A little while ago my friend, antiques dealer and estate agent, Vera Taylor, lent me a number of books from her collection. Amongst them were two volumes on life in
post revolutionary Touraine, specifically in the small town of Ligueil, between 1789-95 and 1795-99. Both books were written and researched by Nelly Maillet (Professeur Honoraire) and published in 1987 and 1989 respectively by C.L.D.
As part of The Age of Reason, it was one of the acts of the French revolutionaries to introduce the metric/decimal system across the country. Their reasoning was to unify France, improve economic transactions, avoid disputes and to rationalise taxation across both France and, eventually, internationally through the introduction of agreed standards of measure. Indeed France was the world’s first country to introduce the metric system.
A page from the book covering 1795-99 is the directive on the use of standardised weights and measures; Table of Monies, Weights and Measures (see below). Interestingly the Table uses the original terms for metric units. For example: 1 Livre = 1,000 grams, Once = 100 grams, Gros = 10 grams, Denier = 1 gram, Grain = 0.1 gram.