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  US Customary Capacity Measures


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The following table lists a number of US Customary capacity measures as used in the United States of America . These measures dervived from different versions of old English capacity measures, included containers such as the firkin, kilderkin, puncheon and hogshead. They were often used for different commodities and for each there was often a different capacity in terms of cubic inches or gallons, both in America and in Britain .

This table lists the most common uses and the associated capacities in cubic inches of the base unit and its derivatives. Each major use in a column also shows the fractional part or multiple of a gallon in round brackets. In each case the base unit is the gallon and the size is indicated in red to distinguish it from derived values.

Other commodities measures as used in
Britain are illustrated in separate tables as is a list of less common uses and sizes of some of the containers in this table, such the barrel. Of particular note is the different capacities of the same measure as used in Britain and America .

 

Liquid1

Dry2

Measure

Relation  (Gals)

Volume in3

Relation (Gals)

Volume in3

Fluid Ounce

1/128 Gallon (1/128)

1.8046875

- -

Gill

4 Fl. Ounces (1/32)

7.21875

- -

Pint

16 Fl. Ounces (1/8)

28.875

- -

Quart

2 Pints (1/4)

57.75

2 Pints (1/4)

67.1875

Pottle

2 Quarts (1/2)

115.5

2 Quarts (1/2)

134.375

Gallon

2 Pottles (1)

231

2 Pottles (1)

268.75

Peck

- -

2 Gallons (2)

537.5

Bucket

- -

2 Pecks (4)

1075

Pin

4.5 Gallons

1039.5

- -

Bushel

- -

4 Pecks (8)

2150

Firkin

9 Gallons (9)

2079

- -

Anker

10 Gallons

2310

- -

Strike

- -

2 Bushels (16)

4300

Rundlet

2 Firkins (18)

4158

- -

Kilderkin

2 Firkins (18)

4158

- -

Bag

- -

3 Bushels (24)

6450

Coomb

- -

2 Strikes (32)

8600

Barrel

31.5 Gallons (31.5)

7276.5

105 Quarts

7054.6875

Tierce

1 1/3 Hogsheads (84)3

19404

- -

Hogshead

2 Barrels (63)

14553

- -

Quarter

- -

2 Coombs (64)

17200

Puncheon

2 Hogsheads (126)3

29106

- -

Pipe/Butt

2 Hogsheads (126)3

29106

- -

Tun/Ton

2 Pipes/Butts (252)3

58212

4 Quarters(256)

68800

Footnotes:

 1.       The U.S. liquid gallon is based on the Queen Anne or Wine gallon occupying 231 cubic inches.

2.       The U.S. adopted a different basis for the measurement of dry volume and used the British Winchester gallon of 268.75 cubic inches, which is a derivation of the Winchester bushel of 2150 cubic inches. The gallon was not normally used as a measure of dry goods but is included here only as a convenient comparison to the U.S. liquid gallon and former British gallon measures.

3.       In 1790 Thomas Jefferson refers to the reports presented by a Committee to the British House of Commons on standard weights and measures in use in England . Those relationships between Tierce, Puncheon, Pipe, Butt and Tun are used here.

 

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