# Swedenpremetric 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 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 425.0758g 8.501516kg 13.60 kg 42.51 kg 70.14 kg 170.030332kg

## 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 42.5mg 4.25g 425.076g 42.51kg 4250.76kg

## 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 20 400 374.067g 7.48134kg 149.76kg

## 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 ompensating 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 if 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 20 400 486.2869g 9.725738kg 194.51476kg

## Landstatswigt

(“country and city weight”)

 skeppund waag centner sten 75/32 lispund 1 3/5 3¾ 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 3¾ 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 5.31g 21.25g 340.0608g 680.13g 13.602kg 21.76kg 51.01kg 84.17kg 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 3¾ 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 5.58g 22.32g 357.064 g 714.128 g 14.283 kg 53.56kg 142.8256kg

## Myntvikt, to 1830

 Silver lödig mark uns 8 lod 2 16 qvintin 4 8 64 ass 68½ 274 548 4,384 1605 – 1830 48.042mg 3.2909 g 13.1635 g 26.327 g 210.6162g

 Gold (dukatwikt) lödig mark uns 8 lod 2 16 qvintin 4 8 64 ass 75 56/121 274 548 4,384 1605 – 1830 48.042mg 3.48 g 13.93 g 27.84 g 222.8g

## 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.

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