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Kilogram´s abbreviation is Kg with capital K, because is a multiplier, and multpliers in the International system are in capitals.

Wrong. -- The Anome 16:48 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)

There's the list of SI prefixes. Euyyn 12:05, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Is the volume ton 252 US or imperial gallons? Jason 17:29, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

From units.dat file that is found in most Un*x systems:
registerton             100 ft^3  # Used for internal capacity of ships
shippington             40 ft^3   # Used for ship's cargo freight or timber
brshippington           42 ft^3   #
freightton            shippington # Both register ton and shipping ton derive
                                  # from the "tun cask" of wine.
displacementton         35 ft^3   # Approximate volume of a longton weight of
                                  # sea water.  Measures water displaced by
                                  # ships.
waterton                224 brgallon
252 gallons is about 33.7 ft^3 (no much difference between US or BR), so the answer is no.
-- Talamus 00:38, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Gene Nygaard's [1][edit]

Gene, what's that supposed to link to? The page currently lists some statistics about the fleet, including tonnage. What's that got to do with the imperial ton (of mass) going out? Please explain, as I'm confused.

Urhixidur 17:54, 2005 Apr 28 (UTC)

Those are long tons (1016 kg), same as those used in the United States for the same purpose. They are not metric tons, and those long tons are not just "formerly" used, but "currently" used. Gene Nygaard 18:02, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Current but only in a small area (naval), eg the whole of agriculture and food production works in metric tons. Building works are in metric. GraemeLeggett 08:08, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Isn't the number of significant figures rather overstated? Might I suggest 2 or three decimal places tops. GraemeLeggett 12:33, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Anybody can round, so it is better to provide exact conversions whenever possible.
Urhixidur 03:14, 2005 May 26 (UTC)
There is no official definition of a short ton force or a long ton force (there is for the metric ton force, a unit no more acceptable for use with SI than the English tons force). That's because there is no official definition of a pound force. We often borrow the acceleration which is official for defining kilograms force to define pounds force, but other accelerations such as 32.16 ft/s² are used for this purpose as well. Gene Nygaard 04:28, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
It seems to me then that the high accuracy numbers should be collected together towards the end in a table, not in the main text GraemeLeggett 08:44, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
Indented line

the ton has been defined in terms of the pound and as such shouldn't it be divided into a force page and a mass page. --Dorminton (talk) 06:36, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Historical Romance Novel Slang[edit]

I keep reading romance novels where "the Ton" refers to rich people? Nobel people? The closest I can get to an explanation of this slang is the line below from the Ton article.

"In money, a ton is slang for 100 GBP (pounds sterling) —this is a term with a London, England origin."

I have looked other places on the web and was unable to find a discription of the slang. The word may be only used that way in London, England. Can anyone fill in this blank? Maybe I should write to one of the authors (like Connie Brockway).

Opps, I found it! It's defined on under the title "Tons of fun." I'm new to Wikipedia, so now I just need to learn how to add this to the Ton article here. What's the proper way to add a line about this definition without plagiarizing? Or does that matter if you include the link?

That is what I was looking up, too. I moved that meaning into the Misc section.

Do not merge with 'ton'[edit]

Since the 2000 pound ton and the 1000 kg tonne are two completely different units, they should be in different articles. If looking up one returns a link to another, people will believe they are the same and aircraft will crash, missiles will veer off course, and the economy will collapse. Possibly. Marc W. Abel 22:12, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Oppose merge. Well, to start there's 200 pounds difference between the two, and they're in different measurement systems. Merging also does not seem like it would reduce much duplicated information. Won't the article simply bloat up and be filled with tables and numbers that may not relate to the ton/tonne you were looking to learn about? Aside from being units of measurement with similar spellings, what do they have in common? - BalthCat 05:21, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Oppose merge though do not agree with reasoning. The 2000 lb ton and the 2240 lb ton and the 100 ft³ ton and the 9.80665 kN ton and a zillion other tons are also "completely different units", and the 2000 lb ton and 2240 lb ton also do have and should have separate articles. Gene Nygaard 17:21, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Oppose merge There not "200 pounds difference between the two"; they are two completely different units measuring two completely different phenomena. The British 2000-pound ton is a measure of weight/force and the 1000-kg ton is a measure of mass.


It is incorrect to state an exact equivalent from a unit of force to a unit of mass. So you cannot say that a ton is equal exactly to so many kilograms. The number of significant digits is important too, sure anyone can round - but to express something as more accurate than it is surely is a sin against all that is holy.

jptdrake 2006 August 3

If you can say it is exactly so many pounds, you can say it is exactly so many kilograms. Those pounds are, by definition, units of mass exactly equal to 0.45359237 kg. Tons are and always have been primarily units of mass.
That is quite incorrect. Pounds are, by definition, units of force. Nowhere in science or engineering will you find a competent contemporary practitioner confusing pounds with units of mass. (talk) 07:44, 26 December 2015 (UTC)
There are also recent spinoffs of tons as units of force--something never well defined before the 20th century.
Could you please elucidate that comment? Newton used a very precise defintion of force long before the 20th century. (talk) 07:46, 26 December 2015 (UTC)
You can also, if you specify how you define your pounds force, say exactly how many newtons a short ton force or a long ton force is equal to. If you borrow the same acceleration to define a pound force as is used to define a kilogram force, exactly 9.80665 m/s², you also have 1 lbf = 0.45359237 kgf and since 1 kgf is exactly 9.80665 N, you can express tons force exactly in terms of newtons. It will vary, of course, if you choose to use a different acceleration to define your pounds force; unlike kilograms force, pounds force do not have an official, universal definition. In that case, the number of kilograms force equal to a short ton force or a long ton force will differ slightly from the number of kilograms equal to the corresponding ton. Gene Nygaard 03:05, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

The pound is a unit of force ( hence weight), not mass. The ton is a unit of weight, hence force. The standard English unit of mass is the slug. The Kilogram is a unit of mass. To equate mass and force (weight) requires an acceleration due to gravity, which we may assume to be a convenient constant value for ease of calculation, but this is a gross over-simplification. tim (talk) 01:40, 29 November 2007 (UTC)


