Wooden barrels, of all sizes, used to be very widely used for storage and transport but their use is getting more niche [mainly in the booze trade] as blue polythene "herring-barrels" replace them: lighter, cheaper, cleanabler. Plastic barrels, as petrochemical by-products, are just extruded so the factory has a very low wage-bill and the material costs are artificially low because nobody taxes "unsustainability". Cooperages, otoh, although they do use machinery, also employ a lot of crafts-people to shave the staves, assemble the barrels, whack on the hoops, fire up the insides, drill holes for spigots, make the end roundels and force them into their grooves.
- Making Wine Barrels at Nadalié Cooperage, Calistoga, California.
- Making Guinness barrels the year I was born:
- more hand-work, more hands.
- Imperial measure
- [a pub measure in England is a mean 1/6th gill: in Ireland a liberal-handed 1/4 gill]
- 5 fluid ounces = 1 gill
- 4 gills = 1 pint ("a pint of pure water weighs a pound and a quarter")
- 2 pints = 1 quart
- 4 quarts = 1 gallon (about 4.5lt)
- Not to be confused with US 'customary' measure in which a pint weighs a pound
- 4 fl.oz = 1 gill
- 4 gills = 1 pint
- 2 pints = 1 quart [which is conveniently close to 1 litre]
- 4 quarts = 1 gallon (so a US gallon is about 4 lt)
- Above those domestic quantities there a range of medieval-sounding larger containers
- 9 gallons = 1 firkin
- 18 gallons = 1 kilderkin
- 36 gallons = 1 barrel
- 54 gallons = 1 hogshead
- 108 gallons = 1 butt
- 216 gallons = 6 barrels = 1 pipe
At the bottom of the page in Pendlebury which deals with Measures of capacity - British and Metric, there is this gnomic statement:
A gallon contains 277.274 cubic inches:
hence a cubic foot of pure water
weighs very nearly 1000 ounces.I like the "hence" which implies that the calculation is obvious to all thinking people. Earlier they helpfully tell you that 1728 cubic inches make 1 cubic foot. Ans: 1 cu.ft = 997.14 fl.oz.
Every day, and in every way, metric measures are just easier,