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U.S. begins shift to metric measures

In 1893, Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, then Superintendent of Weights and Measures, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, decided that the international meter and kilogram would become the fundamental standards of length and mass in the United States, both for metric and customary weights and measures. This decision, now known as “The Mendenhall Order,” published as “Fundamental Standards of Length and Mass,” in the Coast and Geodetic SurveyBulletin No. 26, established a change from the prior policy of the U.S. to maintain its standards of length and mass to be identical with those of Great Britain. Henceforth, for example, the U.S. yard was defined in terms of the International Prototype meter. The U.S. National Bureau of Standards, established in Jul 1901, acted likewise.«

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