|SI units||4.54609 L|
|US customary units||? 1.200950 US gal|
|US customary units||? 277.4194 in3|
|SI units||3.785411784 L|
|Imperial units||? 0.8326742 imp gal|
|Imperial units||231 in3|
|US dry gallon||? 0.859367 US dry gal|
The gallon currently has one definition in the imperial system, and two definitions (liquid and dry) in the US customary system. Historically, there were many definitions and redefinitions.
There were a number of systems of liquid measurements in the United Kingdom prior to the 19th century.
The British imperial gallon is defined as exactly 4.54609 dm3. It is used in some Commonwealth countries, and until 1976 was based on the volume of 10 pounds (4.5359237 kg) of water at 62 degrees Fahrenheit (16.(6) °C). There are four quarts in a gallon, the imperial pint is defined as 0.56826125 litres (1/8 gallon) and there are 20 imperial fluid ounces in an imperial pint.
The US liquid gallon (frequently called simply "gallon") is legally defined as 231 cubic inches, which is exactly 3.785411784 litres. A US liquid gallon of water weighs about 8.34 pounds or 3.78 kilograms at 62 °F (17 °C), making it about 16.6% lighter than the imperial gallon. There are four quarts in a gallon, two pints in a quart and 16 US fluid ounces in a US pint, which makes the US fluid ounce equal to 1/128 of a US gallon. In order to overcome the effects of expansion and contraction with temperature when using a gallon to specify a quantity of material for purposes of trade, it is common to define the temperature at which the material will occupy the specified volume. For example, the volume of petroleum products and alcoholic beverages are both referenced to 60 °F (15.6 °C) in government regulations.
Since the dry measure is one-eighth of a US Winchester bushel of cubic inches, it is therefore equal to exactly 268.8025 cubic inches, which is . The US dry gallon is not used in commerce, and is also not listed in the relevant statute, which jumps from the dry pint to the bushel.
As of 2021, the imperial gallon continues to be used as the standard petrol unit in four British Overseas Territories, which are Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and Montserrat. The imperial gallon is also the standard petrol unit in six countries, which are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The gallon was removed from the list of legally defined primary units of measure catalogued in the EU directive 80/181/EEC for trading and official purposes, with effect from 31 December 1994. Under the directive the gallon could still be used, but only as a supplementary or secondary unit. One of the effects of this directive was that the United Kingdom amended its own legislation to replace the gallon with the litre as a primary unit of measure in trade and in the conduct of public business, effective from 30 September 1995. However within the United Kingdom and Ireland, barrels and large containers of beer, oil and other fluids are sometimes marked in imperial gallons.
Ireland also passed legislation in response to the EU directive, with the effective date being 31 December 1993. Though the gallon has ceased to be a primary unit of trade, it can still be legally used in both the UK and Ireland as a supplementary unit.
In the Middle East, water-chiller bottles come in multiples of the imperial gallon.
Despite its status as a US territory, and unlike American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico ceased selling petrol by the US gallon in 1980.
Panama stopped selling petrol in US gallons in 2013 and uses litres.
El Salvador stopped selling petrol in US gallons in June 2021 and now uses litres.
In the Turks and Caicos Islands, both the US gallon and imperial gallon are used. This is due to an increase in tax duties which was disguised by levying the same duty on the US gallon (3.79 L) as was previously levied on the Imperial gallon (4.55 L).
Both the US liquid and imperial gallon are divided into four quarts (quarter gallons), which in turn are divided into two pints, which in turn are divided into two cups, which in turn are further divided into two gills. Thus, both gallons are equal to four quarts, eight pints, sixteen cups, or thirty-two gills.
The imperial gill is further divided into five fluid ounces, whereas the US gill is divided into four fluid ounces, meaning an imperial fluid ounce is 1/20 of an imperial pint, or 1/160 of an imperial gallon, while a US fluid ounce is 1/16 of a US pint, or 1/128 of a US gallon. Thus, the imperial gallon, quart, pint, cup and gill are approximately 20% larger than their US counterparts, meaning these are not interchangeable, but the imperial fluid ounce is only approximately 4% smaller than the US fluid ounce, meaning these are often used interchangeably.
Historically, a common bottle size for liquor in the US was the "fifth", i.e. one-fifth of a US gallon (or one-sixth of an imperial gallon). While spirit sales in the US were switched to metric measures in 1976, a 750 mL bottle is still sometimes known as a "fifth".
The term derives most immediately from galun, galon in Old Northern French, but the usage was common in several languages, for example jale in Old French and g?llet (bowl) in Old English. This suggests a common origin in Romance Latin, but the ultimate source of the word is unknown.
