United States bushel

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photo of bushel basket

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The bushel basket, no longer as familiar as it once was.

In the United States, 18th – 21st century, a unit of dry capacity, = 2150.42 cubic inches, approximately 35.239 liters. chart symbol It derives from a Winchester bushel created by simplifying an earlier bushel in 1696. Unlike the British bushel, it is not in U.S. federal law a whole number of any gallon.

As has frequently happened with units of volume for agricultural commodities, as scales became more common and the quantities traded became greater, it became more convenient to measure by mass many commodities that were formerly measured in bushels. To facilitate this change, states passed legislation setting legal mass equivalents to the bushel for particular commodities. The United States Dept. of Agriculture has standardized mass equivalents for the bushel. See the tables for the state and USDA equivalents.


The bushel is a measure containing 543391.89 standard grains (77.6274 pounds avoirdupois) of distilled water, at the temperature of maximum density of water, and barometer 30 inches at 62° Fahrenheit. ... These standards were adopted by the Treasury Department on the recommendation of Mr. Hassler, in 1832.

U. S. Senate, 34th Congress, 3rd Session.
Ex. Doc. No. 27.
Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the Construction and Distribution of Weights and Measures.
Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson, printer, 1857.
Page 5.

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