From the ancient history, people were always trying to establish a relevant way of measuring their items. The first records of measurement devices were found at the Middle East civilizations, which were using a beam balance. Of course, the process was rudimentary and it wasn”t entirely accurate, but it was a start. A first notable improvement of the measuring system appears in the Middle Ages, where apparently, people were quantifying their money by weighting them. The weighting device was a basic balance, which was using barley grains as counterweight. This process was the most accurate of its time but still, a standard measurement was needed, in order to establish the true weight of an item in a fast and facile way. This is how the kilogram and pound appeared.
History of the kilogram (kg)
Considering that in the late 1700″s, there was no standard measurement unit, the merchants were constantly cheating their customers by altering the quantities. That”s when the King of France Louis XVI, decided to take action. The king ordered his specialists to create a standard weighting system, which cannot be altered and must be used by every merchant in the country. This is how the first decimal metric system appeared, and it was called a grave. This system was designed as the mass of a liter of water, when it reaches its freezing point. This revolutionary metric system was extremely popular and soon after, what was known as a “grave”, turned into a “gramme”. The gramme was equal to the mass of 1 cm3 of water, near the freezing point. Even if it was accurate, the gram wasn”t really practical for the commercial use and it had to be replaced with something bigger.
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That”s when, they decided to multiply the weight of a gram and to create another measurement unit. This is how the kilogram appeared. On 1799, the whole Republic adopted the kilogram as its standard measurement unit and it soon became popular in the whole world.
History of the pound (lb)
The pound has a more complex history and it suffered some major changes during its existence. It was firstly created in antiquity and it was known as the “Roman Libra”. The libra equaled around 328.9 grams and it was divided into 12 ounces. This is also the reason behind the “lb” abbreviation. The pound started to be defined in the United Kingdom, but it was a long process and its actual mass was often changed. Considering that, the troy pound, the tower pound and the wool pound differed a lot and they were all serving different purposes. The Standard pound was decreed through an Act of the British Parliament in 1878 and that is the version of the pound that we”ve been using today.
Converting Kilograms (Kg) to Pounds (Lbs) and back
The equivalence of the Pound with the Kilogram was also settled in the 1878 Act. This was a great measure because with it, the international merchants were being able to trade their items, no matter what standard unit they were using. According to the act, 1 Kilogram equals 2.20462262 pounds. The act also specifies the mass of one pound in kilograms and 1 Pound equals 0.45359237 kilograms.
The invention of the Pound (lb) and the Kilogram (kg) has revolutionized our current world. The fact that we are still using these measurement units today, shows us how useful they are and how we can still benefit from something that was developed over 200 years ago.