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Documentary film producer Linda Anderman will present a talk on “The long history of America and the metric system.” The talk will be 6 p.m. May 21 at Mesa Public Library. She will talk about everything from the development of the system itself to America’s long flirtation with it.
On May 20, 1875 the United States was one of the 17 original nations to sign the Treaty of the Meter that officially sanctioned the International Bureau of Weights to set metric standards for the rest of the world. One hundred years later, Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act intended to move the U.S. to the metric system — yet flash forward almost four decades and the U.S. is still buying chicken by the pound, gas by the gallon and fabric by the yard despite a “lengthy” history with the metric system.
“Few people know what’s happened with the metric system in this country,” Anderman said. “I’ve been studying this issue from many angles for almost two years in preparation for a documentary on the subject. That research has revealed things that never would have occurred to me otherwise. For instance, our money is metric. It’s not an accident that there are 100 pennies and 10 dimes in a dollar. That was the work of Thomas Jefferson.”
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