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Advantages to the English Fluid Units

Date: 2013-08-01
Tags: cooking units

The English Fluid Units are quite nice for every-day use, especially cooking. Being based on halves allows quick and easy stepping up and down the chain of units without having to precisely measure each step.

Teaspoon 1—1/3 Drams Used to be equal to a dram.
Tablespoon 4 Drams or 3 Teaspoons I cannot find a unit equal to 2 drams
Ounce 2 Tablespoon
Jack 2 Ounces
Gill 2 Jacks
Cup 2 Gills
Pint 2 Cups
Quart 2 Pints
Pottle 2 Quarts Commonly known as a Half-Gallon
Gallon 2 Pottles

While this is a nice system, there are two different versions of it, the Imperial and US Customary that are slightly different in their base definitions.

Also, unlike length that are based on the human body and therefor have arbitrary relationships, having power-of-two relationships is easy to work with and fractionate. I don’t quite understand the hate of having to add fractions.

Personally, I would love to see some unit that is equal to 4 liters (a US gallon is 3.785 L) and keep the above relationships. This “metric gallon” would have easy and exact relationships to the liter. While the obvious downside is that all existing measurements would be slightly off (~5%), I think it may be a useful step forward. New cookware, for instance, could be made to the new size, with a line inside denoting the older standard.

“New Unit” Relation to previous unit Relation to metric unit
Metric Dram 3.90625 mL
Metric Teaspoon 2 Metric Drams 7.8125 mL
Metric Tablespoon 2 Metric Teaspoons 15.625 mL
Metric Ounce 2 Metric Tablespoon 31.25 mL
Metric Jack 2 Metric Ounces 62.5 mL
Metric Gill 2 Metric Jacks 125 mL
Metric Cup 2 Metric Gills 250 mL
Metric Pint 2 Metric Cups 500 mL
Metric Quart 2 Metric Pints 1 L
Metric Pottle 2 Metric Quarts 2 L
Metric Gallon 2 Metric Pottles 4 L