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Accreditation and Quality Assurance

, Volume 9, Issue 9, pp 533–538 | Cite as

The Metre Convention and world-wide comparability of measurement results

  • Terry Quinn
General Paper

Introduction

In early times the provision of weights and measures was the prerogative of kings and emperors. The Romans had a highly developed system based upon the “pes” (foot) and the “libra” (pound), the unit of capacity (the amphora) being a cubic “pes”. The 15th century “Pile of Charlemagne” (a weight of about 490 g), the “avoir du poids” pound of Elizabeth 1st (453 g), the Pied du Roi (32.5 cm—one sixth of a Toise) and the foot (30.5 cm—one third of a yard), were all defined for the purpose of standardizing weights and measures for trade. By the middle of the 19th century, however, it had become clear that the absence of international agreement on units of measurement was becoming an impediment to the growth of international trade in manufactured and industrial products.

By the time of the Great Exhibitions of 1851 in London and 1867 in Paris, the decimal metric system, created at the time of the French revolution, had become widely used not only in France but also in most other...

Keywords

International Committee Mutual Recognition Measurement Capability National Metrology Institute Metre Convention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. 1.
    National and international needs for metrology (1999) BIPM, SevresGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Evolving needs for metrology in trade, industry and society and the role of the BIPMGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bureau International des Poids et MesuresSevres CedexFrance

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