On 1/20/04 7:34 AM Jeremy Greenwood writes:
>a bushel is both a measure of wet and dry goods by volume and by weight for
>other goods e.g. a bushel of salt was defined for the purposes of Salt
>56lbs eventually in the C18 having been several different values before then
Actually at Droitwich it never did vary. It was described as the
Winchester Bushel. In the llth century a mittae or mit of four bushels
comprised 224 lbs. A Half-mit was 112lbs. This latter is a convenient
weight for handling (remember the 100cwt. of coal delivered to the door).
While a whole mit, or horseload balanced a half-mit on each side of a
horse. The problem was understanding how much a bushel 'weighed' when
filled with different goods: For example a Cheshire bushel weighed
around 37.33 lbs when filled with rock salt because there were larger
interstices between the grains. Consequently a horse could carry 6
bushels, but the weight a horse could carry was the same. At Droitwich
where fine grained salt was produced the bushel held 56 lbs. because it
was more compact and a horse could only carry four bushels.