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The struggle to achieve weights and measures standardization was central to the progress of industrialization in the United States and to the concurrent maturation of national and international markets.

The story forms an essential part of our country's narrative of scientific advance and economic development.

This exhibit is a small part of that story -- told from the perspective of one of the major players: the Federal Government. The role of the Federal Government was (and is) to insure the traceability of all secondary and working standards to International Standards.

The cooperation of the States and the Federal Government toward this end is an example of federalism functioning robustly and efficiently for the benefit of the citizenry.

Weights and Measures is a story that is told with objects. Many of the objects are in the collection of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Museum and several others were virtually borrowed for the exhibit. NIST wishes to thank all of the organizations that loaned objects.

Thanks also to Christopher Evans, Howard Harary, Zeina Jabbour, Richard Rhorer, and Jack Stone, Jr., of the NIST Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory for their assistance with the development of this exhibit.

Room 1: America before Standard Weights and Measures Room 2: Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler Room 3: The Office from 1836-1901 Room 4: The Mendenhall Order Room 5: Founding of the NBS Room 6: From Artifacts to Physical Constants Room 7: Dissemination of Standards Room 8: A Social History