PDA

View Full Version : What is a gallon?


Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
12-06-1999, 02:11 PM
231 cubic inches.

Three primes: 3 x 7 x 11

Why such an "odd" number?

InutilisVisEst
12-06-1999, 02:36 PM
Bummer: "the wine gallon of 231 cubic inches rests on the authority of very long usage, before the 5th of Anne, the origin and foundation of which are unknown"
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/jeffplan.htm

This is not say that if the Founding Fathers don't know, nobody does. It's easy to envision some folks getting together and saying.

InutilisVisEst
12-06-1999, 02:41 PM
Damn, sorry. Last post should continue thus

"This is not say that if the Founding Fathers don't know, nobody does. It's easy to envision some folks getting together and saying..."

...let's make THIS the standard gallon" if you imagine a 6.5" diameter 7" tall wine mug... After all, they DID know how to drink back then.

AWB
12-06-1999, 02:55 PM
All I can find is that the 231 in[sub]3[/sup] was only one of many definitions of a gallon. There were also 277 and 269. The US picked 231 in 1836. This US Gallon was based on the William III gallon. However, I couldn't find anything that said why Bill picked that number.

AWB
12-06-1999, 02:56 PM
Try that again. :(

All I can find is that the 231 in3 was only one of many definitions of a gallon. There were also 277 and 269. The US picked 231 in 1836. This US Gallon was based on the William III gallon. However, I couldn't find anything that said why Bill picked that number.

UncleBeer
12-06-1999, 03:16 PM
This isn't really an answer but there is some interesting inforamtion on The Avalon Project of 1790 which was an attempt to standardize coinage, weights an measures.
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/jeffplan.htm


------------------
"Some people are worried about the difference between right and wrong. I'm worried about the difference between wrong and fun."
~P.J. O'Rourke~

tanstaafl
12-06-1999, 03:24 PM
Well, Webster's says:

Main Entry: gal·lon
Pronunciation: 'ga-l&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English galon, a liquid measure, from Old North French, from Medieval Latin galeta pail, a liquid measure
Date: 13th century
: a unit of liquid capacity equal to 231 cubic inches or four quarts

Given the reference to Latin for "pail", maybe it was the standard size of a Roman bucket? The Romans being the organizers they were probably had a standard bucket size and it was probably a reasonable number in cubits or whatever they measured in.

------------------
"Drink your coffee! Remember, there are people sleeping in China."

Dennis Matheson --- dennis@mountaindiver.com
Hike, Dive, Ski, Climb --- www.mountaindiver.com (http://www.mountaindiver.com)

UncleBeer
12-06-1999, 03:48 PM
Well, call me a British kilderkin. I'd swear there were no answers here when I posted. Sheesh.

That's about equal to 108 British firkins, BTW.

------------------
"Some people are worried about the difference between right and wrong. I'm worried about the difference between wrong and fun."
~P.J. O'Rourke~