The gallon originated as the base of systems for measuring wine and beer in England. The sizes of gallon used in these two systems were different from each other: the first was based on the wine gallon (equal in size to the US gallon), and the second one either the ale gallon or the larger imperial gallon.
By the end of the 18th century, there were three definitions of the gallon in common use:
The corn or dry gallon is used (along with the dry quart and pint) in the United States for grain and other dry commodities. It is one-eighth of the (Winchester) bushel, originally defined as a cylindrical measure of 18+1/2 inches in diameter and 8 inches in depth, which made the dry gallon )2 × ? ? 2150.42017 cubic inches. The bushel was later defined to be 2150.42 cubic inches exactly, thus making its gallon exactly ; in previous centuries, there had been a corn gallon of between 271 and 272 cubic inches.
The wine, fluid, or liquid gallon has been the standard US gallon since the early 19th century. The wine gallon, which some sources relate to the volume occupied by eight medieval merchant pounds of wine, was at one time defined as the volume of a cylinder 6 inches deep and 7 inches in diameter, i.e. . It was redefined during the reign of Queen Anne in 1706 as 231 cubic inches exactly, the earlier definition with ? approximated to 22/7. Although the wine gallon had been used for centuries for import duty purposes, there was no legal standard of it in the Exchequer, while a smaller gallon was actually in use, requiring this statute; it remains the US definition today.
In 1824, Britain adopted a close approximation to the ale gallon known as the imperial gallon, and abolished all other gallons in favour of it. Inspired by the kilogram-litre relationship, the imperial gallon was based on the volume of 10 pounds of distilled water weighed in air with brass weights with the barometer standing at 30 inches of mercury and at a temperature of .
In 1963, this definition was refined as the space occupied by 10 pounds of distilled water of density weighed in air of density against weights of density (the original "brass" was refined as the densities of brass alloys vary depending on metallurgical composition), which was calculated as to ten significant figures.
The precise definition of exactly cubic decimetres (also , ? ) came after the litre was redefined in 1964. This was adopted shortly afterwards in Canada, and adopted in 1976 in the United Kingdom.
Historically, gallons of various sizes were used in many parts of Western Europe. In these localities, it has been replaced as the unit of capacity by the litre.
water at 62 °F
|Volume rel. |
|231||Statute of 5 Queen Anne (UK wine gallon, standard US gallon)||7.48||8.33||7||6||0.04|
|268.8025||Winchester, statute of 13 & 14 William III (corn gallon, US dry gallon)||6.43||9.71||18.5||1|
|? 277.4194||4.54609||Standard imperial gallon||? 6.23||10||5 2/3||11|
|216 (Roman unciae)||? 3.53961||Roman congius||8||7.8||5||11||0.01|
|224||? 3.67070||Preserved at the Guildhall, London (old UK wine gallon)||7.71||8.09||9||3.5||0.6|
|264.8||? 4.33929||Ancient Rumford quart (1228)||6.53||9.57||7.5||6||0.1|
|265.5||? 4.35077||Exchequer (Henry VII, 1497, with rim)||6.51||9.59||13||2||0.01|
|266.25||? 4.36306||Ancient Rumford (1228)|
|271||? 4.44089||Exchequer (1601, E.) (old corn gallon)||6.38||9.79||4.5||17||0.23|
|272||? 4.45728||Corn gallon (1688)|
|? 277.2026||? 4.54254||Statute of 12 Anne (coal gallon) = 33/32 corn gallons||6.23||10|
|? 277.274||? 4.54370||Imperial gallon, as originally determined in 1824||6.23||10|
|? 277.4195||Imperial gallon as re-determined in 1895 and defined in 1963||? 6.23||10|
|278||? 4.55560||Exchequer (Henry VII, with copper rim)||6.21||10.04|
|278.4||? 4.56216||Exchequer (1601 and 1602 pints)||6.21||10.06|
|280||? 4.58838||Exchequer (1601 quart)||6.17||10.1|
|282||? 4.62115||Treasury (beer and ale gallon pre-1824)||6.13||10.2|
Before that date (November 1976) the definition in the Weights and Measures Act 1963 was such that the gallon could be calculated to be 4.546 091 879 dm3 to ten significant figures... The return, in November 1976, by precise definition to what had earlier been used as an approximation for the value of the gallon (i.e. 4.546 09 dm3)...
the UK gallon (imp gal), defined in Schedule 1 of the Weights and Measures Act 1963, as the space occupied by 10 pounds of distilled water under certain conditions specified in the schedule.
In 2008--the most recent year where WTI crude oil averaged US$100 per barrel--ANGLEC paid an average of about US$4 per imperial gallon (imp gal) for diesel.
The legal units of measurement ... for economic, public health, public safety or administrative purposes ... litre