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Patron: Her Majesty the Queen


The Royal Scottish Society of Arts
Showcasing Scotland's Science, Technology and Innovation

8th Meeting and AGM of the 182nd Session (2002-2003)

"The Art and Science of Measurement:
Revealing the Units of Scotland's Early Trade"

Dr Allen Simpson
Former President, Royal Scottish Society of Arts

In the Wolfson Suite, Ground Floor
Edinburgh University Library
George Square, Edinburgh
On Monday 20th October 2003, at 7 pm

As an independent nation, Scotland had its own systems of weights and measures, which formed the basis for inland and foreign trade and for contracts of all sorts. Progressively replaced by English units after the Union, the old traditional weights and measures are now largely forgotten. But for hundreds of years they regulated society and were central to Scottish commerce.

During his time as President of the Society, Allen Simpson has finished writing the first historical account to explain how the old system worked - a scientific detective story where the clues are the rare surviving burgh standards. To modern eyes, medieval conventions of measurement often smack more of 'sharp practice' than 'fair trade', but there is every reason to believe that the Scottish system was as flexible, successful and sophisticated as any in Europe.

Location of meeting

Society Business

The President, Dr Stuart Monro, will be in the Chair

Members of the Public are welcome to attend after the close of the AGM.

Graham Rule, Secretary
0131 667 0647

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