As Timkeck says under the Units discussion, pound, long ton and short ton are units of force. Tonne (and kilogram) are units of mass. There are internationally accepted conversions between them, based on a particular value for g (gravity). This deserves some discussion, or at least a mention, in the main article. David. (talk) 10:11, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Tons are legally defined in terms of pounds, pounds are legally defined in terms of kilograms, and the kilogram is a unit of mass. Therefore the pound and the ton are units of mass. Tons-force and pounds-force (often abbreviated to 'tons' and 'pounds' respectively) are units of force, defined by multiplying the mass unit by the standard acceleration due to gravity (9.80665 m/s2). But you're right: there should be a mention of the ton-force in this article, even though it is rarely used compared to the mass unit. I think it used to be in here, but I don't know when or why it disappeared from the article. Indefatigable (talk) 22:46, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I'll correct my wording. The pound is a "unit of measurement of mass." Since mass can only be measured indirectly via application/resistance to gravitational force, the pound is defined by the resistance force required to support a particular mass (0·45359237 kilograms). Therefore the pound is a unit of force. See Pound_mass
David. (talk) 16:34, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
It is only since we started to send things into space that it became noticeable that objects could have reduced weight and it became necessary to distinguish the concept from mass. Historically, the terms were pretty much interchangeable. Weight in pounds was most commonly measured (universally in grocers' shops and the like) using a balance against a set of standard weights. This, of course, is actually measuring mass as now defined - the same result is obtained regardless of what gravity is doing. To make the claim that the pound is actually a unit of force will require you to produce good quality references since, in my opinion, it is an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence. If, before the terms were disambiguated, one were to expalin the difference to the users of the measure and then ask them which was meant, they would undoubtedly say they were measuring mass. A simple question to ask a grocer's customer: "would you expect a pound of carrots from Sweden to contain more, less, or the same amount of carrot as a pound of carrots from Guinea?" Carrot buyers would expect to get the same in both cases, even though gravity is different in the two places - they want a given mass of carrots, not some obscure measure of carrots from physics. SpinningSpark 18:48, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
The more I look into it, the more I am coming around to agree with you that the pound is historically a unit of weight (interchangable with mass or force) but is now accepted to be, and is defined as, a unit of mass.
Historically it has been a unit of force. I can't locate a copy of the full text of any pre-1963 versions of the Weights and Measures Act (UK) but the talk page on Pounds (mass) has this... "A further point is that the 1878 act, and all subsequent ones up to 1963 define the pound as a weight, not as a mass. The term 'weight' as used in vernacular language is ambiguous, but by the late 19th century the scientific community in Britain had decided that the term refers to a gravitational force, so for anyone who was aware of the difference, the Acts were understood to be the legal definition of a force, not a mass."
I, however, disagree with your reasoning. How a weight in pounds is commonly measured is irrelevant. People commonly measure their speed with the speedometer in their car and expect it to be accurate, while by law in most countries speedometers must give an over-reading compared to the true vehicle speed. This does not mean we should redefine mph or km/h to match what people expect.
Also, people now commonly measure their carrots using a an electronic or spring scale. With a high enough level of accuracy, these will give different measurements in Guinea and Sweden for the same mass of carrots, even though people may expect the same measurement. This contradicts your argument.
What the majority of people believe or expect is not the same as a definition, particularly for something defined in law and as heavily regulated as units of measure. To argue that a poor understanding of physics is the norm, and therefore correct, is a pre-Copernican style of logic illogical.
David. (talk) 16:48, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Please do not use straw man arguments, I have not argued "that a poor understanding of physics is the norm, and therefore correct" and your jibe of "pre-Copernican logic" logic is merely insulting. The point of talking about balances is to show that "weight" in a commercial setting is measured against a standard mass. Just because legislators have not caught up with, or chosen to ignore, modern scientific nomenclature does not at all change the fact that what is actually being measured is mass as scientifically defined. The standards authority still calling themselves "weights and measures" really says it all in this respect. As for spring balances, weights and measures inspectors check their accuracy by testing against a standard mass, so you are incorrect, the measurement in Guinea and Sweden will indeed be the same amount of carrot since there will be a tiny difference in calibration compensating for the difference in gravity. I simply do not believe that legislators intended to mean force by deliberately using the term weight. Quite possibly they were perfectly aware of the scientific distinction but I doubt that any reliable source can be found that verifies they meant this to be taken as defining a force. SpinningSpark 21:02, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
You're right, I willingly retract (see strike-through above) and apologise for any offense. I stand by my interpretation of your previous argument, which you refer to as a straw-man argument, since you have argued that the common usage (and implied understanding) of the term is correct, even though it is in contradiction to the pre-1963 legal definition as a weight which is, by definition, a force. I can see a case for disambiguation within the Pound_(mass) article regarding the legal definition, scientific usage, and common usage of the word pound, both historically and presently.
Yes, it is true that the scales are commonly calibrated with known masses. However, to properly calibrate for mass, the atmospheric conditions must be taken into account, along with the volume of the object being weighed. If you are calibrating for force, the gravitational variation must be ignored. If you are calibrating for mass, the atmospheric variations must be ignored. Each is a compromise, so I don't see the carrot example strongly supporting either the mass or force argument.
I do agree with you that that legislators did not intend to mean force exclusively by using the term weight but I also believe that in 1878 they did not intend to mean mass exclusively. I do believe that they used force (of gravity), mass and weight interchangably, and that's why there is no clear distinction made between the three terms in reference to measurement of weight or mass, and hence no good quality references (see Dr Andrew Smith's post). Equally, I would ask you to produce good quality references of reference to the pound as a unit of mass prior to 1963, or indeed circa 1878.
We are getting very much into a discussion about pounds though, and are on the Ton talk page. This really should be on the Talk:Pound_(mass) page, which is where I refer you to Dr Andrew Smith's post. He argues the case for pounds historically being used as a unit of force much more thoroughly than I can.
David. (talk) 10:43, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
...legislators did not intend to mean force exclusively by using the term weight... They did not itend to mean force at all, and to pretend that they did is silly, the only link to force is through the modern scientific definition of weight. Nobody in legislatures or a trading setting talked about weight as a force or even used the terms interchangeably. The definition of force in Newton's Pricipia cannot in fact, be interpreted as weight at all, it is a different quantity altogether, so the claim that the three quantities are historically conflated is, at best, tenuous. On the question of references to pound as a mass, that is fairly easy;
  • "Moreover, when we come to deal with mass, if we take a pound as the unit of mass and a pound weight as the unit of force..." Nature, vol.73, p.174, 1906
  • "In the instrument shown to the Institution each mass amounts to 26 pounds." Transactions of the Institute of Engineers in Scotland, vol.12, p.68, 1868
Please find some counter references before coming back on this again. Yes, this is the ton article, but I did not start this thread, nor did I introduce a discussion of pound into it. SpinningSpark 21:35, 11 February 2011 (UTC) pretend that they did is silly... And now you are the one throwing around insults. I believe it no more silly than to assert that weight, and therefore pound, referred only to mass and not force.
To clarify the connections between the words in question, with references: In the Weights and Measures Act of 1878, the pound was defined as a weight. At that time, the meaning and use of the term weight was mostly ambiguous as either mass or force (due to or opposing gravity).
  • "The ambiguity ... is a very real one. ... common usage, which allows three meanings of the word weight to be loosely intermingled, we have two of these meanings adopted into scientific nomenclature." Nature, vol. 13, p385 (letters section), 1876.
In early attempts at disambiguation the term weight was identified as being different to mass, but not necessarily different to force. See the letter from J.T. Bottomley in Nature;
  • "Here, irrespective of other considerations, there is the fundamental error of using the term weight instead of mass.," Nature, vol. 13, p325, 1876.
To demonstrate that in at least some writings, weight and mass were treated with distinctly different definitions prior to 1878;
  • "If the mass of a body is = M and the weight which measures the force of gravity = G, we have from the last formula, G = Mg, i.e. the weight of a body is a product of its mass and the acceleration of gravity." A Manual of the Mechanics of Engineering and of the Construction of Machines: Theoretical Machines., Julius Ludwig Weisbach, p.158, 1870.
Here the term weight is clearly referring to a force.
This understanding of the difference between weight and mass extended beyond the scientific fraternity even in 1869;
  • "The difference of weight on the moon's surface..." The New eclectic magazine, vol.5, p708, 1869.
So I consider it quite a stretch to say that the authors of the Weights and Measures Act were not at least aware of the distinction, and therefore knew that in writing weight they were not referring only to mass.
I believe you are correct that those in trading intended to measure mass. However, they were not the only users of the pound unit and had no reason to distinguish between weight and mass; for all practical purposes at the time, they were interchangeable not only by common usage definition but also by measurement, ie: two items of the same mass would measure as the same weight. The groups that required a distinction were the sciences and engineering, and they used the term weight and also pound in reference to force as much as to mass.
Indeed, there are examples of the unit pound being used in reference to force prior to 1878, in situations where it cannot logically be construed as mass:
  • "...the force of the steam shall have time to increase from 50 to 800 pounds to the inch." Journal of the Franklin Institute, vol. V, p329, 1830.
  • "If a force of ten pounds puts a body in motion..." Natural Philosophy: An Accurate, Modern and systematic Explanation of the Elementary Principles of the Science., Le Roy C. Cooley, A.M., p329, 1830.
Any conflation between the terms weight and mass was finally setttled at the 3rd Meeting of the CGPM in 1901, where it was resolved,
  • "The word 'weight' denotes a quantity of the same nature as a 'force': the weight of a body is the product of its mass and the acceleration due to gravity; in particular, the standard weight of a body is the product of its mass and the standard acceleration due to gravity."
Prior to this, the term weight was either a force or ambiguously force or mass. Nowehere can I find a pre-1901 reference to an object having mass of X pounds (or pounds-mass) while its weight was something other than the equivalent of X pounds-force (eg: on the moon, in outer-space, or in the "weightlessness" of free-fall). I do, however, note that on the same page as your first reference in Nature, there is the use of pounds as a measure of force, "Suppose a body weighing 32.182 pounds at London to leave the earth under the action of an upward resultant force of one pound..."
::::::::(the following was added 16 Feb 2011)
The definition of force in Newton's Pricipia cannot in fact, be interpreted as weight at all, so the claim that the three quantities are historically conflated is, at best, tenuous..
I did not say that force was conflated with weight, I said that force of gravity was conflated with weight and not only does Newton in Principia recognise that Weight is a force that is produced by and varies with gravity:
  • "Hence it is, that near the surface of the Earth, where accelerative gravity, or force productive of gravity in all bodies is the same, the motive gravity or the Weight is as the Body : but if we should ascend to higher regions, where the accelerative gravity is less, the Weight would be likewise diminished, and would always be as the product of the Body, by the Accelerative gravity." (Definition VIII)
He also defines inertia as a "Force of Matter":
  • "The Vis Infita, or Innate Force of Matter, is a power of resisting..." (Definition III).
  • "Upon which account, this Vis Infita, may, by a most significant name, be called Vis Inertia, of Force of Inactivity." (Definition III).
...and even conflates Mass and Weight...
  • ""It is this quantity that I mean hereafter every where under the name of Body or Mass. And the same is known by the weight of each body..." (Definition I).
David. (talk) 11:52, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
The Imperial ton is a unit of weight and therefore force. The Imperial unit of mass is the slug. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:13, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Accuracy (2)[edit]

