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JAMA 100 Years Ago
December 20, 2000


Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Editorial Assistant

JAMA. 2000;284(23):2977. doi:10.1001/jama.284.23.2977-JJY00042-2-1

A bill is passing through the various stages in Congress which, if it becomes a law in its present form, will encourage the adoption in the United States of the metric system of weights and measures on Jan. 1, 1903. The bill has been reported favorably by the committee on weights and measures, and therefore there is a probability of its becoming a law. The friends of the measure, however, are not over sanguine, knowing that much opposition is still to be met. It is not to be denied that changing from the present cumbersome and complicated system, with its variety of units, to the simple one used by all except English-speaking people, will upset business and cause confusion in the commercial world. Substituting the meter for the yard alone would play havoc in our dry goods stores. But all this confusion would soon subside and a little preparatory education would remove much of the difficulty when the time came to meet it. It is a change that will not be made all at once, but will be done by degrees.

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