Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

843weekends (was Re: DayLight Savings Time Changes)

Expand Messages
  • johnmsteele
    Mar 4, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      --- In ISO8601@yahoogroups.com, "Sunatori, Go Simon"
      <GS.Sunatori@H...> wrote:
      > > It could be said that the whole world, including the U.S., went
      > "internally metric" when the definition of English and Imperial
      > got linked to the metric system rather than having its own

      It is true the inch ( foot, and yard, etc) was slightly redefined
      then. The "old" inch was define by 39.37" = 1 m. The modern inch is
      defined by 1" = 25.4 mm, resulting in 39.37007874" (approximately) =
      1 m.

      However, our standards have been defined in terms of metric standards
      since 1893, and serious conversion of US industry probably started
      around 1965. A history from NIST, the modern successor to NBS, and
      agency responsible for metric system in US, is given below. (Several
      good links on the page for more info, too). Virtually all American
      industry with international markets has actually gone metric, but
      public support is lower than ever. There is no "will" to complete the


      A Capsule History
      The United States is now the only industrialized country in the world
      that does not use the metric system as its predominant system of

      Most Americans think that our involvement with metric measurement is
      relatively new. In fact, the United States has been increasing its
      use of metric units for many years, and the pace has accelerated in
      the past three decades. In the early 1800's, the U.S. Coast and
      Geodetic Survey (the government's surveying and map-making agency)
      used meter and kilogram standards brought from France. In 1866,
      Congress authorized the use of the metric system in this country and
      supplied each state with a set of standard metric weights and

      In 1875, the United States solidified its commitment to the
      development of the internationally recognized metric system by
      becoming one of the original seventeen signatory nations to the
      Treaty of the Meter. The signing of this international agreement
      concluded five years of meetings in which the metric system was
      reformulated, refining the accuracy of its standards. The Treaty of
      the Meter, also know as the "Metric Convention," established the
      International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in Sèvres,
      France, to provide standards of measurement for worldwide use.

      In 1893, metric standards, developed through international
      cooperation under the auspices of BIPM, were adopted as the
      fundamental standards for length and mass in the United States. Our
      customary measurements -- the foot, pound, quart, etc. -- have been
      defined in relation to the meter and the kilogram ever since. The
      General Conference of Weights and Measures, the governing body that
      has overall responsibility for the metric system, and which is made
      up of the signatory nations to the Treaty of the Meter, approved an
      updated version of the metric system in 1960. This modern system is
      called Le Système International d'Unités or the International System
      of Units, abbreviated SI.

      The United Kingdom, began a transition to the metric system in 1965
      to more fully mesh its business and trade practices with those of the
      European Common Market. The conversion of the United Kingdom and the
      Commonwealth nations to SI created a new sense of urgency regarding
      the use of metric units in the United States.

      In 1968, Congress authorized a three-year study of systems of
      measurement in the U.S., with particular emphasis on the feasibility
      of adopting SI. The detailed U.S. Metric Study was conducted by the
      Department of Commerce. A 45-member advisory panel consulted with and
      took testimony from hundreds of consumers, business organizations,
      labor groups, manufacturers, and state and local officials.

      The final report of the study, "A Metric America: A Decision Whose
      Time Has Come," concluded that the U.S. would eventually join the
      rest of the world in the use of the metric system of measurement. The
      study found that measurement in the United States was already based
      on metric units in many areas and that it was becoming more so every
      day. The majority of study participants believed that conversion to
      the metric system was in the best interests of the Nation,
      particularly in view of the importance of foreign trade and the
      increasing influence of technology in American life.

      The study recommended that the United States implement a carefully
      planned transition to predominant use of the metric system over a ten-
      year period. Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 "to
      coordinate and plan the increasing use of the metric system in the
      United States." The Act, however, did not require a ten-year
      conversion period. A process of voluntary conversion was initiated,
      and the U.S. Metric Board was established. The Board was charged
      with "devising and carrying out a broad program of planning,
      coordination, and public education, consistent with other national
      policy and interests, with the aim of implementing the policy set
      forth in this Act." The efforts of the Metric Board were largely
      ignored by the American public, and, in 1981, the Board reported to
      Congress that it lacked the clear Congressional mandate necessary to
      bring about national conversion. Due to this apparent
      ineffectiveness, and in an effort to reduce Federal spending, the
      Metric Board was disestablished in the fall of 1982.

      The Board's demise increased doubts about the United States'
      commitment to metrication. Public and private sector metric
      transition slowed at the same time that the very reasons for the
      United States to adopt the metric system -- the increasing
      competitiveness of other nations and the demands of global
      marketplaces -- made completing the conversion even more important.

      Congress, recognizing the necessity of the United States' conformance
      with international standards for trade, included new encouragement
      for U.S. industrial metrication in the Omnibus Trade and
      Competitiveness Act of 1988. This legislation amended the Metric
      Conversion Act of 1975 and designates the metric system as the
      Preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and
      commerce." The legislation states that the Federal Government has a
      responsibility to assist industry, especially small business, as it
      voluntarily converts to the metric system of measurement.

      Federal agencies were required by this legislation, with certain
      exceptions, to use the metric system in their procurement, grants and
      other business-related activities by the end of 1992. While not
      mandating metric use in the private sector, the Federal Government
      has sought to serve as a catalyst in the metric conversion of the
      country's trade, industry, and commerce.

      The current effort toward national metrication is based on the
      conclusion that industrial and commercial productivity, mathematics
      and science education, and the competitiveness of American products
      and services in world markets, will be enhanced by completing the
      change to the metric system of units. Failure to complete the change
      will increasingly handicap the Nation's industry and economy.
    • Show all 22 messages in this topic