Barrel, in commerce, is a vessel of an oblong size, made of wood, the form of which is generally known, as well as its use for holding various sorts of merchandize : it is also used as a measure for liquids.
The English barrel, wine measure, contains the eighth part of a tun, the fourth part of a pipe, and one half of a hogshead, or 31 1/2 gallons. A barrel of beer should contain 36, and one of ale 32 gallons. The barrel of beer, vinegar, or liquor preparing for vinegar, ought to contain 34 gallons, according to the standard of the ale quart.
Barrel is also used to denote a Certain weight of merchandizes, and which differs according to various commodities. A barrel of Essex butter weighs lot) pounds, and of Suffolk butter 256 pounds. The barrel of herrings ought to contain 32 gallons, wine measure ; which amount to about 2S gallons, old standard, and consists of about 1000 herrings. The barrel of salmon ought to contain 42 gallons, and a barrel of eels the same quantity : the barrel of soap must weigh 256 pounds.