Last (unit)

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A last was a medieval measure of gunpowder used mainly in England. It was defined by the English Ordnance Board as 24 barrels of gunpowder, each of 100 lbs net weight. The word 'last' (in the guise of łaszt) stands also for a medieval measure of friable goods, mainly dry goods (cereals and such), in Polish Baltic ports in 16th-19th century. The łaszt - 3000-3840 litres - was subdivided to 30 units known as 'korzec' (pl. korce; Engl. scheffel. The last has been used to measure rice in Taiwan, and was 1,200 kg (20 picul).[1]

In some sources, it is mentioned that a last equals to 640 gallons.[2]


  1. ^ Andrade, Tonio (2005). "Appendix A: Weights, Measures, and Exchange Rates". How Taiwan Became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish, and Han Colonization in the Seventeenth Century. Columbia University Press. 
  2. ^ Cardarelli, François Cradarelli (2003). Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins. London: Springer. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1.