The article states that a long ton is 2204 pounds. I understand that the imperial ton is 2240, that is 20 hundred weight of 112 pounds. I suspect that the definition of long ton is primarily an American usage.

However, I have another difficulty. The 18th century iron industry in England used two systems of weight, long weight, where the ton was 2400 pounds (the hundred weight being 120 pounds) and shortweight where it was the standard 2240 pounds.

I do not want to alter the article without discussion and would thus appreciate comments. Peterkingiron 12:34, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Hello. I don't have an account or I've forgotten the password to it, but I have an observation to make. This note "As they only differ by 2%, ambiguity is not necessarily a problem;" is mathematically challenged. They differ by around 20%, not 2%. As 20% isn't so negligible, I don't just want to update the figure. Somebody should rewrite the note. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:25, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

The footnote refers to the difference between the short ton and the metric ton, not the short ton and the long ton. Actually, the difference is only 1.6%. SpinningSpark 17:05, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Proposed WikiProject[edit]

Right now the content related to the various articles relating to measurement seems to be rather indifferently handled. This is not good, because at least 45 or so are of a great deal of importance to Wikipedia, and are even regarded as Vital articles. On that basis, I am proposing a new project at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Measurement to work with these articles, and the others that relate to the concepts of measurement. Any and all input in the proposed project, including indications of willingness to contribute to its work, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your attention. John Carter 21:07, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Re: Truck classes[edit]

I have difficulty accepting this explanation of truck class names without a reference. I was always told that the names referred to bare chassis weights of early (Ford?) trucks. In some places, (OK, back woods West Virginia 30 years ago) they are still referred to as, e.g, "1 ton chassis". So, if there is a reference to support the idea that this is related to net cargo weight, please include it. Otherwise, I'd like to see this section removed, as i think it is conjecture. tim (talk) 01:14, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Re: Ton = 100[edit]

Does anyone have any idea what it is that 100 of makes a ton? It seems to be a British thing, so it's something a little more than 20 pounds. An explanation would help explain the link between 100 and ton. tim (talk) 01:14, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

The British slang term "ton" is nothing to do with weight, it's just one hundred of whatever you are talking about at the time. It's like saying "K", which could be short for Kilo(gram), Kilometres, £1000 or whatever is the subject of the conversation. TiffaF (talk) 15:50, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I have only heard this as referring to 100 mph. I do not know, but suspect this is a corruption of hun, for hundred. Peterkingiron (talk) 16:26, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure about that corruption. A net ton in terms of ship capacity is 100 cubic feet A "ton" can refer to £100, or on a hot day 100 degrees Fahrenheit (heard that one from pre-metric Australians) and going "ton-up" is a modern usage, seeing as mankind only developed the ability to break 100mph about 100 years ago (a ton ago? ;-) ), so I suspect that is not the earliest usage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:40, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Another example is a score of 100 in cricket, which is commonly referred to as a "century" or a "ton" (while 50 is a half century or half ton). See also the "One Ton Cup" in yachting. A further example might be, "There are tons of problems with this article, which couldn't be remedied with a ton of money". (talk) 07:40, 26 December 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:09, 26 December 2015 (UTC)

Math fail[edit]

Prior to the 15th century in England, the ton was composed of 20 hundredweight, each of 108 lb, giving a ton of 2000 pounds.

