The United States customary units of capacity fell into two sets: those used for liquids and those used for dry substances. They are descended from Traditional British units of capacity, but simplified. In the traditional British system, there were different gallons used for various kinds of commodities: wine, ale, grain, etc. In the United States, the wine gallon was adopted as a standard for all liquid commodities. The bushel, eight times the gallon that had been used for such grains as wheat and barley, was adopted for the standard for dry commodities, and the gallon, as such, was not incorporated into the standards. Since the wine gallon was based on a pint measure which weighed one pound when filled with wine, while the bushel was based on a pint measure which weighed one pound when filled with grain, the two were quite different. And both were totally different from the capacity measures adopted by Britain in the Weights and Measures Act of 1824, which established the British Imperial system of units.

Bushel Table of States

A table of weights from the secretaries of the different states, showing the number of pounds which their laws recognize as a bushel of different commodities. c. 1854

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