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Board of Trade
The unit of capacity also is most unfortunate from a scientific point of view.
Copies have been made of the imperial standards for determining the yard and the pound, and are called parliamentary copies of the imperial standards. Such copies are deposited at the Royal Mint, the Royal Society of London, and at other places.
The Board of Trade have prepared a series of "Board of Trade Standards," which are copies of the Imperial standards and standards of various derivative units and of multiples and aliquot parts of units as follows:-1
BOARD OF TRADE STANDARDS OF LENGTH.
66 feet I chain of 100 links.
6 feet 2 yards.
The inch is divided in three ways, namely, into 12 equal parts; 10 equal parts; and 16 equal parts.
BOARD OF TRADE STANDARDS OF WEIGHTS.
1 Those given are the Board of Trade Standards mentioned in the schedules to the Weights and Measures Act, 1878. Other standards may be prepared and, if approved by Her Majesty, by Order in Council, will become Board of Trade Standards. A Board of Trade Standard may also, by Order in Council, be declared to be no longer a Board of Trade Standard.
In addition to these, the Board of Trade have prepared, according to the following table, a series of
STANDARDS FOR WEIGHING COINS.
It may be pointed out that the "gill" is not defined at all; except incidentally in a schedule to the Act dealing with the metric system.
Weights and measures to be uniform.
Duties of Local
The Board of Trade have, also, the following
STANDARDS OF CAPACITY FOR MEASURES USED IN THE SALE
In addition to these the Board of Trade have a set of Metric Standards, i.e., standards of weights and measures according to the French system; but these are not "Board of Trade Standards." The Board have also prepared authoritative tables comparing the metric with the imperial system.
The provisions of the Act for securing uniformity in transactions are of two kinds. First, prescribing the manner in which the terms of a contract shall be expressed, and secondly for prescribing what material weights and measures are alone to be used. These provisions are for the most part incorporated from older Acts, and are difficult to construe.
It seems that every contract must be expressed in terms of the units above-mentioned, i.e., the yard, pound, and gallon; or in terms of derivative units; or in terms of the units of the metric system. Besides the derivative units, of which Board of Trade Standards have been prepared, the Act contains definitions of the following derivative units :
i. Of length, the furlong and the mile.
ii. Of area, the rood and the acre.
iii. Of weight, the hundredweight and ton.
Again, the use for trade of any material weight or measure which is not of the denomination of a Board of Trade Standard and which has not been duly verified and stamped is unlawful. Thus the use of a seven foot rule in trade would be unlawful.
The real object of these provisions was to put an end to the use of customary weights and measures, and so to avoid the misunderstanding and unfairness that must result from the use of a weight or measure of a denomination of which there is no exact definition.
We may now proceed to discuss the duties of a Local Authority.
The Local Authority must, from time to time, provide such local standards of measure and weight (other than coin
weights) as they deem requisite for the purpose of the verification of all weights and measures in use in their county or borough, and must fix the places where these standards are to be deposited. The local standards must be copies of Board of Trade standards.
They must provide from time to time proper means for testing weights and measures by comparison with the local standards, and for stamping the weights and measures verified. Where it becomes necessary to provide a new local standard, a copy must be made of a Board of Trade standard, and the Board of Trade must, free of charge, have the copy compared with a Board of Trade standard, and the local standard must be stamped by the Board of Trade as verified, and the fact of the verification must be evidenced by an indenture signed by an officer of the Board, so that each local standard has its indenture of verification.
The Local Authority must take steps to have their local standards re-verified from time to time, namely, in the case of a standard of weight, every five years at least, and in the case of a standard of length, every ten years at least, or at any other time if a local standard is damaged.
If a local standard has been damaged the re-verification must be made by the Board of Trade in the same way as the original verification. In other cases the re-verification may be made by the Board of Trade, or by local comparison.
A local comparison of a local standard is made by an Inspector of Weights and Measures for the county or borough in which such local standard is used, comparing the same, in the presence of a Justice of the Peace, with some other local standard that has been verified or re-verified by the Board of Trade, in the case of a weight within the last five years, and in the case of a measure, within the last ten years.
If on a local comparison the local standard is found correct, the Justice must sign an indorsement upon the indenture of verification of such standard, stating such local comparison and verification, and the error, if any found thereon,2 and the indorsement so signed must be transmitted to the Board of Trade to be recorded.
Every Local Authority must appoint a sufficient number of Appointment of Inspectors of Weights and Measures. If they appoint more
1 All coin weights in use must be verified by the Board of Trade.
to be tolerated in local standards.
than one they must allot to each Inspector (subject to any arrangement for a chief Inspector or Inspectors) a separate district, to be distinguished by some name, number, or mark. They may appoint different persons to be Inspectors for verification and for inspection respectively of weights and measures. A maker or seller of weights and measures must not be an Inspector.
The Local Authority must fix times and places at which each Inspector is to attend for the purpose of verification of weights and measures.
Two or more Local Authorities may combine, as regards either the whole or any part of the areas within their jurisdiction, for all or any of the purposes of this Act, upon such terms and in such manner as they may agree upon.
A Local Authority may make bye-laws, and when made alter and revoke and vary them:
(i.) For regulating the comparison with their local standards, and the verification and stamping of weights and measures in use in their county or borough.
(ii.) For regulating the local comparison of their local standards.
(iii.) Generally for regulating the duties of their Inspectors. The bye-laws must be approved by the Board of Trade, and must be published before such approval as the Board of Trade may direct. Such bye-laws may impose fines not exceeding £1, to be recovered summarily.
On appointment an Inspector must enter into a recognisance with the Crown (to be sued for in any court of record) in the sum of £200 for the due performance of the duties of his office, and for the due payment, at the times fixed by the Local Authority appointing him, of all fees received by him under the Act, and for the safe custody of the local standards and the stamps and appliances for verification committed to his charge, and for their due surrender immediately on his removal or other cessation from office to the person appointed to receive them.
An Inspector must make the local comparisons of the local standards from time to time, and also attend at the places and times appointed by the Local Authority with the local standards in his custody, for the verification of weights and measures. He must at such times and places examine every measure or weight which is of the same denomination as one of such standards and which is brought to him for the purpose of verification by comparing it with that standard. If