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Joe Celko's Data, Measurements and Standards in SQL by Joe Celko

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Introduction
As I sit here typing this introduction, I am looking at a copy of The North American Arithmetic, Part Third, for Advanced Scholars, by Frederick Emerson. It was written in 1834.
It has chapters on the money, weights, and measures in use in Europe and America at that time. The English still had pence, shillings, and farthings. The countries and city-states on the continent had a local currency instead of a Euro. Troy, Avoirdupois, and Apothecary weights were mentioned as standards in Europe.
But after that, there were English ells, French ells, and Flemish ells for measuring cloth—all of them different. There were separate liquid measures for wine and beer. Cities had local measures, so “100 lbs” in Trieste was 123.6 pounds Avoirdupois ...

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