A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors
Measurements & Weight Standards
by Peter Lang
Translated by Brad Schwebler

   In 1874 the metric system was also introduced in Beschka.   Field measure, wood trade, and screw threads were however still measured in fathoms. 

   1 fathom = 6 feet (shoe) = 72 Viennese inches = 185.2 cm

   1 world sea mile = 1 wide minute? = 1000 fathoms = 1852 meters 1 geographic mile = 4 sea miles = 7420.44 meters (12.44 meters too much)

   1 Elle (old tailor’s measure) = about 66.7 cm 

The field sizes were measured in yokes by us.

   1 Katastral yoke = 1600 square fathoms

   1 square fathom = 36 square feet or square shoes 

   For load compensation in Germany the square feet were rounded off to 0.1 square meters and the square fathom was rounded off to 3.6 square meters.  The exact measurement of the first is 0.09511056 square meters and the last is 3.46398016 square meters.  The difference in yokes was already noticeable because the compensation office calculated 57.55 ar per yoke although the yoke only had 55.42 ar. 

   The firewood was measured in fathoms.

   1 fathom of firewood = 1 on 2 x 2 meters = 4 room meters 

   Old empty measures for grain were: 

   1 Pester Metzen = 6 Meritze = 60 Oka = about 93 liters = about 72 kg of grain

   1 Preßburger Metzen = 4 Meritze = 40 Oka = about 62 liters = about 48 kg. of grain

   1 Oka = about 1.55 liters = about 2 pounds to 560 grams (old pound) of grain

   1 Viennese Metzen = 61.481 liters (grain about 47.5 kg.) 

   Since 1874 weights were also measured by the metric system in grams.  Old units of weight were the pound, the 32 Lot in the beginning and later corresponding to 30 Lot.  From Lot (about 18 g) remains only the proverb: “Friends in need go far on a Lot.”  The “pound” is still usually used for a weight of 500 grams in Germany.  The unit of weight pound was not used by us.  The double hundred weight was called meter hundred weight by us, for which the abbreviation “q” was used.  Large grain deliveries were calculated in railroad cars, and indeed one car corresponded to 100 meter hundred weight.  In reality one railroad car contained 20 tons.

[Published at by Jody McKim Pharr, 2005]

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