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Weights and Measures of the Major Food Commodities in Early-nineteenth Century Ireland: A Regional Perspective

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Feenan, Dermot and Kennedy, Liam (2002) Weights and Measures of the Major Food Commodities in Early-nineteenth Century Ireland: A Regional Perspective. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Section C, 102C (2). pp. 2-45. [Journal article]

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Abstract

This paper describes in detail and discusses the regional variation of weights and measures of major food commodities (potatoes, oats, oatmeal, wheat, barley, rye, butter and milk) in early nineteenth-century Ireland. It builds upon the exposition by Wakefield and Bourke of weights and measures in Ireland before the Great Famine. New sources examined include estate records, market reports in regional and local newspapers, archives of the Irish Folklore Commission in the Department of Irish Folklore, and Ordnance Survey memoirs. A wider range of weights and measures is shown, illustrated through tables and with calculation of median and modal values. The diversity appears to reflect one or more variables, commodity, location, time and point in the chain of distribution, thus indicating the need for caution in assumptions about uniform or smooth interchangeability of weights and measures. The government's attempts to standardise weights and measures in Ireland are discussed with reference to the wider international movements towards quantitative standardisation.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
ID Code:11050
Deposited By:Mr Dermot Feenan
Deposited On:04 Feb 2010 14:27
Last Modified:04 Feb 2010 14:27

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