Sweden
premetric units of mass

Like many nations, pre-modern Sweden had one system of units for weighing precious metals, another for drugs, and a third (called victualievikt) for almost everything else. What greatly complicates Swedish units of mass is that victualievikt was not used for metals. For weighing metal the Swedes devised six additional systems of units of mass. Weighing the same object using different systems was used as a way of accounting for, in one case, the cost of transportation, and in another, the loss of mass in forging pig iron into bar iron.

In these different systems the names of the units, and even their subdivisions are often the same. Only the magnitudes differ, so that in stating the weight of a quantity of metal it is necessary to give not only the name of the unit, but also the name of the system of units being used. For example, a piece of iron weighing 10 markpund bergsvikt also weighs 7.69 markpund takjarnsvikt. To simplify recording quantities, each of the systems had its own symbol.

The comments below use the modern, post-1906, spellings, for example, “vikt”. But at the time the terms were actually in use the old spellings would have been used, for example, “vigt”.  As with all Sizes charts, the individual entries for units will give more information and usually more precise magnitudes than the charts can.

Viktualievikt

The system used for most commodities, not just victuals. Also spelled wictualje wigt. The symbol was a circle.

         

skeppund

               

våg

80/33

             

centner

1.65

4

           

sten

3.125 

5 5/32 

12.5

       

lispund

1.6

5

8.25

20

     

skålpund

20

32

100

165

400

     

mark

2

40

64

200

330

800

 

lod

16

32

640

1024

3200

5280

12,800

 

kvintin

4

64

128

2,560

4,096

12,800

21,120

51,200

in Dutch troy as

69.125

276.5

4,424

8,848

1605 – 1634

3.25
g

12.9834
g

207.7
g

415.47
g

8.3094
kg

13.30
kg

41.55
kg

68.55
kg

166.188
kg

1634 – 1665

3.29
g

13.1635
g

210.6
g

421.23
g

8.4246
kg

13.48
kg

42.12
kg

69.50
kg

168.492
kg

1665 – 1830

3.32
g

13.2836
g

212.5
g

425.0758
g

8.501516
kg

13.60
kg

42.51
kg

70.14
kg

 170.030332
kg

 

Decimal system of masses, 1855 – 1878

       

nylåst

     

centner

100

   

skålpund

100

1000

 

ort

100

1000

100,000

korn

100

1000

100,000

10,000,000

42.5
mg

 4.25
g

 425.076
g

 42.51
kg

 4250.76
kg

Bergsvikt

(“miners’ weight”). Also called bergwerkswigt, bergshammarvigt, bergslagsvigt, bergslags järnvikt, hammarvigt. Used for iron at forges. The symbol was a hexagon.

skeppund bergsvikt

lispund or markpund

20

mark

20

400

374.067
g

7.48134
kg

149.76
kg

Tackjärnsvikt

Literally, “pig iron weight”. Used to weigh pig iron being given to a worker to forge into iron bars. Coupled with bergsvikt it formed a way of compensating for the loss of material during forging. If pig iron is weighed by tackjärnsvigt and bar iron by bergsvikt, for every 1 markpund tackjärnsvikt of pig iron delivered to the forge, 1 markpund bergsvikt of bar iron will be produced. The reduced weight of markpund bergsvikt made up for the loss of material; it took 13 markpund bergsvikt to make 10 markpund tackjärnsvikt, and 13 kilograms of pig iron to make 10 kilograms of bar iron. The symbol was a triangle.

The number of decimal places in the equivalents are taken from the sources; they are, of course, ridiculous.

skeppund tackjärnsvigt

markpund

20

mark

20

400

486.2869
g

9.725738
kg

194.51476
kg

Landstatswigt

(“country and city weight”)

   

skeppund

               

waag

 

             

centner

 

 

           

sten

75/32

 

 

       

lispund

1 3/5

20

     

skålpund

20

32

100

165

400

     

mark

2

40

64

150

 

?400

 

lod

16

32

640

1024

2400

 

 

 

kvintin

4

64

128

2,560

4,096

9600

 

 

as

 

 

 

8,848

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

142.65 kg

Stapelstadsvigt

In the Middle Ages Sweden was a major exporter of iron and other metals, a trade regulated by the government. Iron could only be exported from certain cities possessing customs houses. These cities were called “stapelstads.” Stapelstadsvigt was used for weighing iron. Also called jernwigt, järnwikt, kopparvigt (copper weight), metallvigt (metal weight), Stockholmsvigt, utskeppningsvigt and lått vigt (“light weight”, when contrasted with svår vigt, “heavy weight”, another name for viktualievikt). The symbol was an octogon.

   

skeppund

             

våg

 

           

centner

 

 

         

sten

75/32

 

 

     

markpund

1.6

 

10

   

skålpund

20

32

100

165

 

   

mark

2

40

64

150

 

400

lod

16

32

640

1024

2400

 

 

kvintin

4

64

128

2,560

4,096

9600

 

 

5.31
g

21.25
g

340.0608
g

680.13
g

13.602
kg

21.76
kg

51.01
kg

84.17
kg

136.02432
kg

Uppstadsvikt

“Uppstads” were cities from which exportation of metal was forbidden. The symbol was a quadrangle.

skeppund

         

centner

2 2/3

     

lispund

20

   

skålpund

20

100

266 2/3

   

mark

2

40

150

400

lod

16

32

640

2400

6400

kvintin

4

64

128

2560

9600

25,600

5.58
g

22.32
g

357.064
g

714.128
g

14.283
kg

53.56
kg

142.8256
kg

Myntvikt, to 1830

Silver

     

lödig mark

       

uns

8

     

lod

2

16

   

qvintin

4

8

64

 

ass

68½

274

548

4,384

1605 – 1830

48.042
mg

3.2909
g

13.1635
g

26.327
g

210.6162
g

Gold (dukatwikt) 

 

lödig mark

       

uns

8

     

lod

2

16

   

qvintin

4

8

64

 

ass

75 56/121

274

548

4,384

1605 – 1830

 48.042
mg

3.48
g

13.93
g

27.84
g

222.8
g

Medicinalvikt

       

libra

     

uns

12

   

drakma

8

96

 

skrupel

3

24

288

gran

20

60

480

5760

61.854
mg

1.23708
g

3.71125
g

29.69
g

356.28
g

Basis of mark

System Mass of the mark  
victualiewikt half of a skålpund of 435.076 g  
     

Relations between systems

The relations were fixed proportions.

    skaal mark Ratio
victualvikt stapelstadvikt 415.47 g 340.0608 20:25
         
         
         
         

sources

The many different weights formerly in use in Sweden, are at present (with the exception of apothecaries' and jewellers' weights) reduced to a uniform system, having the ancient victual pound, equal to 0.93 lb. avoirdupois, for unit.

A Handbook for Travellers in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Third edition, revised.
Sweden, Page 4.
London: John Murray, 1871.

Sorry. No information on contributors is available for this page.

home | units index | search |  contact drawing of envelope | contributors | 
help | privacy | terms of use