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Brief chronology of the metric system

1670: Gabriel Mouton, a French vicar, is credited with originating the metric system.

1790: Thomas Jefferson proposes a decimal-based measurement system for the US.

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1792: The US Mint is formed to produce the world's first decimal currency.

1795: France adopts the metric system.

1866: Use of the metric system made legal (but not mandatory) in the US by the Metric Act of 1866 - making it illegal to refuse to deal in metric quantities.

1875: "The Treaty of the Meter" is signed in Paris by 18 nations (including US).

1916: The Metric Association is formed to advocate metric-system usage in the US.

1991: President Bush signs an executive order directing all executive departments and federal agencies to use metric system.

2009: Products sold in Europe (even of US origin) are to use metric labeling only.

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(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society