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.
1 polegada (inch) = 1⁄12 pé
1 palmo (palm) = 2⁄3 pé
1 vara (yard) = 3 1⁄3 pés
1 passo geométrico (pace) = 5 pés
1 braça (fathom) = 6 2⁄3 pés
1 légua (league) = 20,000 pés.
1 onça (ounce) = 1⁄16 libra
1 marco (mark) = 1/2 libra
1 quintal (hundredweight) = 128 libras
1 tonelada (ton) = 1728 libra.
The quilate (karat) 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.
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 24,200 or 48,400 m2 (it was equal to 8 salamis and it was 33 l in Minas Gerais).
A number of different units with notable local variations were used in Brazil. One almude was equal to 31.944 l. One alqueire was equal to 40 to 320 l (generally for grain 33 l) (According to some sources, 1 alqueire = 5.324 l, alqueire (salt) = 4.076 l, 1 alqueire (common) = 3.626 l, 1 alqueire (Bahia) = 3.524 l, and 1 alqueire = 1/6 almude). Some of other units are provided below:
1 canada = 1⁄12 almude
1 moio = 10 almudes
1 pipa = 12 almudes
1 tonel = 30 almudes.
The cargueiro (mule load) consisted of two small barrels of 40 l each.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.