Winchester quart

In Britain, its colonies, and the United States, 18th? and 19th centuries, a unit of capacity in the pharmaceutical trade, nominally 80 imperial fluid ounces, but in practice often 90 and as much as 100 fluid ounces. It is also the name of a particular style of cylindrical, round-shouldered glass bottle having this capacity.

The name is puzzling on two counts: why Winchester, and of what, if anything, is this a quarter? If we assume it was originally 80 fluid oz., then it is a quarter of 2 imperial gallons, not a standard quantity.

sources

Please see the sources quoted in the entry on the corbyn.

1

Some snippets from vol. 29, (July-December, 1886), of The Druggist and Chemist, a British trade journal.

(page 64) Phoenix tells us about a Winchester holding about 10 lbs. of sulphuric acid, which stood on the top shelf in a warehouse.

(page 96) Place the whole in a Winchester quart bottle along with two drachms of asbestos.

(page 158) Take 19 oz. of lime water, 1 oz. of tincture of quilaia (1 in 5), and 20 oz. of cod-liver oil, and shake well together in a Winchester.

(page 328) I filled Winchesters and 1-gall. stone bottles, and passed chlorine gas through till it was light coloured.

2

Although the filter can be left without attention, it is always well to bear in mind that syphons are dangerous things, especially when one places a Winchester quart as a receiver and the filter is connected with a vessel containing ten gallons of liquid.

Bulletin of Pharmacy [Detroit, MI], vol. 9, no. 4, page 166 (April, 1895).

Note that this American writer assumes readers will be familiar with the object and its approximate capacity.

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