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Weights and Measures Day – May 20, 2023

Weights and Measures Day falls on May 20 and celebrates the history related to international trade and the exchanging of ideas across the globe. In 1875, the world came together and signed an International treaty that agreed to use a standard system of weights and measures. Whenever there is a consensus new codes have to be set. This was necessary since, throughout human history, different parts of the world used various measuring systems. All in all, this made trade and communication on trade subjects difficult.

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History of Weights and Measures Day

Weights and Measures Day was first celebrated in 1875, and since then, it has been a traditional day that is celebrated worldwide. Weights and Measures Day is celebrated to acknowledge an international treaty, known as the Metre Convention, signed on May 20, 1875, in the capital city of France, Paris.

The convention that was signed on this day has helped solve various problems related to weights and measures, not only in the United States but in many other countries worldwide. The signatures taken on this international treaty were from 17 different countries that had agreed to use a common system of measurement throughout the world.

The importance of this international treaty can be understood by the fact that several units of measurement have been derived from this convention itself. This includes units such as meter, kilogram, liter, etc.

Weights and Measures Day timeline

The First Table of Weights and Measures is Issued

Queen Elizabeth proclaims 14 units in total, including the gallon, bushel, ton, and ounce.

A Prototype Metre is Made

A platinum bar is cut into equal parts and becomes the international standard for the length of measurement.

Treaty of the Metre

The treaty establishes the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.

The International System of Units is Established

The 11th General Conference of Weights and Measures establish a modern metric system of measurement.

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