20 * 108 = 2160. Dunno which of these numbers is inaccurate or I'd fix it. -Anon —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:03, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

This is what I came here to comment on. 18 months later. I think I will simply delete it, since there is no reference to use to verify what is meant. Huw Powell (talk) 01:12, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
And I have re-instated it, but with a "Reference needed" flag. Martinvl (talk) 07:28, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
No, no, you can't place obviously incorrect information in the article. Any challenged material can be deleted. "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material" (WP:V). It is down to you to find the source before reinserting. SpinningSpark 18:50, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Reinserting obvious mathematical errors makes no sense. Huw Powell (talk) 05:59, 17 August 2010 (UTC)


Let me assure those who have been "correcting" this article that a ton longweight in the 18th century British iron industry was 2400 lb. That industry was the subject of my doctoral thesis and I have frequently come across this unit in accounts, though it is not obvious until you check the arithmetic or see 28 or 29 in the pounds column, as the 2400 lb ton still contained 20 cwt, each of 4 quarters. Periodcally one finds conversions being done between long- and short-weight. The use of the longweight ton is mentioned in the 19th century when south Staffordshire ironmasters complained of a canal company gauging boats by the standard 2240 lb ton and suppliers of ironstone from the Coventry coalfield expecting to be paid according to the Coventry Canal toll ticket. Unfortunately the author of the book that I cite here has not been able to elucidate the size of the larger ton. Peterkingiron (talk) 23:21, 18 February 2009 (UTC)


I never realised how many Ton's there were - there's a ton of them! All I can say is thank-god that they are all reasonably similar. Otherwise it could cause some serious problems! (talk) 01:09, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

You might say there could be a ton of problems? :) --Joe Sewell (talk) 17:30, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Ton or ton?[edit]

The article says that "Ton" should be capitalized. The Merriam-Webster dictionary disagrees; and I have never noticed that it is commonly done. Where does this notion come from? The word is actually not capitalized in very many places in the article itself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:03, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree, the Collins English Dictionary (British English) also uses lower case - for both the unit of measurement, and its informal uses. (talk) 13:30, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

"metric" ton[edit]

"The tonne is also known as the metric ton in areas which use the metric measurement system." <- this is wrong. In areas that use metric system there is no need to put the word "metric" in any word. It is just known as "ton". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:16, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

No, it's quite correct. Many metric areas formerly used the imperial system (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, South Africa, India etc etc). The "metric" in metric tonne is often redundant in colloquial speech. However, it is used when a) Ensuring no ambiguity (referring to historical values or talking to an older engineer), b) as a linguistic device for reinforcement ("Mr Brown has just sold 395 METRIC TONNES of the nation's gold reserves?!"). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
In writing, the spelling "tonne" is clear that the reference is to the metric system, but in speech the pronounciation is commonly the same as "ton", so that the prefix "metric" may be useful. In areas usimg the imperial system (or which have recently done so) the old usage for imperial ton (long ton) is not necessarily forgotten, so that the adjective "metric" may sometimes be useful, despite its redundancy. Peterkingiron (talk) 23:03, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, "tonne" should be pronounced quite differently to "ton". It does seem to be the case that in some places at least, it's pronounced as "ton", so the expressions "metric tonne" and "metric ton" can be useful, and are sometimes used. Perhaps this is only (or mainly) so in parts of the world which previously used the Imperial system. It also seems to be less common now than in the years following conversion to the metric system. (That's just personal experience, unfortunately). It would be interesting to hear from someone from a not-previously-Imperial part of the world. Anecdotally, my personal experience in New Zealand (previously Imperial), is that the pronunciation of "tonne" and the use of "metric ton" is very much associated with level of education. That's merely anecdotal, of course. (talk) 07:27, 26 December 2015 (UTC)
"metric ton" is virtually never used outside North America. As Peter says, "metric tonne" may be used for clarity, and often is used. I believe all references to "metric ton" should be removed, or at least replaced with "metric tonne". If you disagree, please state whether you are in, or from, North America. David. (talk) 10:41, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm sure that some will consider this nitpicking but is the metric ton 1000 kg or 2200 pounds? It cannot be both. 1000 kg is approximately 2205 pounds, rounded to the nearest pound. Billdav (talk) 00:01, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

2204.623 pounds per tonne, to 3 decimal places. Based on factor given at David. (talk) 10:41, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This discussion is closed: there is No consensus for these mergers. Moonraker12 (talk) 13:31, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

