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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The short ton is a unit of weight equal to 2,000 pounds (907.18474 kg).[1] In the United States it is often called simply ton[1] without distinguishing it from the metric ton (tonne, 1,000 kilograms) or the long ton (2,240 pounds/1,016.0469088 kilograms); rather, the other two are specifically noted. There are, however, some U.S. applications for which unspecified tons normally means long tons (for example, Navy ships)[2] or metric tons (world grain production figures).

Both the long and short ton are defined as 20 hundredweights, but a hundredweight is 100 pounds (45.359237 kg) in the U.S. system (short or net hundredweight) and 112 pounds (50.80234544 kg) in the Imperial system (long or gross hundredweight).[1]

The spelling tonne is from Gallic and French. The term applied to the barrel of the largest size. In Old English the spelling was tunne, "cask". A full cask about 1 metre (39.4 in) high could easily weigh a metric tonne, since the volume of the antiquated British wine cask tun is defined as 954 litres (210 imp gal; 252 US gal) which for water (density = 1 g/cm3) amounts to as many kilograms.

A short ton–force is 2,000 pounds-force (8,896.443230521 N).

See also

  • Long ton, 2,240 lb (1,016.04691 kg).
  • Tonne, also known as a metric ton (t). 1,000 kg (2,204.6226218488 lb).
  • Tonnage, volume measurement used in maritime shipping. Originally based on 100 cubic feet (2.8316846592 m3).


  1. ^ a b c "NIST Handbook 44 Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices, Appendix C: General Tables of Units of Measurement". United States National Institute of Standards and Technology. April 26, 2006. Retrieved October 13, 2008. "20 hundredweights = 1 ton"  
  2. ^ "Naval Architecture for All". United States Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved October 13, 2008.  . "Historically, a very important and standard cargo for European sailing vessels was wine, stored and shipped in casks called tuns. These tuns of wine, because of their uniform size and their universal demand, became a standard by which a ship's capacity could be measured. A tun of wine weighed approximately 2,240 pounds, and occupied nearly 60 cubic feet." (Gillmer, Thomas (1975). Modern Ship Design. United States Naval Institute.) "Today the ship designers standard of weight is the long ton which is equal to 2,240 pounds."

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