Hogshead

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A hogshead in relation to other barrels

A hogshead (abbreviated "hhd", plural "hhds") is a large cask of liquid (or, less often, of a food commodity). More specifically, it refers to a specified volume, measured in either imperial or US customary measures, primarily applied to alcoholic beverages, such as wine, ale, or cider.

Varieties and standardisation[edit]

"Sugar hogsheads" from Ten Views in the Island of Antigua, W. Clark, 1823, plate X.

A tobacco hogshead was used in British and American colonial times to transport and store tobacco. It was a very large wooden barrel. A standardized hogshead measured 48 inches (1,219 mm) long and 30 inches (762 mm) in diameter at the head (at least 550 L or 121 imp gal or 145 US gal, depending on the width in the middle). Fully packed with tobacco, it weighed about 1,000 pounds (454 kg).

A hogshead in Britain contains about 300 L (66 imp gal; 79 US gal).[1]

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) notes that the hogshead was first standardized by an act of Parliament in 1423[which?], though the standards continued to vary by locality and content. For example, the OED cites an 1897 edition of Whitaker's Almanack, which specified the gallons of wine in a hogshead varying most particularly across fortified wines: claret/Madeira 46 imperial gallons (55 US gal; 209 L), port 57 imperial gallons (68 US gal; 259 L), sherry 54 imperial gallons (65 US gal; 245 L). The American Heritage Dictionary claims that a hogshead can consist of anything from (presumably) 62.5 to 140 US gallons (52 to 117 imp gal; 237 to 530 L).

Eventually, a hogshead of wine came to be 63 US gallons (52.5 imp gal; 238.5 L), while a hogshead of beer or ale is 54 gallons (250 L if old beer/ale gallons, 245 L if imperial).

A hogshead was also used as unit of measurement for sugar in Louisiana for most of the 19th century. Plantations were listed in sugar schedules as having produced x number of hogsheads of sugar or molasses. A hogshead was also used for the measurement of herring fished for sardines in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick and Cornwall[2].

Etymology[edit]

United States revenue stamp (proof) for the $2 tax on one hogshead of beer in 1867.

English philologist Walter William Skeat (1835–1912) noted the origin is to be found in the name for a cask or liquid measure appearing in various forms in Germanic languages, in Dutch oxhooft (modern okshoofd), Danish oxehoved, Old Swedish oxhuvud, etc. The Encyclopædia Britiannica of 1911 conjectured that the word should therefore be "oxhead", "hogshead" being a mere corruption.[3]

A hogshead of Madeira wine was approximately equal to 45–48 gallons (0.205–0.218 m3). A hogshead of brandy was approximately equal to 56–61 gallons (0.255–0.277) m3.

Charts[edit]

English wine cask units[4]
gallon rundlet barrel tierce hogshead puncheon, tertian pipe, butt tun
1 tun
1 2 pipes, butts
1 1 12 3 puncheons, tertians
1 1 13 2 4 hogsheads
1 1 12 2 3 6 tierces
1 1 13 2 2 23 4 8 barrels
1 1 34 2 13 3 12 4 23 7 14 rundlets
1 18 31 12 42 63 84 126 252 gallons (wine)
3.785 68.14 119.24 158.99 238.48 317.97 476.96 953.92 litres
1 15 26 14 35 52 12 70 105 210 gallons (imperial)
4.546 68.19 119.3 159.1 238.7 318.2 477.3 954.7 litres
English brewery cask units[5]
gallon firkin kilderkin barrel hogshead Year designated
1 hogsheads
1 1 12 barrels
1 2 3 kilderkins
1 2 4 6 firkins
1 8 16 32 48 ale gallons (1454)
= 4.621 L = 36.97 L = 73.94 L = 147.9 L = 221.8 L
1 9 18 36 54 beer gallons
= 4.621 L = 41.59 L = 83.18 L = 166.4 L = 249.5 L
1 8 12 17 34 51 ale gallons 1688
= 4.621 L = 39.28 L = 78.56 L = 157.1 L = 235.7 L
1 9 18 36 54 ale gallons 1803
= 4.621 L = 41.59 L = 83.18 L = 166.4 L = 249.5 L
1 9 18 36 54 imperial gallons 1824
= 4.546 L = 40.91 L = 81.83 L = 163.7 L = 245.5 L

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "AP John Technical Specifications" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-02-15.
  2. ^ https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/BL/0001617/18601205/057/0004?browse=true
  3. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hogshead" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 507.
  4. ^ "wine barrel". Sizes. 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  5. ^ "English Beer and Ale Barrel". Sizes. 2002-01-23. Retrieved 2018-03-27.