  • I am proposing that Short ton and Long ton should be merged here. This article is a general article, whereas the others are detailed ones, but they cover much the same ground. Peterkingiron (talk) 16:51, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support the merger of both articles. They would, better and more properly, be sections in a single article on ton. Suggest we keep the individual disambig pages for each and have them point to the appropriate section of the ton article. N2e (talk) 20:39, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support the merger of both articles, but the tonne shoudl be kept separate as it has a very different lineage. Martinvl (talk) 20:44, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. These are very useful links for disambiguation purposes, with there being about twenty or more different "tons" in use on Wikipedia, most of which are also included in that already hopelessly complex "ton" article. No matter how much you try to get the various individual "tons" into separate sections to which redirects can point, somebody will always be rearranging things and renaming those sections, leaving links intended to disambiguate as throwing the reader into a jumble of dozens of different units masquerading under the same name.
    • Alternative: If they are merged, throw the metric ton into the same bag; merge that too. There's absolutely no reason to treat it differently. Gene Nygaard (talk)
  • Support merging of short and long tons but not tonne (metric ton) because it is a different unit. Wcp07 (talk) 10:23, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Different? Sure, they're all "different" in some sense. Note that a short ton-force (8.9 kN) is also different from a long-ton force (10.0 kN) and from a tonne-force (9.8 kN); they are measures of force, not of mass. So is the ton of TNT equivalent, which is a unit of energy equal to 1 megagram at a conventional energy density of 1,000 small calories per gram. So are refrigeration tons which measure either energy or power. So are gross register tons which measure volume. So are a zillion other things which come under the purview of this "ton" article. But the thousands of links to the short ton and the metric ton and the long ton articles are generally there for one primary purpose; to easily distinguish them from the others, rather than making the reader wade through twenty or more different units called by the same name to figure out which one is intended in a particular case.
But a metric ton is not different in any sense which would mean that it should be retained as a separate article, while the short ton and the long ton are not. Either merge them all, or none of them. Gene Nygaard (talk) 14:08, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
On reflection, I think that I would be happy to merge all three - a good deal of the stuff on the tonne is replicated in the kilogram article anyway. Martinvl (talk) 15:11, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Of course the links should remain in place and point to the same article. Martinvl (talk) 15:13, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking more in terms that the short and long tons are closely related whereas the tonne comes from a different measuring system. Ultimately my preference is to have fewer articles rather than having lots of shorts ones that are only there to define the unit. Maybe the kilogram is a better article for the tonne to be merged with? Wcp07 (talk) 22:49, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose How can we support merging short ton into ton but not tonne because "it's a different unit", yet the ton article is full of sections about trucks and explosive power, not even mass or weight? Andy Dingley (talk) 20:39, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I would also oppose this merger; I cannot see how this would be an improvement.
Currently the term "long ton" (also "short ton" and "tonne") in numerous articles link to their own pages,providing a concise explanation of the term and what the difference is; it serves as an explanatory footnote would.
Merging them all together would leave the enquirer redirected to a much larger article to search through for the information.
And as there would still be 4 pages (one pretty cluttered page at "Ton" and 3 with nothing on them but a redirect), there would be no net saving at all. Moonraker12 (talk) 18:02, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - they're different units, and having them split = less confusion. —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 09:24, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Combining makes the knowledge less accessible, requires more time to resolve the complications and leaves more opportunity for confusion. Each unit needs its own succinct page, as now. The place of the ton article is to describe the alternative interpretations of the term. -R. S. Shaw (talk) 03:17, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per R Shaw above. If someone has typed "short ton" into the search box you can be pretty sure that what they ideally wanted was a short (excuse pun) article on the short ton and not a pile of irrelevant guff about deadweight tons for ships bunker oil. By the way, tun (volume) should be in that article as it is the etymological root of all the other tons as well as the barrel of that size. SpinningSpark 22:26, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

This has been here for three months now, and there doesn't seem to be any consensus for these mergers; can I suggest we close it on that basis? Moonraker12 (talk) 06:48, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

OK; in the absence of a demur, I've gone and done it.Moonraker12 (talk) 13:26, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Closed: there is No consensus for these mergers. Moonraker12 (talk) 13:31, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Some suggestions[edit]

I think this page has some problems

  • The introduction is a bit UK-centric; as a Brit that doesn’t bother me over-much, but I can see it could be a problem
  • The intro also talks mostly about the unit of weight, while tons are probably used at least as often as units of volume, quite apart from its other meanings
  • The page ought to have a "Unit of Mass" section, to balance the others
  • And it could do with a history section, to explain some of the changes over the years.

I would suggest moving the current introduction to a "Units of mass" section, and re-formatting it to match the other sections (we should also add the long-weight and short-weight information from the Longweight section above). Then add a new intro to give an overview of the subject; Something like:
"The Ton is a unit of measure. It has a long history and has acquired a number of meanings and uses over the years. It is used as a principally as a unit of weight, and of volume; it can also be used as a measure of energy, for truck classification, or as a colloquial term."
Any thoughts? Moonraker12 (talk) 18:41, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

There are, of course, at least three units of force as well. They are occasionally used on Wikipedia and elsewhere. Gene Nygaard (talk) 03:24, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't see the relevance. The tonne is a nickname for a megagram. The megagram is (or should be) described in the article on the kilogram while any discussion about the tonne should centre on why it is not called a "megagram". Martinvl (talk) 07:56, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Martinv, I have no idea why you posted this with the edit summary "What is the relevance of force?"
A megagram is not a unit of force, in its proper usage. Sure, you might run into a megagram-force just like you still see the kilograms-force to which that link redirects, just as tonne-force does, but it is very rare—you will see the megagram used properly as a unit of mass at more than a thousand-to-one ratio to the megagram-force, a much higher ratio than the corresponding one for kilograms or for tonnes. Neither of them is appropriate in the modern SI-world, but unfortunately you still see some rocket scientists and the like using them even in non-historical contexts (see, e.g., Special:WhatLinksHere/Tonne-force). You also have the short ton-force and the long ton-force, only one of which somebody has bothered to make a redirect for and to mention in the appropriate article. But none of them are mentioned in this article about tons. Even the word "force" is conspicuously absent here. Gene Nygaard (talk) 14:49, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Point taken. Martinvl (talk) 20:38, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
  • We have several difficulties - US usage makes a short ton 2000 lb and a long ton 2240; but in historic English usage that was a ton shortweight, and a ton longweight was 2400. I think we should not get hung up too much over weight/force/mass in a general article that is dealing with all usages of the term, bearing in mind that we also have measures of volume (for wine). I do not think we yet have a discussion mof what a ton of timber was historically, but I suspect that this was also measured by volume in a period when large weights were not easily measured. I put forward a merge proposal above, becuase we had three articles covering much the same content. Peterkingiron (talk) 15:51, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
UK usage makes a short ton 2000 lb and a long ton 2240 lb; Australian usage makes a short ton 2000 lb and a long ton 2240 lb; Canadian usage makes a short ton 2000 lb and a long ton 2240 lb; South African usage makes a short ton 2000 lb and a long ton 2240 lb.
The people who thought "hundred" was written in digits as "120" are long gone. And the short ton came from England, too. I'd say "show me" to any claim of the term "ton shortweight" being used for a "long ton" (short-weighting has too many negative connotations for that to be likely).
The force units and mass units are different units; that needs clarification here. Gene Nygaard (talk) 13:11, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the long hundered of 120 is long obsolete, but the issue still needs to be discussed. As a historian of the iron industry, the issue is one that I frequently come across. However in accounts it only becomes apparent which system is in use when one checks the arithmetic of the pounds column. I open almost at random an account of Cradley Forge in 1669:

Delivered to Hydemill (10 tons longweight)
Bustleholme (13 longweight)
R. G. Schafer (ed.), A selection form the records of Philip Foley's Stour Valley Iron Works 1668-74 (Worcestershire Hisotrical Society, new series 9, 1978), 74.

