|aWhatever happened to the metric system? :|bhow America kept its feet /|cJohn Bemelmans Marciano.
|a1st U.S. ed.
|aNew York :|bBloomsbury,|c2014.
|a310 p.,  p. of plates :|bill. (some col.) ;|c22 cm.
|aIncludes bibliographical references (p. -300) and index.
|aMost of the rest of the world is on the metric system, and for a time in the 1970s, America appeared ready to make the switch. Yet it never happened, and the reasons for that get to the root of who we think we are, just as the measurements are woven into the ways we think. Marciano chronicles the origins of measurement systems, the kaleidoscopic array of standards throughout Europe and the thirteen American colonies, the combination of intellect and circumstance that resulted in the metric system's creation in France in the wake of the French Revolution, and America's stubborn adherence to the hybrid United States Customary System ever since.
|aThe day the metric died -- Thomas Jefferson plans -- American Paris -- Metric systems -- The decimation of everything -- Napoleonic measures -- Lighthouses of the sky -- The internationalists -- A universal coin -- The battle of the standards -- Standard time -- A toolkit for the world -- The Great Calendar Debate -- Shocks to the system -- A metric America -- Isolated.