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Item #: PL6780-963
WORLD IN THE BALANCE: THE HISTORIC QUEST FOR AN ABSOLUTE SYSTEM OF MEASUREMENT Robert P. Crease 2011 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By Crease, Robert P.
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Detailed Product Description
New York, W. W. Norton & Co., 2011, 1st edition. 317 pp, b/w illustrations, index. Hardcover with dust jacket. Jacket has 1 inch repaired tear at top of spine. Book is brand new and unread. Fine.

Well received account of the measurement system. This book offers the story of the invention of a global network of weights, scales, and instruments for measurement. Millions of transactions each day depend on a reliable network of weights and measures. This network has been called a greater invention than the steam engine, comparable only to the development of the printing press. Robert P. Crease traces the evolution of this international system from the use of flutes to measure distance in the dynasties of ancient China and figurines to weigh gold in West Africa to the creation of the French metric and British imperial systems. The former prevailed, with the United States one of three holdout nations. Into this captivating history Crease weaves stories of colorful individuals, including Thomas Jefferson, an advocate of the metric system, and American philosopher Charles S. Peirce, the first to tie the meter to the wavelength of light. Tracing the dynamic struggle for ultimate precision, World in the Balance demonstrates that measurement is both stranger and more integral to our lives than we ever suspected.

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