Arithmetic associated with these figures shows that the shortweight figures have a hundredweight of 112 lb., or rather a quarter of 28 lb. I regret that I cannot quickly put my finger on an example actuially using "short weight" for an English ton. If I remember correctly a hundred deals (pine timber imported to Britain from Norway) was actually 120, but this is a number, not a quantity. Peterkingiron (talk) 13:37, 4 April 2010 (UTC)


Might it be practical to add the respective symbols (t etc.) in the table, perhaps along with "Common name"? As a foreigner I would love to have clarity there. --Fritz Jörn (talk) 19:40, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to second this. I just came to the page looking for the abbreviation/symbol of ton. Thankfully I saw this "talk" page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:22, 1 August 2014 (UTC)


I support merging the Tons but not Tonne. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:38, 28 May 2010 (UTC)


I've taken the liberty of changing the header, and adding detail about the origin of the term, in line with the suggestions I made, (above). I trust that's OK with everyone.
I'm still unsure about the original paragraph (which I've left): It still seems out of place in an introduction.
What does anybody else think? Moonraker12 (talk) 07:41, 7 June 2010 (UTC)


This articles section on units of volume has:
“The displacement ton is a unit of volume used for describing the displacement of a ship. It represents the volume of water displaced by the hull. It is usually abbreviated as DT.”
while the Tonnage article has :
Displacement is the actual total weight of the vessel. It is often expressed in long tons or in metric tons, and is calculated simply by multiplying the volume of the hull below the waterline (ie. the volume of water it is displacing) by the density of the water”
I believe the Tonnage article is correct on this; can anyone concur? (or deny?) Moonraker12 (talk) 13:05, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Apparently, a displacement ton [2] (2,240 lb) is not the same as a ton, displacement (DT) [3] (35 cubic feet). SpinningSpark 17:47, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah! Thanks! I’ve re-drafted the section accordingly. Moonraker12 (talk) 12:31, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Overlong entry on dab page[edit]

I have just removed the following from the FT dab page,

  • The Freight Ton represents the volume of a truck, train or other freight carrier. In the past it has been used for a cargo ship but the register ton is now preferred. It is today equal to 40 cubic feet of space (1.132 cubic metres), but historically it has had several informal definitions. It is correctly abbreviated as 'FT' but some users are now using freight ton to represent a weight of 1 tonne, thus the more common abbreviations are now M/T, MT, or MTON (for measurement ton), which still cause it to be confused with the metric ton or even the megaton .

This does not belong on the dab page, explanations should be in the article here. Probably already all incorporated in the article, but I am leaving it here just in case. SpinningSpark 18:10, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

ton shortweight[edit]

I don't believe that the 18th century short-weight ton is so precisely defined as 2240 lb. It appears that the short weight ton was originally a means of deducting an allowance, from the produce of miners, metalworkers and the like, for wastage. See here for instance, coal miners produced coal in long-weight tons of 25 cwt per ton, but were paid only for a short-weight ton of 20 cwt, the difference supposedly being to allow for dirt mixed in with the coal. This is going to be variable from mine to mine and industry to industry so I don't think that the article should be giving a definite conversion. Also the reference cited in the article does not support a definite conversion (it gives different wastages for different sizes of nail) and does not even mention short-weight tons, at least by name.

Another ref for metalworkers

SpinningSpark 11:11, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Refrigeration tons vs. blower tons?[edit]

I have heard that a "2-ton air handler" in HVAC terms can also refer to the volume of air moved in a certain period of time. If an expert could confirm & add this to the article, it would be appreciated. --Joe Sewell (talk) 17:32, 16 December 2010 (UTC)


Some one had added:

Note 1: The longweight and shortweight tons were used as a means of making an allowance for wastage in an industrial process. The workman is provided with a longweight ton and is expected to return a shortweight ton of processed product. The values for these given in the table are specific to the operation of hammering iron [[bloom (bloomery)|blooms]] into shape. Other crafts had different allowances: finers were allowed a more generous 25%[1] and the allowance for nailers varied with the size of nail being made.[2] In other industries, a different longweight ton might be used. Coal miners delivered coal to the surface in longweight tons but were paid only for a shortweight ton. This was supposedly to allow for "dirt" (non-coal rocks) in the output. Mine owners, however, were free to set the value of the longweight ton at a value of their own choosing, and in at least some cases, it was set to 25 cwt (2,800 lb) compared to the 20 cwt shortweight ton. This was a source of discontent amongst the miners who saw the practice as unfairly in favour of the mine owners.[3]
  1. ^ Chris Evans, Göran Rydén, Baltic iron in the Atlantic world in the eighteenth century, Brill, 2007 ISBN 9004161538
  2. ^ M. B. Rowlands, Masters and Men in the West Midland metalware trades before the industrial revolution (Manchester University Press 1975), pp.158-9, ISBN 0719005825
  3. ^ "Report of the select committee on mines", Reports from Committees 1866, vol.9, London: House of Commons, 23 July 1866

I have reverted that addition, which purports to clarify the matter, but in fact confuses it. The terms longweight and shortweight refer to pig iron and bar iron (and rod iron). Rowlands does not imply that a niler had to provide a ton shortweight from a ton of nails longweight: the allowance varied according to the size of the nail.

