December 9, 1852, in Spain, the equivalence of traditional weights and measures with the Decimal Metric System is published by Royal Order.

On this day (December 9), 1852, in Spain, the equivalence of weights and traditional measures with the Decimal Metric System is published in Spain, by Royal Order.
Both in the towns and regions that today constitute Spain and in medieval Europe, there was a great dispersion of units of measurement, which constituted a heavy burden for the development of trade.
In Spain, the disparity took on extreme proportions. The same unit names were used, such as the vara, the pound, the arroba or the bushel with values ​​that differed between regions and even between very close cities within the same regions. This created an infinite field for abuses and made the development of interregional trade extremely difficult.
As an example of some old measures in some regions of Spain:
Province Rod
Pound (16 ounces)
(Half) pitcher or
arroba (wine)
Arroba (oil)
Half bushel
Legua (6666⅔ varas)
Alava 0.836 0.460 1 16,133 12,563 55,501 (bushel)11 5,572 7
Albacete 0.837 0.458 6,365 28,325
Alicante 0.912 0.533
(“Gross pound” at 18 oz.)
0.60 11.55 20,775 5,555
Almeria 0.833 0.460 01 8,18
(“half an at sign”)
--- 27,531 5,573
Asturias 0.836 0.460 1 18.41 --- 37.07 5,572 7

Unification attempts were many, but union interests and power sectors led them to failure, until the very evolution of trade and the development of the figure of "nation" imposed the need for a uniform method .

In 1791, the French National Assembly approved a decimal metric system based on the units of length measurement and mass measurement, materialized by means of a platinum bar with edges and a platinum cylinder that were deposited in the Archives of the French Republic in the year 1799.

The Weights and Measures Commission, created by the Law of 1849 as a consultative body of the Government, had as its mission the development of the Decimal Metric System in our country and, as a result of its work, the equivalences between the old weights and measures and the units of the SMD, appearing published by Royal Order of December 9, 1852.

As a curiosity to mention that a collection of the old measures used for the conversion is preserved in the permanent exhibition of weights and measures of the Spanish Center of Metrology.

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- Good morning
- Good morning
- I would like 30 ounces of pears
- 30 ounces?
- what types of ounces?
- excuse me?
- Galician ounces? ounces of Madrid? ounces of Alicante?
- oh, well I don't know
- whatever you say
- and what do you recommend?
- buy a kilo of pears
- a kilo?
- what is a kilo?
- a kilo could be equivalent to 30 ounces
- but... a kilo from Galicia? a kilo from Madrid?
- kilo there is only one
- there is only one kilo!
- then give me 20
- 20 kilos of pears?
- not 20 kilos and that's it
- that's impossible
- what a mess my mother....

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