# Brazilian units of measurement

A number different units of measurement were used in Brazil to measure quantities including length, mass, area, and capacity, as those units were derived from Portugal and had significant local variances.

In 1814, as part of the Portuguese Empire, Brazil adopted the new Portuguese metric system, which was based in the original metric system, but with its units having Portuguese traditional names. This system was not, however, widely adopted and was soon abandoned, with the Portuguese customary units continuing to be used.

In 1862, the International Metric System finally became compulsory in Brazil.^{[1]}^{[2]}

## Pre-metric units

A number of units were used with local variations.^{[1]}

### Length

A number of different units were used in Brazil to measure length. One *pé* (foot) was equal to 0.33 m (with local variations). Some of other units are given below:^{[1]}^{[3]}

1 *polegada* (inch) = 1/12 pé^{[3]}

1 *palmo* (palm) = 2/3 pés

1 *vara* (yard) = 3 1/3 pés

1 *passo geométrico* = 5 pés

1 *braça* (fathom) = 6 2/3 pés

1 *légua* (league) = 20000 pés.

### Mass

A number of different units were used in Brazil to measure mass. One *libra* was equal to 459.05 g (with local variations). Some of other units are given below :^{[1]}^{[3]}

1 *onça* = 1/16 *libra*

1 *marco* = 1/2 libra

1 *arroba* = 32 *libras* (One *arroba métrica* is equal to 15 kg.)(In Santos market Exchange, one *arroba* was 10 kg.^{[4]})

1 *quintal* = 128 *libras*

1 *tonelada* = 1728 *libra*.

The *quilate* used to measure to mass of gems was equal to 3.075 grains, and the *outava* used to measure mass of topazes was 57.17 grains.^{[5]}

### Area

Different units were used to measure area in Brazil, often with significant local variations. One *tarefa* was equal to 3,000 to 4,000 square metres (0.30 to 0.40 ha). One *alqueire* was equal to 2.42×10^{4} or 4.84×10^{4} m^{2} (it was equal to 8 *salamis* and it was 33 l in Minas Gerais^{[1]}^{[4]}).

### Capacity

A number of different units with notable local variations were used in Brazil. One *almude* was equal to 31.944 l.^{[1]} One *alqueire* was equal to 40 to 320 l (generally for grain 33 l^{[4]}) (According to some sources, 1 *alqueire* = 5.324 l, *alqueir*e (salt) = 4.076 l, 1 *alqueire* (common) = 3.626 l, 1 *alqueire* (Bahia) = 3.524 l, and 1 *alqueire* = 1/6 *almude*^{[3]}).^{[1]} Some of other units are provided below:^{[1]}^{[3]}

1 *canada = 1/12 *almude

1 *moio* = 10 *almudes*

1 *pip*a = 12 *almudes*

1 *tonel* = 30 *almudes*.

The *cargueiro* (mule load) consisted of two small barrels of 40 l each.^{[4]}

## See also

## References

- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Washburn, E.W. (1926).
*International Critical Tables of Numerical Data, Physics, Chemistry and Technology*. New York: McGraw-Hil Book Company, Inc. p. 3. - ↑ Cardarelli, F. (2003).
*Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins*. London: Springer. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1. - 1 2 3 4 5 Cardarelli, F. (2003).
*Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins*. London: Springer. pp. 159, 1. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1. - 1 2 3 4 Halsey, F.A.; Dale, S.S. (1904).
*The Metric Fallacy and The Metric Failure in the Textile Industry*. New York: D.Van Nostraid Company. p. 58. - ↑ Clarke, F.W. (1891).
*Weights Measures and Money of All Nations*. New York: D. Appleton & Company. p. 19.