  • Unfortunately no page is quoted for Evans and Rydén, but I am fairly certain that this is referring to a Swedish system of weights where there was a completely different system of weights for pig iron and bar iron (not using tons) where pig iron weights were larger than bar iron weights, by a factor designed to mean that 1 shippound of pig iron (pig iron weight) made about 1 shippound of bar iron (bar iron weight). This Swedish system was not in use in Britain, nor was there anything similar.
  • The link to a bloomery is also mistaken. In this context, a bloom is an intermediate productwithin the finery forge.
  • On occasions a ton of pig iron was 20.25 cwt, allegedly to take account of sand incorproated in the pigs: I do not consider that worth mentioning.
  • I do not dispute the addition relating to the coal industry, which appears to be based on a reliable source, the question is how it should be incorporated into the article (if at all). However the delivery of coal by the ton is (I think) a 19th century phenomenon. Earlier coal was delivered by the chaldron, which was (I believe) essentially a measure of volume. Peterkingiron (talk) 18:56, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I feel quite sad that you felt it necessary to delete this altogether. The reference that you seem to take so much objection to (Rowlands on nailers) is actually not new material. That was the original reference and I merely reworked the note in the references section into the new material. Rowlands does not in fact define longweight and shortweight anywhere but does give rates for nailers. This is the confusion I saw and was trying to clarify. I agree, it might have been best to eliminate Rowlands and nailers altogether. Page numbers were an accidental oversight, but Evans and Ryden are a better source as they clearly state the definition of longweight and shortweight. I will provide page numbers in amoment. SpinningSpark 19:11, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
The Evans and Ryden page is 257 where they are discussing finers in Wales (not Sweden). The footnote clearly states longweight and shortweight were used by hammermen shaping blooms. The pages for the select committee report are pp.134-136. SpinningSpark 19:19, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
New suggestion;
Note 1: The longweight and shortweight tons were used as a means of making an allowance for wastage in an industrial process. The workman is provided with a longweight ton and is expected to return a shortweight ton of processed product. These measures were particulary used in the operation of hammering iron blooms into shape.[1] In other industries, a different longweight ton might be used. Coal miners delivered coal to the surface in longweight tons but were paid only for a shortweight ton. This was supposedly to allow for "dirt" (non-coal rocks) in the output. Mine owners, however, were free to set the value of the longweight ton at a value of their own choosing, and in at least some cases, it was set to 25 cwt (2,800 lb) compared to the 20 cwt shortweight ton. This was a source of discontent amongst the miners who saw the practice as unfairly in favour of the mine owners.[2]
  1. ^ Chris Evans, Göran Rydén, Baltic iron in the Atlantic world in the eighteenth century, p.257, Brill 2007 ISBN 9004161538
  2. ^ "Report of the select committee on mines", Reports from Committees 1866, vol.9, pp.134-136, London: House of Commons, 23 July 1866
SpinningSpark 19:26, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I fear that I am far from certain of the accuracy of Evans' footnote 16 (this passage will probably be his). According to two MS sources of which I know, a ton of blooms was 22 cwt: I think the hammermen were expected to produce a ton (20 cwt) of bar iron from a ton (22 cwt) of blooms. The situation is clearly complicated. I presume Evans' source is the National Museum of Wales MSS that he cites in the next note. Unfortunately I failed to discover when doing my research on the iron industry, so that I cannot definitely say whether his statement is a correct quotation for not. All I can say is that the position is complicated I thought you had some reference to the Swedish system of weights (see Iron and Steel in the Eurpoean Market (Stockholm 1982), 244), which is in fact even more complicated than I had remembered. I was wrong in accusing you of introducing that. This is all getting rather too close to WP:OR, and I think it would be better to omit potentially controversial detail, leaving a simple (and uncontroversial) statement about size. The point is that a ton shortweight is what the Americans call a long ton.
We could probably have a useful article on historcial weights and measures for coal; indeed one may exist. Anything on coal probably ought to be based on the various volumes of the History of the British Coal industry, rather than evidence to a Parliamentary Committee. Peterkingiron (talk) 19:57, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
That's all very well for you to doubt the references that I have introduced, but the position you are taking is to revert to a reference that does not support the facts stated in the article at all. To accuse me of OR when I have introduced substantiating sources on the grounds that it does not agree with your research really takes the biscuit. Have you actually published your research? If not, this is a bit of pot calling the kettle black in the OR stakes. SpinningSpark 20:49, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I was actually seeking to accuse myself of getting close to WP:OR; if my words implied that you were guilty of that offence, I apologise. Evans & Ryden is certainly WP:RS; my problem is that I am not sure that the footnote on which you are relying is right. The statement that shortweight is 2240 lb and longweight 2400 is right; what I disagree with is the explanation given for the difference. Citing Evans & Ryden, 257 as authority for the statement is certainly unobjectionable, and when I have written this I will ensure that the reference appears.
If we need a discussion of the meaning of ton or ton longweight in the coal industry, I would suggest that it should be in a different section. Peterkingiron (talk) 11:47, 24 December 2010 (UTC)


Since Evans and Ryden is WP:RS, I feel I have to leave this in, despite my qualms about its accuracy, as those qualms are in the realm of WP:OR. The main change is to split the note so that the material on coal is a separate note. I have difficulty in citing a rival published source expressing my view; and I have not seen a book by Ryden cited on the preceding page. When looking at ironworks accounts, it is not always easy to tell whether they are in longweight or shortweight, unless they convert a quantity from one to the other, or the item in the lb column has amounts of 28 and 29 lb. Peterkingiron (talk) 12:04, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for blowing my top earlier, my misunderstanding. If better sources come along, I will of course defer to them. SpinningSpark 13:11, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

I find that I do have my evidence on the relationship between tons of blloms and of iron in print, though only very recently. The matter concerns payment to hammermen for "overplus yield": P.W. King, 'Management, fincance and cost control in the Midlands charcoal iron industry', Accounting, Business and Finacial History 20(3) (Novmber 2010), p.404. However, I do not think it worth complicating the artlce further. Peterkingiron (talk) 17:53, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Common name for tonne[edit]

A. di M., when someone undoes an edit of yours, please go to the discussion page before re-inserting your edit, in-line with the process set out in WP:BRD.

I reverted your edit because I do not believe "tonne" is confined to "mainly UK", but rather more worldwide and "metric ton" is mainly confined to the US.

Notwithstanding the regional usages, "tonne" is the correct term and so probably shouldn't be listed in the "Common Name" column at all. I will remove it and list "metric ton" as being mainly US. Before editing further, please discuss here.

WikiDMc (talk) 08:10, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Tonne is correct, but it is very common too; indeed, in the UK, it's the most common name for this unit AFAICT. Putting it in the “Full name” column but not in the “Common name” column might suggest it's only used by pedants. A. di M.plédréachtaí 08:38, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
That's a fair point, but the same could be said of "short ton". Should we change the column heading to "Other common names" to remove any implication that the proper name is not also common?
WikiDMc (talk) 10:13, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Strange arithmetic[edit]

Perhaps it should be 210 and 256 imperial gallons (950 and 1,160 L) , which could weigh around 2,240 lb (1,016 kg) and occupy some 60 cubic feet (1,699 L) of space. But that still leaves a discrepencies. Peter Horn User talk 00:21, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Gallons and cubic feet are both measures of volume, so it seems odd to have both listed (unless the volume in gallons is the capacity of the barrel, while the cubic foot measurement is the total volume of the barrel, in which case that needs to be clarified). The page on the tun lists the capacity as 256 gallons (954 litres) and 256 gallons of wine/water is approximately 2,048lbs (929kg), and that is where the 'ton' comes from. The tun was later reduced to 210 gallons but I don't think that's relevant to this article. (talk) 14:42, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
60 cubic feet is not the capacity of the barrel, but rather the space that must be reserved for storing the barrel. First of all, barrels do not have a 100% packing density. On top of which space is needed for making fast the load. SpinningSpark 20:48, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
I think it's misleading to say the tun ranges from 210 to 256 gallons. The lower figure is for bigger Imperial gallons. The actual range is 252 to 256 US gallons (950 to 970 l; 210 to 213 imp gal). See English wine cask units. Kendall-K1 (talk) 18:26, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
Then it sounds like whoever wrote that misunderstood. A reference would be good to be sure. SpinningSpark 19:00, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
Agreed about the reference, that's why I haven't changed it. Kendall-K1 (talk) 14:05, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Pronounciation of "tonne"[edit]

The article currently states that the UK pronounciation of tonne is /ˈtʌnɪ/ (tunnee) and references this to the OED. First of all, the OED gives both /tʌn/ and /ˈtʌnɪ/ as acceptable pronounciations and does not indicate either of them to be specifically UK. The /ˈtʌnɪ/ pronounciation appears to have originated in 1970s attempts by the British steel industry to impose its usage. The OED cites Which magazine May 1972 "The British Steel Corporation, going metric but realising the possible confusion between a ton and a tonne (1,000 kilograms) has directed its staff to pronounce ‘tonne’ ‘tunnie’." I also have "The metric ton or 'tonne' is accepted as a synonym for the megagramme, and this form Is to be preferred on the grounds of brevity and familiarity in the industry. It may be as well to use the pronunciation 'tunnie' until the risk of confusion with the old ton has passed." Transactions of the Royal Institute of Naval Archtects, page 215, volume 113, 1971. I have no idea whether this is still used in the steel industry, or even ever got beyond official promulgation, but most sources that specifically address British pronounciation give /tʌn/, examples;

