It all started with a simple trade that went wrong. When in 1793, a French scientist Joseph Dombey was on his way to deliver the rarest items on Earth to Thomas Jefferson. Unfortunately, his fate led him to the British Pirates. Dombey tried to portray as a Spanish, but his French accent exposed him. It resulted in his arrest and he was taken to the Caribbean Island, where he died even before ransomed.
Curious as to what the delivery was?
They were two small copper items, which were standards for representing a meter, and a grave which is today known as a kilogram.
The United States to inherit the French Metric System
The United States had already become the first nation in the world to adopt decimal. They were now looking forward to getting rid of the jumble created by the British weights and measures. As an effort to strengthen the bonds with France and the support of the Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, they were to adopt the French Metric System. This is the reason that Dombey, along with the grain export, was to deliver the rarest of copper sets. The standards represented a meter and a grave.
This was an attempt to argue the system’s merits and adopt a universal unit of measure. But as we all know, this attempt could not be successful. The execution of Dombey hindered the change, and then it was not looked upon for years.
Effects on ‘Treaty of the Meter’ a century later
Now in the 1800s, more and more nations came to adopt the new system of weights and measures. The United States was one of the 17 countries that signed the ‘Treaty of the Meter,’ the regime governed by the International Bureau of Weights and Measure.
Almost a century later, the full switch into the system was inevitable. But the public at large vehemently opposed the switch. According to the Gallup Poll, 45 % of the participants were against the change. Metric Study Act enforced to develop a system at large in one of the developing nations in the world. The United States Government ignored the will of the general public.
fields like pharmaceuticals, food labels, and schools have been using the prevalent system of metrics for long. They couldn’t change to the standard weights and measure and blend according to the same. How does it matter to measure the land in squares or square meters? The measurement was the same. In today’s time, almost 30% of the businesses have inherited the system of measurement as per the authorities, but still, many people struggle to make a change.