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Oil Barrels
Volume (Liquid Capacity)
Early Scarcity of Barrels
Making Wooden Oil Barrels
Used Barrels
Observations, Wooden Oil Barrels


Volume (Liquid Capacity)

The following is a quote from the 1928 edition of Websters New International Dictionary of the English Language:

"The quantity constituting a full barrel.  This varies for  different articles and also in different places for the same article.  Thus, in England, the typical barrel for liquids (there is none for solids) holds 36 imperial gallons, though each trade uses its own measure.  In the United States a barrel, liquid measure, is usually 31 1/2 gallons, but a petroleum barrel is 42 gallons; a barrel of flour is 196 lbs., of beef and pork, 200 lbs.  In Maine a barrel of fish is 200 lbs., -----."

The oil barrel as an actual container for petroleum was largely used in the 1860's, but many of those early barrels had different capacities (less or more than 42 gallons).  In the 1870's standardization at 42 gallons began to take firmer hold and a 42 gallon oil barrel became a unit of measure as well as a container.




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