So I would say we ought to give /tʌn/ as the normal pronounciation. I have never heard /ˈtʌnɪ/ in actual usage, although I have occasionally heard /tɒn/ in an academic setting where it is needed to disambiguate in spoken language. I even found a source giving this pronounciation;

SpinningSpark 11:36, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

  • I hardly recall hearing any pronunction other than "ton", unless there is a need to distinguish "ton" and "tonne", in which case I would regard it as more usual to add the adjective "imperial" or "metric" respectively. Peterkingiron (talk) 15:06, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, so what do you think the article should say? I would favour saying the pronounciation of both words is the same but that alternatives have been proposed in the past. It would be good to hear from someone currently working in the steel industry who could say whether /ˈtʌnɪ/ ever caught on. SpinningSpark 16:04, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I have never heard anyone pronounce tonne as "tunny", ever. But many people pronouce ton as "tun" and tonne as "ton", to rhyme with Tom. Tallewang (talk) 09:12, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

What is this?[edit]

What is long ton force (LTf)? as in |locobrakeforce = 37 long tons-force (370 kN), see British Rail Class 13 etc. Reverse 370 kN (83,000 lbf) Peter Horn User talk 01:46, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Or long tons-force Peter Horn User talk 02:22, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
It's what it says on the tin - the force exerted by 1 ton under gravity. 1 tonf = 2240 lbf, or approximately 10,000 newtons. "Long ton" is American nomenclature where a ton is more commonly 2000 lb, in the UK this would have been simply ton force. SpinningSpark 06:53, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
OK, then the "long ton-force" in 37 long tons-force (370 kN) should be directed to long ton and not just to ton. Better yet, it should be treated as a unit of pressure. See also Template talk:Convert#For locomotives. Peter Horn User talk 15:34, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Ditto for short ton force or short ton-force. Peter Horn User talk 15:44, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Or reverse 370 kN (37 long tons-force) or 370 kN (37 long tons-force) also 370 kN (42 short tons-force) or 370 kN (42 short tons-force). Peter Horn User talk 16:27, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Long tons-force does redirect to long ton. The problem is entirely an issue with the {{convert}} template which is piping the links here, there is nothing this article can do to fix that. SpinningSpark 16:48, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
No problem, I'll post anther reminder on Template talk:Convert#For locomotives. Peter Horn User talk 14:00, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

"Standard" Refrigeration Ton[edit]

"Standard AHRI conditions" are only applicable for comfort air conditioning; not refrigerators, freezers, cooling towers or process cooling, but this article neither makes the distinction nor elaborates. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drcampbell (talkcontribs) 18:31, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Measurement or Freight Ton[edit]

It appears that in the middle of the 19th century, cargo loaded into British ships was measured at 50 cu ft to the ton, whilst American ships used a ton of 40 cu ft - reference is MacGregor, David R. (1983). The Tea Clippers, Their History and Development 1833-1875. Conway Maritime Press Limited. ISBN 0 85177 256 0, page 13. The article refers to a ton of 40 cu ft, but I am not clear if the source is American. I note that the French ton is very close to the 50 cu ft ton, with perhaps just a modest rounding error to express it in metric units. I presume the logic to all this is lost in the mists of time....

To get to the point, should the 50 cu ft ton be added for measurement of the amount of cargo carried?

ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 22:27, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

If you have a good reference for that please do add it to the article. However, a quick gbooks search seems to show that the 40/50 cu ft issue is more complicated than a simple US/British split. See [4] and [5] for instance. SpinningSpark 23:59, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, I didn't expect this to be simple. I only got into this "ton" business because the Cutty Sark website gives a ludicrous quantity of cargo for the ship's first return voyage - unless it is a freight ton of some sort.[6] "1450 tons of tea" when every other tea cargo is cited as pounds of tea. (I'm waiting for an answer from the curator on this and I'll fix the Wikipedia article on Cutty Sark when/if I resolve things). Seems this article should state that two different freight tons were used - we now have three references that make this clear. I'd just like to be sure, if possible, that there were no more than these two and perhaps even understand the origin, before doing any editing (and its been a long day - I'd mess it up if I did it now).ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 21:39, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
The tea traders would have dealt in pounds of tea, the shipping owners would have dealt in register tons - or whatever the above mentioned volume was used at the time prior to the register ton. The tea was transported in wooden cuboid "tea chests" which could be easily stacked in the holds. The numerous differing measurements arose due to the ad-hoc way that trade in various different businesses was carried out over a period of several hundred years. At the time all ships cargoes would have been measured in registered tons, which is a unit or volume not of weight. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:07, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Further research reveals that the ship owners, agents, etc. meant the Freight Ton when talking about cargos of tea (and presumably other goods). This is the measure of quantity that appeared in the bill of lading. The rate of freight was "per ton" - and no-one is going to misunderstand the money they will earn from a successful voyage! This is clear from a re-read of MacGregor, David R. (1983). The Tea Clippers, Their History and Development 1833-1875. Conway Maritime Press Limited. ISBN 0 85177 256 0. (There are some contemporary books of the era that are available on line that also support this, but I cannot lay my hands on the reference now.) This is a different volume than the Register Ton (which is usually stated as 100 cubic feet). Incidentally, the wooden tea chests were not that easy to stack in a sailing ship: the section of the hull is not rectangular, so ballast has to be packed around the bottom few layers, to fill the gaps between rectangular chests and curved hull. And the bottom layer has to start an exact distance below the deck above, so that all the chests will fit (with an allowance made for the space occupied by any dunnage). And that means that the chests have to be layered in a slightly curved manner, to follow the camber of the deck. ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 20:48, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Exclusion included?[edit]

This is ambivalent: The UK Weights and Measures Act 1985 explicitly excluded from use for trade many units and terms, including the ton and the term "metric ton" for "tonne".

First I think it should be: including the "ton" as being about the word itself.

Then, writing "excluding A including B" can go both ways. We should change the sentence to leave one of these two words out. -DePiep (talk) 08:11, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

another, smaller ton?[edit]

In Man vs. Wild, Bear Grylls was in Zambia. He saw hippos and said they weigh 4 tons which was translated to 1800 kg, also elephants and said they weigh 8 tons which was translated to 3600 kg. That would mean he used a ton which is about 450 kg, which equals about 1000 lb. But, the smallest on the article is 2000 lb/907 kg, the short ton. (talk) 04:47, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

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