Elements of Chemistry, by Antoine Lavoisier

No. VIII. Additional.

Rules for Calculating the Absolute Gravity in English Troy Weight of a Cubic Foot and Inch, English Measure, of any Substance whose Specific Gravity is known64.

In 1696, Mr Everard, balance-maker to the Exchequer, weighed before the Commissioners of the House of Commons 2145.6 cubical inches, by the Exchequer standard foot, of distilled water, at the temperature of 55° of Fahrenheit, and found it to weigh 1131 oz. 14 dts. Troy, of the Exchequer standard. The beam turned with 6 grs. when loaded with 30 pounds in each scale. Hence, supposing the pound averdupois to weigh 7000 grs. Troy, a cubic foot of water weighs 62-1/2 pounds averdupois, or 1000 ounces averdupois, wanting 106 grains Troy. And hence, if the specific gravity of water be called 1000, the proportional specific gravities of all other bodies will nearly express the number of averdupois ounces in a cubic foot. Or more accurately, supposing the specific gravity of water expressed by 1. and of all other bodies in proportional numbers, as the cubic foot of water weighs, at the above temperature, exactly 437489.4 grains Troy, and the cubic inch of water 253.175 grains, the absolute weight of a cubical foot or inch of any body in Troy grains may be found by multiplying their specific gravity by either of the above numbers respectively.

By Everard's experiment, and the proportions of the English and French foot, as established by the Royal Society and French Academy of Sciences, the following numbers are ascertained.

Paris grains in a Paris cube foot of water = 645511
English grains in a Paris cube foot of water = 529922
Paris grains in an English cube foot of water = 533247
English grains in an English cube foot of water = 437489.4
English grains in an English cube inch of water = 253.175
By an experiment of Picard with the measure and
   weight of the Chatelet, the Paris cube foot of
   water contains of Paris grains = 641326
By one of Du Hamel, made with great care = 641376
By Homberg = 641666

These show some uncertainty in measures or in weights; but the above computation from Everard's experiment may be relied on, because the comparison of the foot of England with that of France was made by the joint labours of the Royal Society of London and the French Academy of Sciences: It agrees likewise very nearly with the weight assigned by Mr Lavoisier, 70 Paris pounds to the cubical foot of water.

64 The whole of this and the following article was communicated to the Translator by Professor Robinson. — E.


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