Weights & Measures

GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!

The certified Inspectors of Bucks County proudly insure the accuracy of weighing, measuring, and timing devices and price verification systems at gas stations, retail stores, laundromats, car washes and home heating oil trucks. They also respond to complaints of alleged short measure of fuel, firewood, and mulch.

Did you know?

  • All commercial weighing and measuring devices in use within Bucks County must be registered annually.
  • Bucks County has a Weights and Measures Department and their certified staff perform random inspections at commercial locations across Bucks County.
  • The Weights and Measures staff inspect all business in Bucks County that use devices for commercial use such as scales, price verification systems, timing devices (laundromats, air hoses at gas station, car washes, parking meters) and home heating oil trucks.
  • Our certified staff initially inspect over 7500 devices each year. When a device is rejected (found to be out of acceptable tolerance), the business has thirty days in which to make a repair to the rejected device and report back to the Inspector that the repair is complete. After this Notification of Repair, the Inspector will then go back to the business to re-inspect

Weights and Measures in history…

  • The earliest recorded systems of weights and measures originate in the 3rd or 4th millennium BC. Even the very earliest civilizations needed measurement for purposes of agriculture, construction, and trade. 
  • Early standard units might only have applied to a single community or small region, with every area developing its own standards for lengths, areas, volumes, and masses. Often such systems were closely tied to one field of use, so that volume measures used, for example, for dry grains were unrelated to those for liquids, with neither bearing any particular relationship to units of length used for measuring cloth or land. 
  • Early Babylonian and Egyptian records and the Hebrew Bible indicate that length was first measured with the forearm, hand, or finger and that time was measured by the periods of the sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies. 
  • When it was necessary to compare the capacities of containers such as gourds or clay or metal vessels, they were filled with plant seeds which were then counted to measure the volumes. When means for weighing were invented, seeds and stones served as standards. For instance, the carat, still used as a unit for gems, was derived from the carob seed.
  • Plan for Establishing Uniformity in the Coinage, Weights and Measure of the United States

Thomas Jefferson’s role in the uniformity of weights and measurement standards:

Historical Timelines:

For Helpful Weights and Measures tips and brochures click the link to our Consumer Tips page found on the navigation bar to the left.

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