# Thread: The United States will never go metric

1. ## The United States will never go metric

I was reminded of an epiphany I had had late last summer. I was measuring out orange flavoring in a tablespoon measure. It's a useful measure: a rectangular molded plastic spoon with a line near the top to indicate one tablespoon. Fill it to the top to measure out 4 teaspoons.

I remember back when everyone told each other that the U.S. would go metric just as soon as Detroit went metric. Didn't happen that way, did it? Now I know why. Just step into the kitchen and count the number of cookbooks. Go to Amazon and try to count the number of cookbooks currently on sale. Tune into the food channels to see the number of celebrity chefs who are hard at work writing up new cookbooks. Then ask yourself in all of these books, how many recipes are there that start with something like 10 ml olive oil, 1/2 kilo of ground round. A hint: you won't even have to look at your hands.

When the American housewife is ready to invest in metric measures and work from formulas instead of recipes, this country will finally go metric. It ain't gonna happen.

2. Old Guy
Join Date
Nov 2008
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25,770

## Re: The United States will never go metric

There is no reason to go metric until Americans start doing math.

NASA mandates metric specs. if that helps.

3. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

The military seems to use meters and kilometers.

umm. . .

Just sayin'

5. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by CWSmith
There is no reason to go metric until Americans start doing math.

NASA mandates metric specs. if that helps.
Didn't help a particular mars probe, now did it?

6. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

On 1 July 1959 the U.S. redefined the yard and pound to align U.S. customary measures with international standards. Ever since the Mendenhall Order of 1893, U.S. customary units have been defined in terms of metric units.
Refinement of Values for the Yard and the Pound (LINK)

7. Senior Member
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Sep 2004
Location
Huntsville, AL
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## Re: The United States will never go metric

Around 1975 or so it was drilled into me at school to use the metric system. At the time it really seemed that we would go that way. To this day some of the road signs approaching Knoxville, TN give distances in miles or km. I believe these are a legacy of the World's Fair held there in 1982.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_World%27s_Fair

8. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

They'll have to pry my 12 inch ruler from my cold dead hands.

9. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

No matter to me. I'm ambidextrous when it comes to measurement systems. I also have plenty of both types of wrenches and sockets.

10. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by Rich Jones
They'll have to pry my 12 inch ruler from my cold dead hands.
305 mm.

11. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

What size is a sheet of plywood in Europe?

12. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

In Australia it would depend on the factory and the market it's being made for.
Metric is 2400x1200
Imperial is 2440 x 1220

13. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

In the airplane only temp is metric. Otherwise it’s knots, nautical miles, feet, pounds and inches of Hg.

14. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

We can do either, but metric is easier. I grew up on Imperial measures and they are a pain the butt.

15. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by PeterSibley
We can do either, but metric is easier. I grew up on Imperial measures and they are a pain the butt.
I agree, Unless you want to divide. A foot can be divided evenly by two, three, four, six, and twelve.
In the building industry here, centimeters are not used, just metres and millimeters. Centimeters are for dressmakers!

16. Senior Member
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## Re: The United States will never go metric

The Netherlands have gone metric since Napoleon, and we use things like tablespoons for measuring ingrediants, so I don't really get what point You are making.

17. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

When I need a 13MM wrench I just use a 1/2 inch one.
My little way of protesting the automotive system.

18. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by Stiletto
I agree, Unless you want to divide. A foot can be divided evenly by two, three, four, six, and twelve.
In the building industry here, centimeters are not used, just metres and millimeters. Centimeters are for dressmakers!
I really prefer millimeter measurements to 32 nds of an inch.

19. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Detroit has mostly gone metric - at least with fasteners. However, they use different head sizes for bolts a lot: 15 instead of 14, 18 instead of 17 or 19, etc.

I was always told that the big stumbling block back when we "tried" was machine tools & the cost of replacing/upgrading them.

Canada seems to have figured it out, but maybe they're just being polite about it?

20. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by Garret
Detroit has mostly gone metric - at least with fasteners. However, they use different head sizes for bolts a lot: 15 instead of 14, 18 instead of 17 or 19, etc.
kat has never worked in anything but metric

21. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Brion Toss has a brilliant defense of the not metric. A small exerpt:

I was in Montreal years ago, having dinner with a couple of carpenters who were visiting from near Paris. They were describing a brilliant technique whereby they had vastly simplified layout for their jobs. “Instead of using 1 meter as a standard,” one of them said, “we use 1.2 meters. That way we hardly ever have to deal with decimal points, as 12 can be divided by 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, and itself.”
And I said, “You mean, like the foot?”
And I swear, they both slapped their foreheads and made various French exclamations of astonishment. The most significant thing for me was that they knew that the foot has twelve inches in it. They had just never considered that there might be a logical reason for it. But 1.2 meters, well, that made sense.

For the whole essay, that begins with explaining Fahrenheit, see http://briontoss.com/index.php/2017/...n-measurement/

I have always loved pondering why the nautical mile is different from the statute mile and how each in its place, sailing or walking, is so much more suitable than the kilometer. And then there's three hundred and sixty degrees . . .

22. Senior Member
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## Re: The United States will never go metric

When I do teleconferences with colleagues in Asia or Europe I have to have converted everything before we start. I can do a lot of it in my head, but not all.

It is so much easier than what we do. A tote bin holds a cubic metre. Our storage tanks in Germany hold 100 cubic metres. If you have to pull out 20 cubic metres to charge a batch that's 20 percent straight side level, so even though we measure flow you automatically have an accurate cross reference to work with.

Mickey Lake

23. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
When I need a 13MM wrench I just use a 1/2 inch one.
My little way of protesting the automotive system.
Just for \$hits and giggles - try a quarter whit.

24. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt
Just for \$hits and giggles - try a quarter whit.
Ah - but what's that in British Standard?

Been too long since I've wrenched on old British stuff to remember. Have to go look in the toolbox to see I guess.

25. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
When I need a 13MM wrench I just use a 1/2 inch one.
My little way of protesting the automotive system.
Keep one of these in your kit

For when you have finally completely rounded off the nuts.

26. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

The OP is, however, correct. With almost half of its citizens having voted for trump, the USA is too stupid to ever understand the benefits of going metric. Bidnez interests will, however, continue to weasel in metrics any time they so wish, as sort of a "new world order" sort'ta thing.

27. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by Garret
Ah - but what's that in British Standard?

Been too long since I've wrenched on old British stuff to remember. Have to go look in the toolbox to see I guess.
http://www.baconsdozen.co.uk/tools/c...n%20charts.htm

28. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

I remember way back to school when they tried to teach us metric. They failed only because they got too interested in the theory and how it interacts with "standard" measurements rather than the practical side of use using it.

Having owned nothing but European cars all my life, I can and do use either.

29. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt
Handy - thanks!

30. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by Art Haberland

Having owned nothing but European cars all my life, I can and do use either.
theres a difference between using a metric wrench and using the metric system. . .

do you do home remodeling, furniture making, boatbuilding in metric units or english? Are your measuring cups and spoons and cookbooks in metric?

31. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by Paul Pless
theres a difference between using a metric wrench and using the metric system. . .

do you do home remodeling, furniture making, boatbuilding in metric units or english? Are your measuring cups and spoons and cookbooks in metric?
I build in Metric, I usually tell the temp in metric, and thanks to a German who is a friend and a co-worker, I use metric at work as well. It's just a much better system all around.

32. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

i work almost exclusively in metric
and do everything else almost exclusively in english
wtf is wrong with me

33. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Originally Posted by Paul Pless
i work almost exclusively in metric
and do everything else almost exclusively in english
wtf is wrong with me
By what measure would you like to know?

...

35. ## Re: The United States will never go metric

Re Paul's "Doing in Metric - - -"; Phil Bolger decided to try Metric when he designed the Dovekie for Edey & Duff. They did transcribe one dimension in error, the length of the sail's foot which was eventually corrected. Owners of early boats were offered a kit for lengthening their sprit, should they get to a point where a new, larger mainsail was desired.

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