and one knows not what, the French simply number their litres as we number our cents in the dollar. We fancy the school boys among the 49,000,000, as they grow older, will wish their elders had adopted the French method in the public schools.
We often feel for the poor things as they worry over the " examples." We should like to convert the Master of the National Grange, and to know that he had set his " lecturers" to work in the interests of this reform. - Ed. G. M].