Monday, October 8, 2012
Give Us a Standard
By Mack Lyon
President John Quincy Adams called both Houses of Congress together for a Special Session. He walked in carrying two “bushel” baskets and said, “The bushel measure in my right hand came from South Carolina; the one in my left hand came from New York. One of these bushel measures contains sixty-eight cubic inches more than the other.” He paused a moment to let that fall on the minds of the Senators and Representatives.
Then, he walked to a table and picked up two one-pound weights and said, “This weight in my right hand came from Massachusetts; this other one came from Maine. One of them weighs nearly an ounce more than the other.” He gave them time to think about it, then he concluded, “Gentlemen, we need a standard measurement and a stand weight for the United States of America.”
The result of that speech and demonstration was the establishment of the Bureau of Standards of Weights and Measures. Now, whether you live in South Carolina or New York City, a bushel is a bushel, and whether you live in Massachusetts or Main, there are sixteen ounces in a pound.
In Search of the Lord’s Way, May 1998, p. 1.