Mathematical Chart, Metric System

Description
In the wake of the Revolution of 1789, French scientists developed a new system of weights and measures known in English-speaking countries as the metric system. A handful of early 19th-century American mathematics textbooks discussed metric measurements. In the 1860s, metric measures were legalized in the United States, although they were not mandatory. A few advocates of the new system, most notably the distinguished librarian Melville Dewey, joined together to form the American Metrological Society and to advocate the use of metric measures. This chart was prepared by the Society for classroom use.
The tan paper chart shows a meter length divided into decimeters, centimeters, and millimeters. It also shows a liter container and a block 1,000 cubic centimeters in size. It gives the value in United States currency of silver coins weighing from 1 gram to 1000 grams. A mark at the bottom front of the chart reads: Copies of this chart will be mailed on receipt of ten cents in postage stamps. (/) ADDRESS AMERICAN METROLOGICAL SOCIETY, 41 EAST 49TH ST., N.Y. CITY.
Science magazine noted publication of the chart in 1891, which is used as the approximate date of the object. This example was found uncatalogued in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
mathematical table
date made
ca 1891
maker
American Metrological Society
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: .1 cm x 109.5 cm x 43.5 cm; 1/32 in x 43 1/8 in x 17 1/8 in
place made
United States: New York, New York City
ID Number
1990.3012.01
catalog number
1990.3012.01
nonaccession number
1990.3012
subject
Science & Mathematics
Mathematical Charts and Tables
Mathematics
Measuring & Mapping
Metric System
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Metric System
Mathematical Charts and Tables
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Transfer from Smithsonian Institution Libraries

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