Measure, in a legal and commercial sense, denotes a certain proportion or quantity of any commodity, whether dry or liquid, that is bought, sold, valued, etc.
Measures vary according to the lent kinds and dimensions of the respective articles. Hence they are, in general, either longitudinal, which relate to lengths; or cubi-that is, solid measures, for bodies and their capacities. Of both shall give a concise account; as our work would otherwise be incomplete.
I. Long Measure.
The smallest nominal part of the English long measure, is an inch, which is composed of three barleycorns, being the largest and finest that can be selected from the ear. Three inches form a palm ; an equal number of palms make a span ; 1 1/3 span, a foot; 1 1/3 foot, a cubit: 2 cubits a yard; 1 2/3 of a' yard make a pace (consisting of two steps) ; 1 4/5 of a pace, a fathom ; 2 3/4| fathoms form a pole; 40 poles, a furlong; and 8 furlongs are computed to a mile. II. Measure of capacity for dry; articles.
1. For Corn. The standard measure for salt, all kinds of grain, and other dry commodities, is the "Winchester gallon, which contains eight pints, or 272 1/4 cube inches :----2 'gallons make a peck ; 4 pecks a bushel ; and 8 bushels a quarter. Fourquarters of corn are computed ' to a chaldron ; rive quarters to a • wey, or load ; and ten quarters to a ton.
III. Liquid Measure.
The English liquid measures were originally established on the basis of Troy-weight: it having been enacted by several statutes, that eight, pounds troy of wheat (tie grains of which have been se-lected from the middle of the ear, and well dried,) should weigh a gallon of wine measure; and that the divisions and subdivisions of the latter should form the decreasing smaller proportions. It was farther provided, that one liquid measure was to be uniformly adopted throughout the kingdom. Cus- ' tom, however, has prevailed, and a new weight, namely, Avoirdupois (which see), was introduced; so that a second standard gallon has been adjusted to the old one, which it exceeds in the same proportion as the avoirdupois does the troy weight. From this standard, two different measures are regulated for ale and leer, which we have already stated under the articles Firkin, Barrel, Hogshead, etc. The old standard measure (being kept under seal at the Guildhall, London) is employed tor wine, spirits, etc. and contains the following subdivisions :—28 7/3 solid inches form one. pint (wine measure) ;—8 pints make a gallon ;— 18gallons,arundlet;—1rundlets, a barrel;-1 1/3 barrels, a tierce ;— 1 1/2| tierces, a hogshead ;—1 1/3 hogshead, a puncheon ;—1 1/2 puncheons, a butt, or pipe;—and 2 pipes, a tun.
These are the chief measures at present employed; a knowledge of which is very useful, and necessary, to prevent imposition. For this purpose, standard measures are kept in various parts of England, in conformity to which all others are di-directed to be made ; so that, if apy one be accidentally lo->t, it may be easily restored ; or corrected, if it be inaccurate.